Dr. Carlos González: What not to do when your child is eating

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What not to do when your child is eating

For the pediatrician, it is not worth juggling or trying to bribe children at lunchtime. Check out more practical tips

The Spanish doctor Carlos González became known as “the pediatrician who breaks rules”. So your mealtime advice does not even come close to the familiar tricks to convince – and even cheat – the kids to make them clean their plates. Nothing to distract the little ones to stick them spooned to the mouth or to invent dances and personages that can convince them to eat. For González, the responsibility of parents is limited to providing children with healthy and varied food . But only children can decide what and how much to eat.

See 3 advices she gives in the book My son does not eat! (Editora Timo, R $ 80) about what parents should never do at mealtimes:

1) BRIBERY

“Curiously, someone took the trouble to research the effectiveness of this type of bribe. In one experiment they offered a new food to two groups of children. Some would promise a prize if they proved it. With the other group, they simply put the food in front of the children so they could do whatever they wanted.

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After a few days, children who had been offered prizes consumed less of the new food than others. Only a fool would not realize: ‘It must not be very good if you offer me a prize.’

2) USE FOOD AS A PRIZE

“In addition to the pedagogical problem with which you may not agree, using it as a reward or punishment adds a nutritional problem. Because the prize will never be the cabbage and the punishment will never be the chocolate, but rather the opposite, which leads to the idealization more and more precisely of those foods that your child should not abuse.

3) RECALLING APPETITE STIMULANTS

“It is important to remember that the ‘will to eat’ is not in the stomach, just as love is not in the heart. Appetite is in (or is controlled by) the brain. Cipro-heptadine (a type of appetite stimulant that, according to González, works) (and some relative like dihexazin) acts on the brain’s center of appetite in the same way as sleeping pills work in the brain. (…) The problem with appetite stimulants is that children who take them are not sick or need treatment. The benefit is nil and any risk, however small and remote, is inadmissible. 

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