Children generally won’t starve themselves and this is important to remember as we tend to become stressed about their eating and then in turn it can lead to the child having power over us in times and what they eat.
If they seem not to be eating enough (by our standards) but they are still happy, growing and generally appear healthy then relax as your stress is easily picked up by the child. The child is probably managing to eat enough for their needs on a daily basis. If you are still concerned then it could be tracked by using a daily food diary which would help when if you decide to take your child to the doctor if you are still concerned about their eating once you establish exactly what they are or are not eating in a day.
Some important point to remember:
- They don’t have to eat the same amount of food each day. They will eat more when they are going through a growth spurt or if they have been more active than usual.
- Then in turn they will eat less if they are tired, or have had snacks close to meals or have not used a lot of energy that day.
- They will eat less if they’ve filled up on high energy or sugary drinks.
- Children need to enjoy eating and it should not be an unpleasant experience, not rushed or forced and they should not eat to please others or gain attention.
- It should not be an issue of how much or how little they eat.
- Varying the food intake is important to ensure they receive enough nutrients but also to ensure the menu doesn’t become ‘stale’.
- Any new foods sometimes need to be presented up to 8 or 9 times in a short period, before they will decide if they like it or not.
- Each child is different and not all need to eat the exact amount recommended each day but rather over a period.