Why not specify the time the child needs to eat

 Why not specify the time the child needs to eat

Removing the baby plate before it is finished can lead to a lack of energy

There are very few things in child-rearing that can be proven consistent, and the time each child needs to eat is one of those things. What we can do is give you some recommendations on the estimated time of, say, children in the school stage, but as long as we have factors on the table we will detail them below.

How long does a child need to eat?

From birth, we must establish a type of diet according to demand, and this includes when we eat, how much we eat, and the time invested in it. It is clear that through breastfeeding we can distinguish between children who eat faster and others who eat slower, just as there are those who eat more than others. If at this time the breast or bottle should not be removed from the baby taking longer to eat, then it should not be done later either.

With the onset of complementary feeding, things do not change, there are still children who eat faster and some eat slowly, some eat little and others have a great interest in food. Thus, whether the child is fed with the mixture or if it is done by following the method of feeding that the child instructs, the quantity or time spent by the child in eating should not be interfered with. If he keeps asking for food, we have to keep serving it, and if he refuses, he doesn’t want more.

When the child is older and is self-sufficient to feed himself, even when the dish is crushed – depending on the ability of each one and depending on the method of feeding followed, the age can vary a lot – it is usual for them to settle meal schedules, so the portion The only “on order” that remains under your control is how much you decide to eat (amount) and how long it takes you to eat it.

If we interfere with that, that is, if we force him to eat more than he needs, we can influence the way a child eats now and in the future, which could lead to the risk of obesity and/or being overweight. In the same way, if we step in time, removing the dish before the child is finished, we cause him to limit his intake, so that he can suffer from a lack of energy and micronutrients.

However, how to distinguish what is too fast or too slow and what is normal for a child?

Up to school age (around 6 years old), it is perfectly normal for children to be distracted while eating, missing mealtime without eating what they really need. If we are sure that what we put on our children’s plate is an adequate portion – another reason why it is absolutely impossible to determine times for a child to eat, because it depends not only on age but also on the portion and/or quantity that the child plans to eat – we must remind him that He eats (from time to time) and to limit the time the child can stay at the table and eat.

This time very much depends on the work of each family. In my house, while we take the opportunity to chat and tell each other about the little events of each day, the time at the table is so stretched out that even my slowest daughters have time to eat whatever they want; On the other hand, in other families, they may not spend much time eating and are impatient. It is necessary that the child knows this limit and, if necessary, is shown to him with an hour so that he can understand it. Half an hour might be a good compromise.

If a child, on the contrary, does not last a minute sitting at the table because he has other things on his mind and is ready to go play, we must make other kinds of rules. Reminding the child that it was time to eat, he insisted that he should sit down and, above all, that the moment the child gets up from the table, the plate is removed, so he should not start playing until he satiates his appetite. In addition, it can be established as a rule that they cannot leave the table until one of the adults has finished their plate, thus ensuring that the child makes time for his food.

– When children are older, the rules may be the same, they should take no less than an adult and should not spend more than half an hour eating, but most likely they are already able to understand our motives and we can reason with them

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