Consequences of scolding children and forcing them to eat lunch or dinner
When the little ones don’t want to eat, what can we do? It’s a question many parents ask themselves, and when they can’t find an answer and in the face of the desperation of the moment, they tend to say phrases that, far from helping children get close to food, make the situation. worst. If what I just told you sounds like this, we invite you to read the collection of phrases that we should not say to children when they do not want to eat and find out if they are in your repertoire.
In most cultures, food is a satisfying and convenient experience. He is always present in the best situations in our lives: at parties, romantic moments with our partner, unforgettable experiences with family, weddings and christenings …
However, indoors can become a source of family conflict when children do not want to eat. Although it shouldn’t be the case, mom and dad’s reactions to frustration at seeing their son or daughter not eat aren’t always the best.
Although sometimes we don’t realize it, there are phrases and words that don’t get kids to eat and can even make the situation worse. In fact, for many children, those moments of stress can be so distressing due to their refusal to eat that it affects them into adulthood, such that their experience with food becomes something negative for most of their lives. For example, labeling children as “picky eating” or “picky eating” or similar recipes for the simple fact that they don’t like the meal can create a perception of themselves that accompanies them into adulthood, affecting their relationship with food for years.
When youngsters have painful experiences with food, we deprive them of their gastronomic independence, the right to have a different palate, and the freedom to try new flavors…
True, parents suffer from the refusal of their children to eat, they despair and often do not know what to do. I myself as a mother also suffer if my daughter does not want to eat a dish that I consider healthy and nutritious, and of course essential for her proper growth and development. “But why don’t you eat an avocado today if you eat it the other day?” I’ve asked myself more than once because it’s something that usually happens.
The child who does not eat
I think that in that moment of despair it is better to take a deep breath and understand that it is simpler: you don’t feel like it or you don’t like it. This does not mean that you may not feel like it at another time or that later on, your taste buds will not be able to develop a taste for a particular food. In fact, this has already happened to my daughter with a lot of food. When she started supplementing, she couldn’t stand pears and now she loves them.
My strategy with my daughter has always been to try to make food fun. The idea is that you associate food as a social moment. He doesn’t always eat as a family, but I try to make him do it as often as possible. In addition, I try to respect their tastes and desires, not without the first attempt, but if the refusal persists, I try to offer them another nutritious and healthy food.
That way she eats and I keep calm because I know her diet is right. By the way, I do not always have another alternative, and there is not always a time or day when I feel tired. Of course, I sometimes made the mistake of trying to “force” her to eat, which of course didn’t work. What I mean is that it is trial and error and that I learn like any mother or father as I go. Also, what’s the problem with not liking everything? Let’s face it, do we really eat everything?
It is true that there are children who can be a real problem. That is, if you don’t eat any vegetables, your health is at risk, so perhaps we should worry more about figuring out why you aren’t eating them: it might be a wake-up call because you’re not feeling loved, there might be a family problem around you and you’re expressing your frustration that way, or it might be It is a physical problem that makes your body instinctively reject vegetables
It is important to go to a specialist if we consider that there may be a psychological or physical problem behind your refusal to eat. However, it is also important that we review our reactions when our children are not eating and rethink how we can enhance their experience with food.
What phrases should be avoided if our children do not want to eat
The phrases of the child who does not eat
In the same way that experts recommend not turning food into an emotional supplement to avoid problems such as food anxiety or obesity, it should not become a source of emotional suppression, which can lead to other psychological problems. Therefore, it is worth reviewing some of the statements that instead of helping our children try new foods and positively approach food, on the contrary, it distances them from being open to enjoying all foods.
– Look at the plane!
It may come as a surprise that these kinds of phrases are inappropriate, but in fact when we tell a child to eat, it is nothing more than a distraction maneuver. Perhaps not the most harmful thing, but teaching our kids to eat while watching TV or watching us dance can take them so far from the real culinary experience, that they don’t want to eat without these distractions.
– ‘Come a little more and put the spoon in his mouth
As in the previous sentence, it is a kind of compulsion that does not take into account the real needs and desires of our children. Bad
Not by using this phrase, we can ask if they want more. If they already know how to talk, we can also ask them if they are hungrier to make sure that their refusal has nothing to do with satiety.
– “If you don’t eat, you will never grow up”
Making our children feel guilty when they refuse to eat is a form of emotional blackmail that does no good to them. Phrases such as “If you don’t eat you’ll get sick” or “If you don’t eat you’ll stay young” don’t help. Of course, on the positive side, they are different: explaining to them that a varied diet helps us grow, be healthy, and develop properly is a good way for them to understand how important food is.
– “If you don’t eat, don’t desert”
Threats are also the best way for our children to eat, on the contrary, make negatively related to food. There are also secret threats: ‘Eat everything so we can go to the park to play’ and they are quite devastating.
Forbidden phrases in food with children
– “If you don’t want to spend an afternoon on the floor, eat it all!”
Even worse is the threat of punishment and, by the way, something completely absurd. Can you imagine being punished every time you don’t eat something you don’t like? Does it make sense to be punished for something like this? If you think about it, you certainly realize that no, and that with this behavior, far from making your child happy eating, what you will achieve is not only that he does not eat or that he eats unhappy, but that with him you will break trust in your relationship.
– “Grandma will be sad if she sees that you do not eat what I prepared for you.”
Another example of emotional blackmail. The fact that your child eats or refuses to eat does not represent someone’s luxury or discomfort. His experience with food cannot hold him responsible for your own emotional state or that of someone else around him.
– “How can you leave so much food on the plate with so many hungry children in the world?”
If your children are not responsible for your well-being by the fact of eating or not, let alone the welfare of the children of this planet. Don’t think that with these kinds of statements you make your children realize the state of children in the world, it is not. The only thing it does is a kind of emotional blackmail that makes them feel bad because of likes, desires, and decisions.
– “You eat like a child”, “How are you gingerbread, if your grandfather sees you …”, “You can learn from your sister/cousin/friend, she knows how to eat”
These kinds of statements are really negative. For a child, they assume insults, exclusion, and aggressive comparisons that carry a strong emotional charge that they should not experience Remember that one of the rights of children must be respected, even when they refuse to eat.
– “If you eat everything, I’ll buy you ice cream”, “If you don’t eat everything, I’ll put leftovers for dinner”
Rewarding and punishing when a child does not want to eat is a bad strategy, but doing it also with food is much worse, as you will end up associating that there is good food and bad food, which will not favor your culinary experience and will be more closed to the food experience.
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