As a mother, watching your child turn down your meals is one of the most frustrating experiences ever. Actress, Omoni Oboli has however shared some tips on what to do to boost such child’s appetite. Read below
My first son, Tobe, was breastfed for 6 months! After that, he became an extremely picky eater! Simply put, he didn’t eat. We started introducing solids but he just didn’t want food, Period! At a point, we discovered he could stomach custard, so we started feeding him custard but you can’t feed a child with only custard for months! The only saving grace was the milk we fortified the custard with.
Enough about the problem. Let me share some of what I did to get him to start eating.
Before I share, it’s important to note that you must first find out if the lack of appetite is due to an underlying condition. So take your child to see a Doctor to rule out that possibility. Tobe didn’t have any condition, he just didn’t like food so here are some of the things I did…
1. Meal times have to be fun! The environment shouldn’t be rigid. Play your child’s favorite music, buy different colorful dishes and have your child pick their dishes at meal time. Involve them in meal preparations and setting the table for meal time. Make it a happy chore. As much as you can, eat together as a family in a casual setting. Don’t be too strict with table manners. They’ll learn with time.
2. Experiment with different foods to find out what stimulates your child’s appetite. Healthy snacks such as milk and fruits can be given between meals to give them more nutrients but don’t give snacks just before a meal.
3. Don’t store too much unhealthy snacks at home because children can loose their appetite for proper meals if they get too fond of eating unhealthy snacks.
4. I believe an increase in the child’s physical activity helps a great deal in improving appetite because it will stimulate hunger. Riding a bicycle, running around, swimming and other activities are great. If you can, do it with them. At least you can burn some fat in the process or keep fit!
5. Set regular meal times, that way your child’s body gets used to desiring food at certain times. With Tobe, I made sure we had 3 proper meal times and 2 in between snack times.
6. Don’t give up on a particular food the first time you try it and your child rejects it. Keep giving it in small quantities.
I’ve heard it said that you would have to try a particular food 21 times before you conclude that a child doesn’t like that food.
You can also try cooking it differently. Pay attention to the taste. I realised that Tobe didn’t like the ready-made pureed meals. You know the ones in little containers. So I decided to start making my own. I would read the labels and buy the same ingredients. So for instance, a typical meal could be carrots, potatoes, chicken and peas.
I really decided to start blending mine when I tasted one of the store bought ones and said to myself, “no wonder he doesn’t like it.” The food was bland! So I would boil chicken, carrots, potatoes, peas sometimes fish, parsnip, etc and then blend or puree them. As he got older, I started mashing instead of blending until he could eat them boiled. Today, Tobe is a healthy eater and those days of struggling are long gone.
I hope this helps someone. Please feel free to share this post with others and don’t forget to leave your comments. If you have any tips, share as well. We are all here to learn the best ways to make our children GROW EVERYDAY! Keep smiling!
Culled from http://omonioboliblog.com