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Armando @armando_bastida

For two days we have seen with the entries "How and how much a child grows during his childhood" which are the factors that intervene in the growth of children and, therefore, which are the ones that do not intervene.

Food is one of those involved (you have to eat to live and grow), but not in the way many think, because it is wrong to believe that the more you eat a child will grow .

Despite this, mothers and fathers worry too much about the growth of our children, emphasizing the diet of our children, trying to eat a little more when they have said "I can eat here."

Eva Paris, our fellow editor asked in one of the entries if this behavior of parental control and concern could have something of instinctive, innate, something like try to be healthy and strong to combat the predatory theorists and take this entry to answer the question.

It could be innate

...

There is no doubt that a baby or malnourished person has many numbers of falling ill, of being weak, of having few strengths, few defenses and a lot of danger of entering a vicious circle in which the less you eat, the less strength you have and the less strength you have, less ability to eat.

Surely the message "I must feed my child" is something innate, because, if we look at mammals, mothers feed their young to live and survive without thinking about growths or fortifications.

If we were with a family in the middle of the jungle, one that had not known any culture, we would see that it also feeds its children or at least that it feels the need to bring some food to its mouth (perhaps for the simple reason of thinking that as we eat, babies also have to eat).

...

although it is most likely cultural

However, we are not talking about whether feeding a baby is something innate or learned, but whether the concern that they eat a little more "just in case" is innate or cultural.

And in this case it is most likely that this behavior is cultural, that is, learned.

The health of our children is something that parents worry us a lot and that is why we always try to prevent controlling things that may affect them. There are many factors that can favor the health status of a baby and many factors that can make it worse and, of all of them, there are many that are far from our reach and perhaps that is why we end up focusing only and exclusively on the one we control better: food.

It is something similar to the moment in which an elderly person is admitted to a hospital. It can be fatal, it can be dying or it can be good and recovering. The fact is that, be as it is, your only concern is to do belly because "I have not done for 5 days". Your constipation is one of the only factors that can control since the food, the time of washing, your illness and the medication that is administered is in the hands of medical professionals.

Well, the feeding of children is one of the factors that parents can control because we see how much and when they eat (we can not see if they get a microorganism, if their body is fighting against a virus, etc.) and probably why we end up Give more importance than you have.

"Eat it all you'll be strong"

Or "eat it all you'll make great" or "eat it all to be prettier" or the variant you prefer. This unfortunate phrase is part of the heritage of our parents and, just as people once believed what they said, now many believe their words when they say it.

The truth, really, is that it is not a completely true phrase and in fact it is not even very useful.

The children do not think about being tall and handsome ten years later thanks to the current diet. They eat because they are hungry. No more no less.

A phrase whose result will be obtained in such a long term is unproductive because the child who stands before the plate and who strives to eat a little more will not see any result in his body (nor will he feel stronger, nor it will grow suddenly), so in later moments it is most likely that he thinks "it is not true, the other time I did not grow or have more strength".

And the sad thing is not that the phrase has a deadline, is that even what we predicted will not happen.

No child from the Spanish state (or from the northern hemisphere) will grow more nor will he be stronger when he reaches adulthood because he was forced in his childhood to eat that little bit more than his parents considered necessary, so it is not that a negative phrase, but it is sterile (not to say lie).

All our lives have made us eat more

But all our lives have made us eat more, you will say many and many, and it is true. "Leave this and eat this little more, " "open the plate, " "until you finish there will be no dessert" are some of the phrases we heard as children and I doubt that thanks to it we have grown more. Rather, I observe (it does not take Sherlock Holmes) that most of the population is now doing the opposite, diets to lose weight.

However, that vision of control that our parents exercised over us is inherited, simply because it is what we have always seen and now many mothers and fathers feel the need to do what is possible for their children to eat according to what they consider appropriate. .

And then, how much do they have to eat?

Well, as we have said before, only they know it . There is a phrase that says "a sweater is what a mother puts her child when she is cold", because we can say that a full pasta dish is what a mother puts her child when she believes that your child needs it.

summarizing

It seems that the control by parents of the amount of food that our children take is something we have learned because it is what we have lived as children and because it is what is still done now ("that child does not eat anything", " It is very bad dining ", " You can not let him go to play if he has not finished yet ",

...

).

The advice in this regard is that we offer our children varied and healthy food . They themselves will eat what they need both in quantity and quality (if what we offer is quality, there is no way to fail).

It will seem incredible, but if you ask me how much my oldest son eats, he would hardly know what to answer. On Monday he ate everything we put him and he still repeated, but yesterday he ate a couple of pieces (of those that are caught with the fork) of chicken at noon and did not go back to try bite until the snack. It is still alive, healthy and has more energy than the sun (in case it helps to comment).

Photos | Flickr - Ernst Vikne, phil wood, left-handIn Babies and more | How and how much does a child grow up during childhood (I) and (II), Complementary feeding: How much does my child have to eat? (I), Complementary feeding: What would happen if we let them eat them?

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