As you have already seven in our previous articles, properly feeding your baby is important for their continuing growth and development. Sometimes, your young one will simply refuse to eat, and when this happens, it can become quite a struggle to get him to feed. So, how to you get through this hurdle? We have come up with a guide to help you out.
Why does your baby refuse to eat?
At this point, there are many reasons why your baby would refuse to eat food. The first, and perhaps, the most relieving reason is that they are simply full. According to noted pediatrician William Sears, babies are actually much more capable in determining whether or not they are already full. Hence, he reminds that how much you little one eats should ultimately be up to him.
Another common reason why your baby might refuse to eat is because he simply doesn’t want that particular food. Again, don’t fret, pediatricians say that this is a normal. As babies become more exposed to a variety of flavors, they also start to pick out the ones they like and refuse the ones they don’t. The good news is that you child will eventually overcome in, though how fast will vary from child to child.
A more surprising reason why he would refuse food is related to spoonfeeding. Here, he refuses to be fed with a spoon because he wants to eat by himself. In this case, he will try to reach out and grab the spoon from you or he will shut his mouth and refuse to eat. Also note that this is one why they would assert their choices of food, and might also throw the food onto the floor.
However, there are also instances where him refusing to eat might be a sign of problems. Allergic reactions and intolerances, in particular, can contribute to his refusal to eat certain foods. This can often be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. Gas reflux can also sometimes happen.
Dealing with the problem
In most cases, all you need to do is be patient with your child as she goes through the stage. Keep in mind that if he is still able to gain the correct amount of weight for his age, then there is nothing to worry about since this is a good indicator that he is being fed well.
Of course, you still need to be sure that this is indeed the case. For this, here are some useful tips to encourage him to it.
1. Offer a variety of foods to choose from. This will allow him to pick the ones he like and exposes him to new flavors.
2. Don’t remove a food item from the menu just because he doesn’t like it. Instead, try reintroducing it to him a week later.
3. Take into account his liquid intake. If he is still drinking too much mild, it can dampen his appetite. Thus, serve milk only in between meals and limit his juice intake to just ½ to ¾ cup a day.
4. Regularly eat as a family. This will attract the attention of your young one and will make him want to follow you.
5. Don’t try to threaten or bargain with him. This will only become a power struggle that you will likely lose. Instead, try to make mealtime as fun and positive as possible.
When do you call your pediatrician
In case you notice that your baby is not gaining enough weight, then it is time for you to phone in your doctor. He will conduct several tests to determine what might be causing your child’s refusal to eat, whether its is allergy, intolerance, or something else. To help him determine the case, it would be a good keep a food diary where you list in the meals your child eats as well as your observations.
Your child’s pediatrician will also sometimes prescribe multivitamins to supply the nutrients that he might not be getting. For instance, if he is not eating a lot of meat, fish, or dark leafy vegetables, then you might give iron supplements. Remember to give your child only the ones prescribed by your doctor to be safe and sure.