Dear Mothers, Don’t Confuse Food with Love
- JWB Post
- October 16, 2014
Roma is worried about her 5 yr old daughter Sneh. Sneh doesn’t like munching food as much as she loves eating her chocolates, gems, jellies & Uncle Chips. Sneh ate her one chapatti and went on playing with her doll. But all Roma wanted that night was to make her eat one more chapatti. Surely there was a revolt and when the food was forced into Sneh’s mouth, she started howling. Roma is now worried about her little one’s habit and thinks she is not getting complete nutrition. How will she get a glowing skin, shining hair, perfect vision and healthy bones – slowly became the concern of the mom.
Today is the World Food Day. While our country has its own major concern of solving hunger problems, most of the Indian kids are fighting a common battle in their homes. In the form of love, our mothers have always been serving us food more than our appetite.
A mother thinks that serving more food and making the child gulp more than before is good for the child and also – is a sign of how much she cares for him/her. Unconsciously, the mothers force more food in the plate. If your mind and stomach says you can eat 3 chapatti, the mother’s heart says it should be 5! Well, the extra food generally results in stomach aches, indigestion, obesity and going a bit further…then even cardio problems.
If you are a mother reading this blog, you should probably understand this issue which you may have considered not-so-important until now. Getting kids to eat healthy should not make you break a sweat. Forget about encouraging, threatening, begging, or rewarding the kid to eat all the food you have kept in his platter. Don’t make it a big deal, really.
So what is the easy and effective way to make them eat? In one of the online articles, a kids’ specialist says – “If they’re hungry, they’ll eat. Kids will eat healthy, delicious food if you continue to offer it with compassion and without any pressure. And they’ll learn to eat on their own terms too, which is the key to healthy eating in the long run. This might take some time though. Be patient.”
While eating out at a party or in a restaurant, the caring mothers are more focused on their kid’s plate than their own. They worry too much – and somewhere, it has to do with the social shame, the social display and the need for control too. Unlike a father, the mother doesn’t want her children to eat snacks and chips at such gatherings because it is bad for them, but more pressingly, because it is bad for her! Because it is embarrassing. She fears that her friends may point out: ‘Your kid is so naughty. He was only eating ice-cream and was not listening to you. You should handle him more strictly. I do this with my kid all the time and see, how sincere he has become.” Trust us, he is not.
In conclusion, just to prove a point, don’t force anything on the kid. Be it food or anything else. This generation is very smart and it learns from people around and internet way too quickly than your scolding. They are capable of taking care of themselves.
Jaipur Women Blog says “Not only Feed but Lead” by leading their eating habits smartly. Don’t confuse love with food. “Maine pyaar se banaya hai, kha le” (please eat, I have cooked with so much love) is not going to work. Just a hug mixed with advice, showing them the proof of eating healthy food is the key.
The time you take to prepare a meal for family is an act of caring itself that contributes to their well being. The kids (no matter what their age is) just need a little cup of your love in form of motherly freedom – which they will probably not get from the father.
By Lavanya Bahuguna,