My Baby Doesn’t Eat Enough
If you are a mum in Dubai like me, you probably have heard a lot of mothers say that “my baby is not eating properly”. For a mum in Dubai, this is a common refrain. I have heard it from practically all my friends who have little babies. We are constantly worrying about the amount of food our babies are consuming. For new and first time mothers it is difficult to gauge how much is enough for the baby. I too was one of those mamas in Dubai who kept saying – “my baby doesn’t eat enough”.
To be fair, I had a genuine reason to do so as my son was and still is, reed thin. Compared to my daughter, who is a nice plump baby, my son looks like he has been starved.
Feed Him To Fatten Him
Moreover, every time I sent a picture of my son back home to my family in Italy, all I heard was he is too thin, feed him properly so he puts on weight. I followed the advice and tried to feed my baby but it all ended in a war of food with me forcing the food and my son refusing to eat beyond a limit. So it carried on till a few months back.
Sound advice on Food and Children
So I was at this party where I bumped into a paediatrician. We got talking and as always happens with Doctors, I asked her advice. I told her that I was worried my son was not eating enough. He was too thin and may be suffering from malnutrition. The paediatrician started laughing and told me that she was used to hearing this from mothers all the time. Then she gave me the best advice on feeding children.
Some children like to eat big meals at set times, while other children prefer to have smaller meals several times a day. They are no different from us adults, children also have their own body rhythms and habits. I did not fully grasp this initially, but then, she went on to explain.
She asked me if my son was dull or not active. The fact is my little one is unstoppable. Both the babysitter in Dubai and I have a hard time keeping up with him. From the moment he opens his eyes till he goes off to sleep, he is a bundle of energy and activity. He is running about jumping, playing and always ready for action. Then I saw what she meant, my son was thin not because he did not eat enough, but because he was such an active baby.
But, I was not done with my doubts, so here came the next advice – never force food down on a child. This will only make the baby resent food. The better thing to do is to put the food in front of the child and then let him choose how much he wants to eat. For the rest of the day, place food, snacks, fruits, etc. within the reach of the child so he can grab what he wants when he wants.
The Best Advice for a Mum in Dubai
No child will stay hungry if there is food within reach. So, I did as was advised and have not been stressed over my baby and his food. I placed food within reach and sure enough, my son started picking up food when he was hungry. I noticed that he preferred small meals several times a day rather than just having three or four big meals.
I do not stress anymore. He is very active and hasn’t put on much weight but, I realise he is an active child who will never have very chubby cheeks. As long as he is active and healthy I am happy. My advice to a mum in Dubai – the key to preventing a food war is to ensure that the child gets proper nutrition throughout the day.