How to Stop a Child from Eating Soil?
Many children around the age of 8-9 months start eating different objects. Children will put everything they can find, in their mouth. They normally develop the sense that these are not food items and quit eating soil and other objects.
However, few children continue to eat soil and almost everything that they can find. This is a medical condition known as Pica. This is not uncommon for any parent to discuss their child-eating attitude with a Pediatrician.
I receive a couple of parents daily who are concerned that their child is eating soil. In this article, I will explain in detail about the causes and how to get rid of Pica. When kids eat soil or any other non-food item, it is their method to check and access different objects.
You can stop a child from eating soil by giving him good nutritional foods, adding Iron, Zinc, and Calcium in diet, and spending more time with him. Stress and anxiety can also make a child eat soil
Some children will go on and they will eat soil and almost any other they can find on the bed or on the floor. Children with Pica should be examined properly and evaluated for nutritional, developmental, emotional, and health-related problems.
- 1 How to Stop a Child from Eating Soil?
- 1.1 Check the nutrition of your child
- 1.2 Never force-feed your child
- 1.3 Check your child from a Pediatrician
- 1.4 Adding Zinc in Diet Can Stop a Child From Eating Soil
- 1.5 Add Iron in the diet
- 1.6 Make your child stay indoors
- 1.7 Maintain a Clean House
- 1.8 Wash hands frequently
- 1.9 Review from a Psychologist
- 1.10 Visit a Nutritionist
- 2 Causes of Eating Soil in Children
How to Stop a Child from Eating Soil?
Now, coming to today’s question and I will explain methods that you can use to get rid of pica in your child. Let us get into details:
Check the nutrition of your child
This is the first thing that you should do when your child is eating soil. Nutritional imbalance can be the cause. I have seen many parents who will keep feeding milk to their child at all times. You should always make a balanced diet that is filled with nutrients including minerals and vitamins.
Once you start a good diet, you will notice an improvement in your child’s eating habits. There will be fewer episodes of eating soil.
Never force-feed your child
You should always check what your child likes to eat. If he does not like milk, do not give him milk, instead, you can make any milk product. make a list of items that your child likes and focus on those food items.
Check your child from a Pediatrician
It is strongly recommended that you get your child checked up by a certified Pediatrician. There can be some underlying disease, so it is always a better idea to get your child evaluated.
Adding Zinc in Diet Can Stop a Child From Eating Soil
Adding Zinc in the diet will help your child to eat healthily. Zinc also helps to get rid of Pica if it is caused by Zinc deficiency. Zinc can be added to the food by natural food products or by supplements and multivitamins.
Add Iron in the diet
Now, this is important. Iron deficiency is among the major reasons for the development of pica and soil eating behavior. You must include Iron-rich foods in your child’s diet. Iron has many important functions to play in our body and its deficiency can cause severe implications. It is a better idea to get your child hemoglobin report done and check the iron levels.
You can also add oral iron for a child, that is easily available. Always give your child a diet that is full of iron and vitamins.
Make your child stay indoors
Most children get this habit from outdoors. It is strongly recommended that you keep your children indoors and under supervision. You should carefully monitor every activity of your child. As soon as he starts eating soil, you should be there with a remedy.
Maintain a Clean House
Maintaining a clean house is important, you should keep your house dirt-free. Always check for dirt and soil on the carpets and curtains, this will help your child to stay away from the soil.
Wash hands frequently
We should all have a habit of cleaning hands frequently. You should help your child to develop this habit. Make them clean hands regularly, start this at an early age and they will have this habit for the years to come.
Review from a Psychologist
This is important if your child is constantly eating soil in spite of adding a good diet. You should visit a Psychologist with your child and discuss the details. If your child is suffering from anxiety and stress, visiting a Psychologist will always help.
Visit a Nutritionist
You should visit a qualified Nutritionist and discuss the diet of your child. There are many things which parents are not aware of, the nutritionist will always be helpful in such cases. You should get a recommended diet chart containing all the recipes for your child. Focusing on good nutrition will make your child stop eating soil.
Causes of Eating Soil in Children
Now, let us discuss in detail about what causes children to eat soil and other non-food items. The exact cause is not known, but there are few factors that can trigger the development of Pica in children. I have explained all the causes of Pica in detail here:
This is one of the most common factors that make children eat soil and different items. Once teething starts, it makes the child hyper because of increased salvation and pain. They will try to find anything to put in their mouth to manage that stress. This starts as an incident and it converts into this habit known as Pica.
Another common cause of pica is the disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract. Children who have disturbed stomach are likely to eat soil.
Nutritional Deficiency can cause pica
Having a balanced diet is a must, otherwise, it can lead to pica. Nutritional deficiencies are among the major risk factor for pica. If Vitamins and minerals are not given an inadequate amount, your child can develop pica. Zinc, iron, and calcium should be included in a diet to minimize the chances of pica.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress can result in pica. If your child is under stress of any kind, he may start eating soil. There are events when parents try to force-feed a child, it will increase the stress and anxiety in the child. Increased anxiety can make him eat soil, papers, and other non-food items
Mental development issues
Children with developmental issues normally start eating soil. Autism is one such example, if your child has started eating non-food items, you should consult your Pediatrician.
Spending less time with your child
One of the major reasons for pica is when children are neglected. if you are not spending time with your child, then it can be the cause. You should always supervise your child in everything.