I don’t want to eat: why does the baby have no appetite

Usually kids who have celebrated their first birthday begin to be picky. Experts in this case talk about selective appetite. To cope with the problem, the first thing to do is to understand the causes of the phenomenon. And here the question arises: how to understand that problems with appetite are not associated with growing up and understanding your «I», but with disorders in the nervous system or the peculiarities of the brain?

The child has the right not to like this or that product. But the dishes that the kid ignores should be one or two and run out. In addition, undulating jumps in appetite should not affect growth and development: the child should not lose weight, get tired more and faster, his concentration should not decrease and sleep should not be disturbed. When something like this happens, when a baby eats a strictly limited amount of food, this is an occasion to show it to a specialist. Consultation is also necessary if problems with food and appetite continue after 4-5 years.

Taste distortion
A neuropsychologist’s consultation will help to understand the reasons. These specialists are accepted in commercial centers dealing with the correction of cerebral palsy, speech disorders, autism spectrum disorders. Their services are not included in the CHI program.

Neuropsychology is a science at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology. He studies the functioning of brain structures and their connection with mental processes and behaviors.

It is not necessary to prepare the child specifically for diagnosis. If a neurologist pays attention to organic lesions of the nervous system and brain, then the field of activity of a neuropsychologist is functional disorders. With the help of certain tasks (logical, motor, etc.), the specialist checks how the brain departments work, whether certain connections have been established between its structures and how they correspond to age. Based on the results of the tests, he will determine the cause and tell you whose specific help (psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist) is needed.

The reason for excessive selectivity of appetite may be functional subcortical disorders, such as sensory integration disorders. In other words, a distortion of taste, when a child perceives sauerkraut as an unbearably bitter product, and a fresh cucumber as too salty, although in fact this is not the case. Often, when sensory integration is disrupted, the baby refuses fruits and vegetables with peel – apples, cucumbers, radishes, pears, melons, watermelon, etc., because it prevents them from immediately evaluating them. Neuropsychologists claim that any products, except potatoes and chicken, can cause questions. Here they are eaten by children with any disorders.

Functional subcortical disorders are corrected with the help of special exercises. Each movement or their sequence activates certain areas of the brain, forms connections that did not develop in time. On average, it takes from 9 months to 1.5 years. The smaller the child, the faster the violation is eliminated.

If the child does not eat 1-2 products, it’s just taste preferences. When he flatly refuses to try everything new, attempts to introduce something into the diet cause categorical protest up to tantrums and after two weeks, and after two months, perhaps this is due to violations in the work of certain structures of the brain.

I don’t want to eat: why does the baby have no appetite?
Mom’s solution
But it also happens in a different way. Before a child develops eating habits, what is useful and what is harmful to him is often decided by parents. At the same time, they are based on their gastronomic and taste preferences, as well as on personal ideas about proper and healthy food. If they believe that it is necessary to give the baby exclusively gluten-free products, then the child will eat them. And when adults change their views, do not expect the baby to immediately start eating food with gluten on both cheeks. And if you have been offering him goat’s milk all the time and suddenly decided to switch to cow’s milk, this can cause protests and rejection on the part of a small eater. That’s why a neuropsychologist will ask when and how complementary foods were introduced, with which products you introduced the baby. It may also happen that there are no violations, it’s just that the child has not formed a variety of taste sensations.

Let’s remember childhood
Judging by the complaints of parents, there are more and more fastidious children in food every year. By the age of 5, there are more than 50% of them. Sensory integration disorders originate in early childhood. Baby monitors, electronic cradles, diapers – a rare parent does not use at least a couple of similar accessories that make life easier for adults. Technical means are available to everyone, but, alas, because of them, the baby experiences a lack of sensations. The electronic cradle has a strictly defined oscillation amplitude, and the lullaby recorded on the disc sounds the same every time. The mother, rocking her beloved in her arms, makes many more movements accompanying the process of «euthanasia»: bends down to the child, sits down, walks around the room, talks to the baby, sings, and each time with a different intonation and volume, gently strokes him. This is how many sensory organs are involved in the baby! No gadget will give such a variety of tactile sensations through which children learn the world.

Neuropsychologists, psychologists and doctors never tire of repeating that physical and physiological development is much more important than intellectual development before the age of 3. The child should climb, run, jump, crawl, somersault, try everything by touch and taste. This will give him much more than learning letters and numbers from cards.

Without blackmail
Whims during meals should stop by 4-5 years. If they are delayed, contact a specialist: by itself, this is unlikely to pass. Keep in mind that there is no universal reason. Every child has their own reasons. Moms bloggers on the Internet share their experiences, but it’s their personal experience that helped with regard to a particular baby. And the same actions in relation to your child may be completely ineffective. Do not blindly follow the advice of relatives, girlfriends and Internet forums. Their ideas can be taken as a basis, but you should not take them as a recommendation for immediate action.

In no case should you force-feed the baby: this can cause aversion to food, contribute to the neuroticism of the child. Do not blackmail, do not force, and do not be strict. Only if the diagnosis shows that everything is in order and this is pure pampering, after consulting with a psychologist, proceed to drastic measures.

It’s time to go to the doctor
After 4 years, parents should pay attention to what entails selectivity in nutrition. In parallel with the rejection of new products, the child may often begin to act up, cry, and change the mood for no reason. This should alert you and become a reason for contacting a specialist.

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