Most parents (especially mothers) always feel whatever their child eats is never enough!
If you set a plate of food in front of your child and he doesn’t eat, or only eats a few bites, it can make you frightened. Is he getting enough food? What if he starves?
Out of this we and up force feeding our child. Research has said that children naturally don’t eat much. They eat less than half the calories that an adult eats and eating less food, as long as it is healthy, can actually make humans live longer! This is, of course, not a reason to restrict your child’s food supply. But you can be rest assured that if your child naturally has a light appetite, this may help him live a longer and healthier life, as long as the food he is getting is healthy.
Parents should definitely understand that pressurizing a child to eat destroys his natural appetite. If your child can maintain this natural sense of eating when he’s hungry and stopping when he’s not, he will have a powerful weapon against the culture of recreational eating that he will encounter when he’s an adult.
Adults with food aversions (hating a food) often track their aversion to a time when an adult forced them to eat a food they didn’t like. Researchers found that 72% of adults who were forced to eat a food when they were children said that they permanently refused to eat that food for the rest of their lives!
We all as parents must understand one thing, no one wants to stay hungry. Even our children! We naturally feel anxious if our child is doing something that we think is unhealthy, like not eating “enough.” We must reassure ourselves that in all but the rarest of cases, children will eat enough food to survive and be healthy.