Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The eating habits of children are a cause of concern for most parents, due to which they adopt an aggressive attitude to feed the children. Unfortunately, using force actually has the exact opposite effect and can lead to a complete loss of a child's interest in food.
Anurag Jain, paediatrician while addressing a webinar organised on the topic of child nutrition said “parents are very concerned about the eating habits of their children and they forget that eating is a pleasurable process. Forcing children to eat by threatening or intimidating them can lead to the development of a variety of unhealthy eating habits. Another mistake that parents make is forcing the child to eat even when he is full. It is important to note that once the stomach is full, babies start turning away from food or spitting up the extra food.”
Ignoring these signs of refusal and continuing to force-feed them can lead to the loss of a balanced diet. Parents should avoid putting too much pressure as children may panic. Similarly, snacks are given to children by parents to persuade them to eat healthy food. Sometimes this method can be better to encourage children to eat healthy food, however doing so repeatedly can cause permanent damage to children's eating habits. He also said that not only children but adults also suffer from the habit of watching television while eating. Parents try to distract their children by allowing them to watch television or use the phone to feed them during mealtime. The side effect of this is that children start paying more attention to watching television instead of focusing on eating properly.