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When To Worry About the Eating Habits of Children?

There is one way in which children can be compared to adults: They all have different eating habits. However, adults sometimes expect them to follow specific eating patterns.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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We may all agree that some children eat a lot, while others seem to eat barely enough. Doctors usually tell us that newborn babies should eat approximately every 3 hours. Some months later, they start to eat every 4 hours. When babies reach 3 months they may wait up to 6 hours at night and when they become 6 months old, they can even sleep all night without the need to wake up for feeding. But is this true for every baby?

The truth is that the expected eating pattern, usually occurs only in a small percentage of babies, and this doesn’t mean that those who don’t eat as doctors say they should are unhealthy. But what can we do if we believe our child is not eating enough?

In the first place, it is worth highlighting that the nutritional needs of all human beings are not the same, and this is why not all of them eat the same food. But, even if their basal needs were exactly alike, and assuming that their weight and height were the same, they are not all equally active, explaining why not all children have the same energy requirements. On the other hand, some children experience intense physical development weeks, that lead them to eat more food, while the next week it may seem as if they were barely hungry at all. In contrast, other children face a development process that can be more constant, meaning that their eating patterns are more constant.

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The phrase "my kid doesn’t eat anything" is usually not true, because "little" is not the same as "nothing" and in most cases, even if children eat too little, if the food is healthy and balanced, it is enough! Our role as parents is to offer our children healthy and balanced food to guarantee that even if they don’t eat a lot, they will get enough nutrients.

What quantity of food is good enough for our children? It is almost impossible to determine how much a kid should eat according to their age. There may be some children that are satisfied with a medium plate of lentils while others may eat up to three plates and will feel hungry if they eat any less than that. As parents, we tend to worry a lot if we believe that our child is not eating enough. 

However, according to Carlota Reviriego, who is a nutritionist, if your kid is healthy, smiles often, and has a lot of energy, you don’t have to worry that much! Most of the time, children who seem to eat too little, are capable of maximizing the obtention of nutrients for satisfying their nutritional needs. Riveriego also remarks that when your children are healthy and when you are offering them a healthy and balanced diet,  they will usually tend to eat the quantity of food that they need!