A worn-out, exhausted mother in the presence of a small child who refuses to eat… Suddenly she has a brilliant idea! “Vroom, vroom” the spoon flies like a plane and the situation is resolved. The plane makes the child smile and while the child’s mouth is open, a spoonful of food can be swallowed. A small toy can keep the child’s hands busy and he mechanically opens his mouth when the spoon approaches… Some of the many manoeuvres intended to help the child to eat when he had decided otherwise.

 

Rewarding strategy when the child is very small but a lot less when the child grows up. As a matter of fact, the child is supposed to concentrate on what he is eating. This concentration is important because it allows him to perceive the sensations of hunger and fullness. These indicators help regulate the child’s eating habits and prevent him from eating “without thinking”.

 

In practice

Inciting a child to eat when he doesn’t want to swallow is of no particular advantage. As a parent, you should not be afraid of a child who is not hungry. From birth, a child knows how to express his needs and ideally, these should be respected so that he can build his trust in himself.