Food is one measure to determine the health of the body, the right type of food can provide benefits to meet nutritional needs and also support growth. Especially for children in their infancy, food can play a role as daily nutrition, education and entertainment. Given the importance of the effect of food on health, it is better if children who have difficulty eating should be immediately addressed and also given portions that are appropriate for your child’s age. Toddlers who have difficulty eating are often due to declining health factors such as having a cold, fever, teething milk for the first time. Research finds that distraction difficult to eat in children associated with psychological problems that are often difficult to express by children to their parents.
Here are some psychological problems that are often associated with toddlers who have difficulty eating, is it possible that one of them is experienced by your toddler:
1. Experiencing Depression
Children who have entered school age often experience depression, the causes are various. Due to difficulties in understanding lessons, having problems with friends or getting abused. Depressed children often experience two eating problems, overeating, causing obesity or loss of appetite.
2. Excessive Anxiety
Anxiety is often experienced by children in toddlers, one example is when children experience separation from their parents so that toddlers think negatively that will happen to their parents, then a condition in which the child feels anxiety about his new environment, the beginning of entering his new school. If your child experiences excessive anxiety it is usually accompanied by signs of restlessness, cold sweat, often palpitations and difficulty sleeping. This condition can be a problem in his appetite.
3. Bad relationship with parents
If your child is fussy and refuses to eat but is in good health, perhaps one of them is an indirect rejection of your situation. Children who are forced to eat and get unpleasant behavior from their parents will have difficulty eating, this is very much related to the parenting style of the child. Then food refusal may occur because you pay less attention to various types of food. As a result, children choose to eat and end up having difficulty eating. Also pay attention to the togetherness of you and your children so that a pleasant home atmosphere is created.
If the cause of the child’s difficulty eating is due to psychological problems, you can follow the steps below:
- Use play therapy together with children, even though the effect will not be felt immediately by parents, it will have a positive impact on your child’s diet.
- Do self-introspection on your child’s upbringing so that you don’t use authoritarian traits and make children comfortable with their parents.
- Teach good eating behavior to your children, provide a variety of foods and make it a habit to eat at the dining table together following your family’s eating habits.
- Be a good friend who can be fun when your child eats, accompanies him or eats with your child so that they build a closer relationship.
- Avoid threatening or punishing children when your appetite is rising, so that it makes your child uncomfortable and causes psychological trauma.