- Let’s talk about a child aged from 1 up to 3 years and here, there are things to consider in an effort to encourage them to eat. There are also things that experts on nutrition and behaviourists don’t encourage parents to do.
In last week’s column, I highlighted the possible reasons why your child might be refusing to eat food. For good reasons, I won’t talk about breastfeeding children—it’s a broad topic in itself. So, let’s save it for another day.
Let’s talk about a child aged from 1 up to 3 years and here, there are things to consider in an effort to encourage them to eat. There are also things that experts on nutrition and behaviourists don’t encourage parents to do.
A reader’s concern
One of the readers of this column wrote, saying, “I have my son who is 3.5 years old. He is weighing only 13 kg and always had problem of not eating. We have to run after him to feed and he eats little. We gave him anti-worms (he mentioned the type) a month ago, to make sure that no worms stay in his body…which medicine is best for anti-worm treatment to give him and also interval time for this medicine?”
The reasons for him refusing to eat could be many and varied, as I expounded in the previous column (if you happened to follow up).
The fact that you have tackled one reason—of giving anti-worms—and the child still faces the challenges of eating, it means that you still need to pursue other reasons.
The medication may as well have a problem but that has to be handled after a medical doctor has fully evaluated the child.
However, it would have been more appropriate if the child undergoes medical tests, especially stool analysis and gets his haemoglobin level checked before trying out medication, such as the ones you mentioned.
A detailed history must be known of what you actually feed the child, how you feed him and who is under his watch when he is being fed.
This may help tell several things regarding what could be influencing his eating habits because, there are things—beyond illness or worm infestation—that behaviourists say could hinder the child from eating.
Here, we are talking of stress, depression or if the child is bullied somewhere or even when the child is grieving over a toy. These must also be ruled out.
Quite often, parents fall in the trap of using certain techniques to influence the children’s eating habits.
Some parents believe that they can threaten their children or promise gifts to try and influence them to eat.
Well, punishments and rewards aren’t advised, at least according to psychologists.
If the problem persists, it would be appropriate for a parent/guardian to face a health expert for advice.