The beast that eats the feast.
Stopping a baby, toddler or small child eating can be a dangerous business. Little ones should not be put on a diet but at the same time the ‘beast that eats the feast’ has to be guided away from a carb centred fest towards healthy food in a varied diet.
The beast is released
Sometimes babies have to have antibiotics. If this is essential then this must happen but there can be downsides to manage around food later. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/giving-babies-and-toddlers-antibiotics-can-increase-the-risk-of-obesity-2018113015477. Antibiotics kill off all the bacteria in the stomach. Those bacteria need to be revitalised. They tell our brains what food to eat. If the mix is not right the messages are wrong too.
Incredibles – Handling Jack Jack’s sugar obsession.
There is a great food theme in Incredibles 2. JackJack turns into a monster when he eats sweet processed food. The link between sugary food and behaviour is pointed out by Edna E Mode. When what looks like a blueberry dish replaces the processed food JackJack returns to calm and can use his super powers well.
I noticed with one of our boys who had antibiotics at birth, that his eating was quite different to his brothers. He fests on carbohydrates and is fussy about veg. Carbs turn into sugary glucose in our bodies.
He once ate apple rice cakes – holding three in each hand, a banana and raisins. When finished he then lunged for his brother’s raisins. This incursion was met with a wild west scream. He grabbed enough raisins to quell further effort. He was trying to ram his bro’s raisins into his mouth before anyone could take them away. He did not succeed. An apology was given and a grumpy face set in.
By all accounts he had more than enough calories at breakfast and should have felt full but he wanted more. Later at dinner, when offered edamame beans, cheese, vegi burger he was not interested. He wanted the carbs and carbs alone. It was not his fault. His little tummy full of microbes was messaging his brain. The battle was on to find him a healthier tummy-team to guide his brain in healthy food choices.
Increasing the choices
We have not solved the conundrum yet but are trying. Having mini meals (eaten like snacks) of varied colour and texture raw carrots, mangetout, blueberries, cheese slices, egg muffins, pepper slices are all good for filling the belly without adding the very tempting but ‘no nutrition’ sugar, cakes, sweets to the options. Reinforcing the good food and being consistent in saying no to the bad is essential. Adding Kefir and or natural full fat yoghurt is aimed at building him a healthy tummy-team of microbes. We are seeing progress with him now accepting a few raw veg including broccoli, carrots and peppers. He is less interested in potatoes than he was. He accepts desserts are just plain full fat yoghurt not cakes. There is ice-cream on Friday when the family is together often for the first time in the week.
- Be patient and keep trying with adjusting the diet
- Avoid shouting and exasperation
- Avoid the ‘ oh that’s just what he likes’ and giving up
- Reward eating varied foods with an extra story, a game or other non food treat.
- Don’t expect a quick fix