how to feed him


Posted by appa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-02-2009

After what to name him, sooner or later came the next inevitable question how to feed him. And answering this question requires all the patience, creativity, imagination, energy that we can muster, and then some more! Our boy had no problems eating initially… but over time he just refused to eat… anything… He’d just play happily and run around and be active all day, anything but eat!

It was a real challenge as after a year or so, he simply stopped gaining any more weight and remains around the 8.5 kg that he had more or less been around 6 months ago, though the average is supposed to be around 10. The doctors assured us that as long as he’s active its fine but then its not too good to see him like some emanciated famine victim.

Anyway, here we will list in commments all the different ideas that we’ve tried to get hm to download atleast a few bites of food into his stomach as and when we recollect them (or come across any new ones).

Ideally we would like him to eat consciously and enjoy his meal. But it turns out that even the food that appeals to what appears to be a highly specialised kind of taste, he eats only a couple of spoons and says enough. So to get him to eat, its actually came down to kind of fooling him by getting him engrossed in something else and then feeding him in the background. So I guess most of the ideas to feed him would be about how to get him to be so engrossed that he isn’t noticing that he’s eating!

Most such ideas stop working after a while and then a new one, sometimes old ones can be recycled 🙂

We are hoping that we will soon be able to cultivate better eating habits as soon as he grows older, and he can start eating more comfortably and consciously!

Comments (15)

today’s latest idea from Kamalamma (my aunt) was: give him some water in a cup, and a spoon and sit in front of a potted plant. He kept watering the plant with the spoon… and in the background ate almost all his lunch!

One of my friends suggested an Ayurvedic (a naturopathic approach that has no side effecs) tonic for children that acts as an appetiser – Bonnisan. We started him on this a while ago. I’m not sure how much it helped but we’re continuing it every day. He enjoys the taste and has no qualms gulping down two spoons of it.

One of the things that worked was to try to get him to eat on his own. His mother put all the food in small chunks and gave him a spoon, and he did take his time but did eat a lot of it by himself. This ‘ideal’ solution 😉 unfortunately only works quite rarely.

Ok Jam with chapathy worked pretty well off late!

Two cups with some water – he pours them from one to the other and back. This he keeps doing endlessly and eats quite a lot in the background! Alternatives are some grains instead of the water.

Its important to not show him the plate but keep the plate out of his sight except the one spoon he has to eat 🙂

when he was younger – the trick was to make him look upwards. So this was a team effort, abhinav and amma are sitting on the floor, amma is ready with the spoon of food, appa or mama etc or anyone else are standing up with some attractive item in their hand. Every time he has to open his mouth, some noise etc is made and he lifts his head to look up – and in goes another mouthful!

My doDDamma kamalamma gave another excellent suggestion that worked pretty well – put him in front of a tub of water with floating rubber toys, he plays with them and manages to get something into his stomach.

of course he loves ketchup and that provides enough incentive to get around 20% of a meal – though we’re not too eager to use this as ketchup is never fresh nor least of all healthy!

How about storytelling and interspersing the story with bites in between? Or how about playing a favorite music piece/song of his during dinner/lunch? One of my friends here has twins, and the two of them somehow seem to be entranced by the song “Aaoge Jab Tum Saajana” from the movie Jab We Met. So you put the dvd in and put the song in and hey presto, dinner is over!! I have seen this myself.

I sincerely hope when I have a child that it will be musically inclined, and will hopefully share atleast a fraction of my passion, and I have grand plans for feeding, bathing and putting it to sleep, all in the midst of music. Until then, Sanjay, savor these years, and keep writing. 🙂

Making him eat by himself is the best thing. Another thing is to show him a book, tell him a story, and make him eat.

One more thing is, if he doesn’t want to eat, just stop. And see him jump up and down demanding the next meal 😀

My observation – he ate well with me today. From the time you left him with me to when you returned a few hours later, he kept accepting everything i had offered to him. Looked like he was really hungry as he actualy was pointing at things he wanted to eat and insisted on getting it right away.

Guess the secret is to fig out what made him so hungry.

Sanjay, just thought of something else – try cheese and paneer – they are calcium and protein rich, and also contain the required fat. They add taste too. My daughter eats up anything to do with cheese and paneer – plain, cooked, smeared, what have you.

thanks all for the really nice ideas, sure to give them a try!

Rashmiakka guess you alone have the key to this mystery as you were babysitting him, maybe you can try to replicate this situation again 😉

Hey Sanjay – nice name – Abhinav (was he named during the Olympics euphoria … ?). We used one such ‘trick’ – show him youtube videos. Pitfall: 1. He has become a YouTube addict 2. My Broadband bill skyrocketed. 😉

Anyway, he watches this one without fail (his favorite) daily (sometimes, back to back ….to back 🙂 )

oh thanks a lot vikki nice surprise to hear from you! this was a super hit with my son he said “innondsathi” after it finished though he’d finished his dinner already 🙂

Another nice one in the linked videos list was the Ugly Duckling in Disney’s inimitable style:

A technical glitch is that cygnets are actually gray… but well I guess that’s artistic license for you 🙂 Anyway even after that Abhinav wanted “thantha thata thorthu appa…” so guess the earlier one seems to be his favorite as well 🙂

PS: I find these days unlimited option is usually the safer broadband choice, esp considering audio/video conferencing etc

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