Has not been eating ok for 2 weeks

Your child does not eat anything? 5 tips on what to do

How the instinct to feed controls parents

The need to feed our offspring is deeply rooted in us. The feeding instinct is innate in both animals and humans. So offering food is the first step when the baby begins to whine. This typical behavior also persists in the following years: in order to get her baby or toddler to eat, many mothers get creative at some point. In this context, the inner pilot comes to the fore, who heads for the child's mouth with the spoon on the approach for landing. Counting games like "A spoon for mom, a spoon for Jonah" are also popular, always in the hope of giving the daughter or son a little bite the next time they laugh.

Stay realistic: is your child really not eating?

Sometimes the concern for the child's well-being is more emotional than rational. But if we look at the facts and write down, for example, what our baby or child eats every day, that brings clarity. A child between the ages of one and three needs up to 1,100 calories a day for healthy growth and activity.

It should be noted that these calories are not only absorbed through main meals. Smaller snacks and drinks in particular often play a role if your child does not eat too well during the main meals. For some children, a piece of fruit such as a banana or apple as well as biscuits or a piece of bread in between can replace a meal on sight. From the parents' point of view, drinks such as fruit juices or milk are often not real food, but usually contain sugar or lactose and thus energy. There are children who limit themselves to drinking juice or milk and thus forego eating - but who do not go hungry this way!

Your child is not eating: When to really worry

You can tell whether your child is really consuming too little energy through eating and drinking by their general condition. If your baby or toddler is weak and pale, constantly tired and maybe even losing weight, you should actually consult a doctor. The loss of appetite can have various causes: from bacterial contamination to problems in the gastrointestinal tract to psychological triggers. There are many factors that can contribute to poor diet. It is therefore important to carefully monitor your child's eating behavior before visiting the doctor and, ideally, to document it over a longer period of time. This gives the pediatrician a better basis for a diagnosis.

If your child eats little, but is otherwise fine and no deficiency symptoms can be observed, there is no need to worry. To be on the safe side, it can still be helpful to keep a record of what your child eats every day. The offspring should not know anything about this in order to avoid psychological pressure.

Compulsion can lead to eating disorders

Inconsiderate nonsense and psychological pressure on the child are not entirely harmless. Avoid sentences like "if you don't empty your plate, you won't get dessert". The child should learn to listen to their body and their feeling of hunger and thus develop a good relationship with food. Otherwise, your child may no longer eat what they like or what their growing body needs. Feelings of satiety and hunger can be lost.

In order to regain control of their own body, some children refuse to eat or overdo it. In the worst case, an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia can gradually develop. Obesity can also be a result of a lack of satiety. But don't panic - that's not the rule!

Tips for healthy eating habits

1. Take time to eat with the family.

2. It is better to distribute small portions on the plates and take them when it tastes good.

3. Let children decide for themselves when and how much they want to eat.

4. Offer meals to bad eaters regularly - without pressure and informally.

5. Trust that your child will eat when they are hungry.