Caring for and feeding an anorexic child is the hard work of many parents. When your baby has anorexia, you tend to force your child to eat. This usually does not bring positive results. Find out why the child’s anorexia is the reason for an appropriate solution.
The fact that a child eats less sometimes is simply because the child does not like the food, not anorexia. Did you know that anorexia in young children can stem from psychological causes and negatively affect children? If you have children with anorexia, you should learn about it to help them overcome it.
What is anorexia?
Anorexia in children is a common eating disorder in young children, a very common condition among children aged 1-6 years old. Anorexia when children refuse to eat or eat less eat not enough nutrition necessary.
The symptoms of anorexia nervosa
Anorexic children often have the following symptoms:
- Babies cry or seek harassment when you serve food.
- Children do not eat certain foods or do not eat all foods.
- Keep the food in your mouth for a long time, refrain from chewing or swallowing.
- Eat less than usual.
- The duration of each meal is usually prolonged.
The current state of anorexia children
- Anorexia is more likely in girls than in boys.
- Anorexia babies often have a risk of developmental delay compared to other children of the same age.
- Anorexia can lead to malnutrition in children.
- Anorexic children are prone to health problems such as digestive disorders, anemia, decreased bone density, and hormonal imbalances.
- Anorexic children are often obsessed with food and body weight.
Cause children anorexia
The cause of anorexia in children is usually:
Due to bad habits that parents unknowingly create
Bad habits created by parents for their children are often the cause of anorexia. For example, when mealtime is long, you often spoil your child, so let the child suck on the food for a long time or swallow without chewing. These can lead to children who just want to eat liquid food, are afraid of swallowing, and do not like to eat raw foods that need to be chewed like: rice, vegetables, meat, fish …
Not properly feeding children
Sometimes you feed your child at the wrong time as often forcing him to eat when he is still full. This creates a bad impression on the child’s mind that makes the child not feel full or hungry. The true feeling of fullness, hunger in children is only when you let them eat when they want to. There are cases when anorexic children become discouraged, leading to the reluctance to prepare food for children and for children to eat food from adults.
The child is not focused, distracted
Some families allow their children to turn on the TV or play with toys to keep them entertained. Moreover, mothers are carrying their children around the neighborhood with porridge in hand. This is not good for children because they do not focus on eating or forget their appetite. Over time this can cause anorexia in children.
Children don’t eat food they don’t like
This is a bad habit leading to anorexia in children. Parents often pamper their children, feeding their favorite foods for a long time can make them fussy about eating. In the long run, this can lead to nutrient imbalances by not eating enough and your child will refuse to eat nutritious foods he doesn’t like. However, even if they eat their favorite food, they may become anorexic because eating too many times will make them bored.
The stressful atmosphere of a meal
Some parents are impatient when feeding their children so sometimes they will yell at them when they do not want to eat or eat slowly. This can make children scared, giving birth to anorexia.
Unlike adults, the feeling of hunger in young children is often not clear. Therefore, you should not force children to eat when they are not hungry. Also, you should not feed children alone, let them eat with family meals. This helps children eat well, does not feel lonely when eating.
Due to health problems
- Just like us, if we are unwell, the child will also refuse to eat
- Children teething anorexia because painful swollen gums make chewing food difficult.
- Children are suffering from digestive disorders, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Babies become infected with viruses or bacteria. Children can become infected with infections such as ear, nose, throat, eyes, intestinal infection causing cough, fever, fatigue … leading to anorexia.
- The fact that parents see their children eat less than children of the same age should push their children to eat, which makes them afraid to eat, and anorexia nervosa.
- Mental problems can cause eating disorders in young children. This makes children bored with eating healthy foods.
- Anorexia children often have a different personality and behavioral characteristics than other children.
- Children who are anorexic tend to be depressed and find it difficult to overcome stress.
- Children still try to control their emotions and are under pressure to gain weight.
- Suffering from unpleasant sensations causes children to feel stressed so they often develop anorexia nervosa. For example, sexual abuse, pressure on grades in school, exams …
- Hormonal changes that occur in adolescents, especially during puberty, can also cause a child to refuse to eat. This is called anorexia at puberty.
- The pressure of schooling or the stress of school relationships can lead to anorexia.
- When children practice strenuous exercise, such as gymnastics, athletics, or participating in strenuous activities, they can also cause anorexia.
- Something sad like a family member dies or divorced parents … can also make children anorexia.
Biological and genetic factors
- Researchers believe that anorexia tends to be inherited.
- Babies born to families with a history of chronic diseases such as arthritis, colitis, kidney failure, cirrhosis … are at an increased risk of anorexia than others.
What to do when children and adolescents?
Estimate the number of calories your child needs in a day to find out how much your child eats, and avoid forcing his or her child to eat beyond the need. Each baby needs a different number of calories depending on the following three factors: age, gender, and health status of the child.
You can refer to the article ” Nutrition Tower for children aged 3-11″ to know how many calories your child needs and the amount of food they must consume / day.
Anorexia children often grow slowly, poor resistance makes parents worried. If you have anorexia, refer to the following 8 tips to stimulate your child’s appetite:
Don’t force your baby to eat when he doesn’t want this to just have the opposite effect.
- Measures such as threats, punishment, yelling, even beating all make the baby’s anorexia increasingly worse.
- If you want to teach your baby new foods, feed them at breakfast. This is the time when your baby feels the most hungry during the day and maybe ready to try new food. Once your child is ready to eat, you can move the food to the lunch or dinner menu and prepare another new dish for the next breakfast.
Create a menu with a variety of foods and present beautiful meals
- At every meal should have at least one food that your baby likes this can stimulate a child’s appetite.
- Let your child choose the food he or she likes to eat as long as the food is not harmful to the child.
- Encourage your child to eat all the food on the table, even if only a little.
Always feed your child on time and feed him/her with the family (if possible)
- Set a rule for your child to not eat anything without his meals and meals.
- About 10–15 minutes before the start of the meal, inform your baby that it is almost time to eat.
- Most children like to imitate the actions of others. Therefore, parents should eat on time, and be a good role model for children to eat healthy foods.
- The whole family gathered around the tray of rice and eating while talking happily helps your baby eat more delicious.
Break your child’s daily diet into small meals
If your baby is anorexia, divide your baby’s meals into sections and offer them little by little at regular intervals.
Give your child light snacks with healthy foods
You can give your child snacks at snacks such as yogurt, fruit, cakes, etc. but should not be given close to the main meal.
Do not give your child too much before and during meals, even when drinks are milk or juice.
- The child drinks too much before and during eating will make children feel full no longer interested in eating.
- Besides, you need to limit your child to drink milk in the middle of the night because it will affect the breakfast the next morning.
Encourage your child to go to the kitchen to prepare food
- Children love making decisions about what they will eat. Talk to your baby about which meal to eat next, and choose foods to have a balanced meal.
- Encourage your child to pick up vegetables, wash vegetables, mix food, set the table for the whole family. These will stimulate your baby to want to eat the foods he helped cook.
Ensure food is full of nutrients
One of the things you must ensure is that the food your child eats is fully nutritious. The vitamins and minerals in the diet can also stimulate a child’s appetite.
Example: Many studies have shown that zinc can help stimulate appetite in children. Foods containing zinc are beef, chicken, fish, and many dark green vegetables.
Also, be aware of the following to stimulate a child’s appetite:
- Do not allow your baby to use phones, toys, read/read comics, watch television, or use other technology devices while eating.
- Do not use food as a reward to avoid arising psychologically because you should be rewarded to eat, not because your child likes the food or that dish is good for health.
Get your child to exercise fully
- A child who is sedentary can also cause anorexia. You should encourage your baby to exercise daily. If possible, take the time to be active with your child. You can walk, jump rope, play catch, play soccer … with your child. Exercise causes your baby to consume more energy so she will feel hungry, eat better, and have better health.
- If your baby is small, massage your baby. This helps the baby’s digestive system work better, contributing to limiting gastrointestinal diseases to help children stay healthy and grow well.
Other problems related to anorexia in children
Let your child understand the importance of healthy food
Do not impose preconceptions for children that eating confectionery, snacks or fast food is bad, eating vegetables and fruits is good. You must speak to your child to understand that eating food is essential for the body to have enough nutrients. Foods that babies should eat are fruits and vegetables, whole grains and meat, fish, legumes, etc.
You can eat chips, snacks, candies … on special occasions like going to the movies or birthdays.
There is a need for children anorexia supplements
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in helping the body function properly. Supplements for children with anorexia have many vitamins and minerals necessary for their development. But if you’re following a healthy, balanced diet for your baby, there’s no need to add vitamins. And the feeding of children anorexia supplements should have the appointment of a doctor.
Hopefully, the above share will provide more useful information for your family’s handbook, helping you to have appropriate solutions for anorexic children.