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The child does not want to eat in kindergarten - a reaction to separation?
When a child does not want to eat in kindergarten, it is difficult to talk about any norm. Sometimes the toddler refuses meals, who ate at home variously and willingly. Other times, the reluctance to eat elsewhere may get worse at the innocent, who showed little interest in eating also with his parents.
Although sometimes the kindergarten "fixes" the children's eating habits, because the toddler staying outside the home decides to try new products that other children taste, unfortunately the opposite is most often happening. Especially at the beginning of the adventure with the kindergarten, when children tend to be capricious and reluctant to new things. Complaining the parents of the youngest preschoolers that the boy does not want to eat - this is the norm.
How to deal with this situation?
The child does not want to eat in kindergarten
A child may eat nothing but drink. It can only eat dry bread or only selected dishes. He may demand food as soon as the parent arrives at kindergarten, or he may eat much less during the first weeks. If the child behaves in this way so far, at home he is cheerful, plays, does not complain excessively about fatigue (after a nap is rested), it should be considered a temporary situation. However, if the toddler is apathetic, withdrawn, thin, it is worth taking a closer look at the topic.
The reason may be trivial - the toddler may be sitting next to a disliked friend, maybe the child got scared when the lady commented on his lack of appetite, maybe the aversion to food is due to longing ... It is worth getting to the source of the problem, talking with kindergarten staff and watching the child can be helpful. Instead of asking, it's better just to be with the toddler. The youngest children talk and tell their parents the most while having fun and spending time together.
Quite differently than at home. Reaction to change
The child staying in the kindergarten is in a completely different environment. He observes the behavior of other children and often sees something he was not used to. For example, that Kasia grumbles because she doesn't like parsley, and Antek knocks a carrot off the plate, Patryk throws peas and Marysia cries that she doesn't want to sit at the table, because now she wants to go for this nice doll with pink hair.
Meals, before the children get used to the new situation, can take place in an unusual atmosphere. The response to this change may vary, depending on the child and his perception of the situation. One toddler learns to eat everything to attract attention, another because of new things on the plate notices more appetite, there are also children who close themselves and refuse to eat.
Children have a natural tendency to observe the behavior of other preschoolers and often imitate themselves. Therefore, if a toddler does not like beetroots, there is a risk that your child adoring them will honestly hate them. Fortunately, usually only for a bit.
Wait or react? Certainly not force
The beginnings of kindergarten it's stress to which we react differently. One person may have excessive appetite, eat sweets, or make a dinner, the other loses his appetite. Children have similarly. Their reaction can be very individual.
Toddler in the first days in a new place maybe feel insecure. Little confidence, waiting and observation are typical. In other words, the child needs time, needs to find out that he is safe and that everything is fine. Therefore, it is shameful to force a child to eat, be it outright - "You must eat it", "The plate should be empty" or by manipulation: "If you eat, you'll be a good boy / girl", "For those who eat everything, there is a reward ". Good teachers in kindergarten do not force them to eat. They can be encouraging, but never in a form that could frighten a child.
And how should the parent behave?
Don't force the child or motivate too much to eat. Usually, the more you press, the more attention you pay to food, the less your toddler eats. Let go, relax, be positive. Sooner or later your approach will help your child. Food is to be not only a way to provide important nutrients, but also a pleasure, not a chore. Therefore, do not treat meals as tense with an eternal question, ate or not.
Don't attack with too many questions
It is natural for a small child's parent to have a few words with kindergarten staff. There is often a question about food, whether the son / daughter ate. It is worth remembering that, first of all, a teacher or help may not have such a perfect memory to convey exactly what a given toddler ate on a given day, secondly, this knowledge is of little use, if we assume that it can simply be different and aversion to eating in the first days of kindergarten is not a reason for excessive stress.
Similarly, it is not worth throwing questions to the child after picking up from kindergarten. It is better not to judge, discipline, push. Instead, show understanding and mild encouragement: "In kindergarten, ladies cook specially for children. They have their magic tricks to make dishes tasty .... "
Forget about labels
Don't tell the child he's a bastard. Preferably at all, even when the toddler cannot hear. It's amazing, but children get exactly how we think about them. Let's not close the baby to the news in advance, assuming that the toddler will not eat this and that. Sometimes I will taste what I don't like at home. Let's not stigmatize, let's be open. We can ask children how the lady in the kindergarten prepared the soup, how it tasted, whether the toddler will help to prepare a similar one at home with the parent. Let's prepare a colorful salad similar to the one in kindergarten together in the home kitchen.
I love broccoli, I hate them
Children go through natural stages that quite significantly change their culinary preferences. One day, your toddler may love boiled carrots, asking for some extra food so that in a few weeks he can't stand it.
Similarly, in kindergarten, where, to surprise, broccoli soup may become a favorite, despite the fact that the child apparently hates this vegetable and prefers cauliflower. There is no point in worrying about these "inconsistencies." In the child's world they are the most logical. If your child, however, excludes a few large groups of products (he doesn't eat vegetables, fruit, dairy products at all and, for example, uses only dry bread) and it lasts a few weeks, it is worth consulting a doctor. Often, the reluctance to eat can be due to undiagnosed food allergies and intolerances.
Do not feed immediately after coming
Children learn quickly. They understand that it is not worth eating dinner, if they get a sweet bun soon, there is no point in tasting the salad, since grandma will pick up the toddler with a roll in her purse. Yes, it's true, your child may be hungry when you pick it up, but if you come right after lunch, don't bring food with you. Let the toddler feel hungry and know that if he doesn't eat dinner, he won't get something in return.