What to do when your child says “No” to a meal

Wondering what to do when your child says no to a meal? Watch this.

Also watch When you express your love through food and When you are upset because your child did not eat

When a child says “no” to a lovingly cooked, nutritionally perfect and well-timed meal – the parents of the child just panic. Their child’s refusal to eat the meal seems like a crisis and they jump in to offer their child anything he will eat – just to see some food swallowed. But there is no need to panic if you know – What to do when your child says no to a meal.

From the time a child is born his / her parents are stressed over what he or she will eat and how he/she will be fed.

Almost every kid these parents have met in the years before they became parents – have been picky eaters or fussy eaters. And so when their own baby is born – they are definitely expecting a child who will be a picky or a fussy eater.

So when their child says the first no to food – the parents are eager to label him / her a picky eater. They take the refusal of food as a sign that all their fears of eating have come true.

“Why is she suddenly saying no to this food that she has always liked?” or “Why is she suddenly saying no to this particular food when she has always eagerly eaten everything else that we have offered her up until now?” they wonder. And because they are expecting the signs of Picky eating or Fussy Eating to appear in their child – they jump to the conclusion that their beloved child – has now turned into a Picky Eater. That she has become what every child in the world is destined to become.

If you are a parent – remember this. Never label your child. Labels stick. They become more and more difficult to get rid of over time. They change your behaviour. They change the behaviour of those around you. They limit your life.

So – when you offer your child a healthy meal and your child refuses to eat it. Don’t quickly label her a picky eater.

There can several reasons why children refuse food.

One of the commonest reasons children say no to food is – that they are just not hungry. Yes it is possible. Every child is likely not to be hungry at some time.

A child may also refuse food because he/ she has never eaten that food before. The new food looks, feels, smells and tastes different from anything the child has eaten before and so the child is suspicious and refuses to eat what is being offered.

It is important to remember that when children are refusing a healthy food that you are offering – they are not asking for junk food. Do not assume that your child is asking for junk food when she refuses healthy food.

Don’t offer junk food because it satisfies you to see your child eating something at that meal.

If you fear something too much – you make it come true. Your fear that your child will become a picky eater will turn her into one

Read How does a Child become a Picky Eater

Also read What happens when you stay hungry until your child eats?

What can I do to make my child like Healthy Food?

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