Recently, I came across a few videos going viral on social media, where a lady is seen tricking the baby into eating a variety of fruits and milk, disguised in wafers/candy wrappers or other fruit shells. It was disturbing to see a video featuring a baby in distress, going viral.
Laughing with children is one thing, and laughing at them is another. It was heartbreaking to see the insensitivity of the adult towards the innocent and helpless child and then share it too for a few ‘likes’.
While it is a natural instinct of a parent to try and feed the child, what they think is right for their offspring, the experts suggest feeding to be a shared responsibility between the child
and the child. In this kind of arrangement, the adult gets to decide the ‘what, when and where of feeding’ and the child gets to decide the ‘whether and how much of feeding’.
As seen in the video, the child does not appear to be allowed to exercise his Will to have or not to have the food that she is being offered. This process is also confusing the child about the taste because her sense of taste and touch is not falling in line with her sense of sight.
There are many ways of stealthily adding the foods not usually appreciated by the children in the regular diet but this process, in particular, is doing more harm to the overall wellbeing of the child than being beneficial to her. This experience will have the child associate negative memories with food and may lead to long term unhealthy eating habits or dislike for food, which is definitely not what parents intend to achieve.
While it is normal for parents to have ideas about what kinds of foods their toddlers should be eating, they can take a step back; as long as the child is growing and developing normally. And it is a good idea to connect with a Pediatrician or a Dietician if you are not satisfied with the eating habits of your toddler or if you feel that the child is not developing normally.
To conclude, let us look at the child as a whole individual and respect her choice of whether to have a particular food and how much of it to consume. This will have the child create positive memories with food and help him develop healthy eating habits.