Parents everywhere worry when their baby or toddler doesn't seem to eat as much as they think he should. Carlos González, a paediatrician and father, sets those fears to rest as he explores the reasons why a child refuses food, the pitfalls of growth charts, and the ways that growth and activity affect a child's calorific needs. He discusses how eating problems start and how they can be avoided. My Child Won't Eat includes mothers' stories of the anguish and torment they have gone through in trying to get their children to eat.
Carlos González, author of Kiss Me!, reassures parents that children know how much they need to eat and explains why a parent's only involvement should be in providing healthy food choices. Forcing a child to eat more than he needs can only lead to tears, tantrums and, eventually, possibly even obesity.
Questions Carlos González answers include:
"This splendid and easy-to-read book presents a common-sense approach to one of the biggest worries of parenthood. Dr. González reminds us that children know a lot more about their nutritional needs than we give them credit for and that the problem is almost always ours, not theirs."
Gill Rapley, co-author of Baby-led Weaning: Helping your baby to love good food
Posted by Alyson on 15th Jun 2013
I loved this book and the writing style of Carlos Gonzales the pediatrician and author. His approach was so reassuring and helped to put my faith back in my child, and in my instincts. There is no formulaic answers in the book, no descriptions of how to cajole or bribe your child to eat. Gonzales puts children at the centre of his work and makes simple and logical suggestions that make perfect sense when you take away the pressure and social expectations we get burdened with as parents. If you offer what is essentially a healthy balanced diet and allow your child to eat what they please when they please you cannot really go wrong. We get into difficulty when the options we give arent healthy, or when we try to put our will on the child to eat as we demand destroying the sensitive hunger/satiation signals that are inbuilt. Its hard to let go of the social pressure to control and take charge of our childrens diets but for our family at least there are so many benefits of trusting my son to dictate his own food requirements and to remove the negative associations and stress that can become associated with eating and potentially last a life time.
Posted by Unknown on 14th Oct 2012
This is an extremely useful book to use from weaning onwards. It is a good balance between research and medical experience without loosing sight of reality. There is lots of pressure to how/when, how much one must give to his/her child, but this book is encouraging and keeping the balance of what is normal and what is not. Really good, worth to read before our children start eating
Posted by Unknown on 18th Sep 2012
We have struggled with feeding issues with our three year old son from day one and have experienced almost all of the situations referenced in Dr Gonzalez's book. Reading it has changed our lives from the day I received it and I now don't worry about anything to do with feeding my two small children. I have even gone back to demand breastfeeding my 10 month old with no concerns at all. I just wish I had read it before I had the children, it would have saved me so much anguish and I would have enjoyed my son's early years so much more. It should be compulsory reading for all GP's, health visitors and new parents.
Posted by Karen Hall on 5th Sep 2012
My Child Won’t Eat is sensibly divided into Causes, Solutions, and Prevention, and uses a rich selection of anecdotes to illustrate the points made in each section.
Gonzalez' basic premise is that babies and children can be allowed and trusted to regulate their own appetites; and that it is the parents' expectations that are wrong. If parents stop worrying about it or trying to force their children to eat, they will still eat the same amount, but it will all be much less stressful. They won't eat any more than they did before, but they won't waste away either.
This premise is entirely sensible and based in the science relating to appetite control, and Gonzalez uses the perspective of the child to argue that mealtime battles are confusing and unhelpful when it comes to creating a positive attitude to food.
The book includes a large section on breastfeeding, which, as the author acknowledges, is likely to come too late for the parents of babies or toddlers eating (or not eating) solid food, at whom the book is targeted. Perhaps this would be more useful for health professionals and other people supporting those parents.
Posted by Jane Goodyear on 21st May 2012
This is a must read for all parents. It has really changed mealtimes in our house and how we view food. I could really relate to the book, and have full confidence in recommending the book to others.
Posted by Jil Manning on 25th Mar 2012
This book is absolutely packed with examples of parents' fears and worries about the eating habits of young babies and children...if you are worried about your child and food, the chances are that the situation, and its remedy, is described in Carlos Gonzalez' book. He takes you right back to the basics, demonstrating how children have an innate ability to regulate their own intake according to the needs of the body. This is such a reassuring book, but has a very strong message about the importance of enjoyment of food for the growing child's wellbeing, well into future life, and the need for parents to offer a selection of healthy foods...nothing more. Gonzalez puts it all into perspective; are you on a feeding schedule? How would you like to be forced to eat? He separates out the nutritional problems from the psychological aspects of food as punishment and reward. I have learned a new way of looking at some well-known but fascinating facts from this book, for instance, mammals learn the flavours of foods their mothers eat through her breast milk, hence the reason babies might reject 'baby food' but are keen to try the food mum is eating. This is an absorbing book, and highlights a very basic and important part of bringing up a child in this day and age of anorexia, obesity and McDonalds.
Posted by Anna Hughes on 25th Mar 2012
I really do think this book is great but I think the title is misleading. It should be called 'how to prevent your child from not eating' It is probably best for expectant parents or those with newborns (as the author actually points out himself!) as it goes through how attitude to food included breast-feeding from the very beginning can influence your child's eating habits. As the mother of a child who I thought did not eat much for her age according to many other recipe and baby meal planning guides, i was completely reassured by this book as it set out reasons why not to get worried about the amount eaten because the growth rate slows down as babies get older and many other reasons. I was perhaps expecting recipes that your baby is sure to love and other tips but really what I found was a way to change my attitude about my child's eating habits and not to worry! I also loved the fact that many of the reasons for typical rejecting food behaviour were just down to basic mammal behaviour. A great read, especially for parents with younger babies.
Posted by Suzanne Gadilhe on 19th Mar 2012
My Child Won't Eat should be read by every parent, regardless of whether they have concerns over their child's eating habits or not. Carlos Gonzalez explains concisely and clearly the science and facts behind infant weight gain, fussiness, the importance of breastfeeding, and how modern life affects such a basic survival function as eating. The book is peppered with real life examples of parents worried about their children's eating habits - whilst some will find comfort in similarities, others will be horrified at the advice dished out by health professionals. Gonzalez seeks to reassure and does so without judgement. Personally I wish there had been a final chapter on pre-schooler eating habits; but nevertheless I gained both calm strategy and reassurance from this very common-sense book.