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What do you do to make your child like food?

Internalize the dynamics of healthy eating from childhood It is very important both to avoid malnutrition and not to develop eating disorders in adolescence and in young people in general.

Let’s see some tips to achieve this from our role as parents.

Let’s start with the basics: what is to eat?

The act of eating goes beyond a simple physiological need, is a true symbol of the way we face life, especially through the first significant figure with whom we establish an important link: our mother.

At birth she nourishes us through her breast, and it is she who usually nourishes us in our early years, eating is the main act that connects us to life, nourishes us and allows us to be alive.

On another side, it becomes a social act that unites us with other loved ones.

To be more precise, we could analyze in more detail what function fulfills the act of feeding: do we eat life through food, how do we do it: energetically, with pleasure, abruptly, greedily?

The mouth also allows us to develop many other actions, such as speaking or expressing ourselves, and it is a key part of our appearance, of what we show to others.

Is our society sick?

Today’s society continues to demand from us (despite the change of perspective) a certain image and specific measures, exalting youth and appearance above all else, the posture on social networks is increasingly sick and a sector of adolescence identifies with nothing but their own photos, at the risk of s to lose it, to lose identity.

In short, they are perceived as the others, according to the evaluations they make of them, leaving their self-image in outside hands, which is very dangerousbecause they have no control over their life, resulting in a fragile ego and a malleable psyche. It all comes down to a number of “likes”.

If we move to the Internet environment, we will find content in digital media that promotes eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, being very significant the existence of web pages that promote potentially harmful practices for health aimed at reducing the number of calories ingested are already reaching measures below what could be classified as healthy.

So much so that tactics such as spraying food with detergent to induce feelings of disgust, the use of laxatives, guidelines for self-harm and avoiding feelings of hunger, or ways to hide certain bodily signs to the family are encouraged. They also offer tables of unreal measurements for the lunatics and the pressure children and adolescents to inevitably identify with a certain appearance and lifestyleThey also encourage self-punishment and self-esteem.

The big paradox is that these types of platforms cannot be closed, because they do not supposedly violate the law, fortunately this is evolving and an example of this is the following: in March 2019, a decree-law that acts against those companies or platforms that make excuses for anorexia and bulimia on social networks and the Internet.

Said platforms could be sanctioned if, despite having knowledge of this content on their platforms, they do not take measures to eliminate it.

Indeed, on December 18, 2019, the following news was published: the Irish company Automatic Inc was fined 85,000 euros for advocating anorexia and for failing to adequately meet the prior requirements of the Generalitat.

What do you do to make your child like food?

What are anorexia and bulimia?

The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

While the first is a severe pathology characterized by an unstoppable fear of weight gain and the development of actions aimed at excessive weight loss, the second (which also begins with food restriction) consists of the manifestation of seizures bulimia and purgative behaviors leading to possible compensation. weight gain.

How does the family influence the development of these disorders?

Each family is a different system, it is not clear if the relationships between its members are the root cause of the disorder, however, we can assure that a series of common patterns have been identified which usually appear in those whose members are affected by these pathologies.

In the case of anorexia, these are generally families characterized by overprotection, the involvement of children in parental conflicts, relationships manifest as amalgamation, they avoid conflict, and there is inflexibility in accepting changes.

In the case of bulimia, there is an excessive interest in academic and professional achievements to the detriment of other goals such as leisure., moral or intellectual issues, appearance and what they say matter a lot, parents are the star of an emotional outburst in the form of anxiety which at first glance may seem disinterest in the disease of the limb, in particular the father usually manages himself with neglect and lack of involvement, while the mother tends to blame the sick daughter for the problem.

It happens to families because of their inability to handle stressful situations, its low tolerance for frustration, its lack of cohesion and its lack of emotional connection which contrasts with the lack of privacy in both goods and shared spaces without prior authorization, errors (even the slightest) are not tolerated in this type of families

Family therapy has proven to be very useful in the treatment of these pathologies.

What can we do for our children from an early age?

Here you will find several tips to keep in mind to achieve this.

1. Do not give a negative connotation at mealtimes

It shouldn’t be a power struggle, it is important to emphasize the positive points of the experience.

2. Avoid rewarding or punishing with food

The act of eating must be pleasant and framed in a pleasant and relaxed environment, therefore we will have to strive to create a space of calm and positivism, without shouting or arguing.

On the other hand, forcing yourself to eat a food the hard way can result in rejection of it.

3. Do not watch television or use other devices during meals.

It is important be aware of the act of eating. Let’s get kids involved in the preparation of simple meals, even if they stain more than necessary.

4. Educate about food

Let’s take them to the market and show them the names and characteristics of the food. In addition, it is important that we educate ourselves on healthy eating and habits. The goal is for them to develop a good relationship with food, to come to love it.

5. Harness the potential of creativity

It is more educational to try to get them to taste different foods by being creative, making them more palatable and being flexible about your preferences; If we’re realists, no one likes absolutely all foods, although it’s important that they maintain a receptive attitude to new flavors and textures.

With the little ones, the act of eating can be approached in a playful and imaginative way as long as you focus on food.

6. Boost your self-esteem

Cultivate good self-esteem in them, emphasizing your personal qualities rather than physical

Be careful with comments on physical appearance (“I saw you get fat”) especially during puberty and adolescence, stages where image is essential to self-esteem.

MOMA Family Center


Ultimately and as always, the emotional education of our children is the most powerful weapon we have to transmit the strength and values ​​that allow them to face the negative messages of our society and their own insecurities.

If we treat them with respect and dedication, if we maintain good communication with them, they will grow into mature and responsible adults. And let’s not forget that we are still your role model.

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