Our expert says:
Small children do tend to develop food preferences and dislikes, some of which are totally illogical. I know of one child who refused to eat anything except baked beans for about 3 months! Bananas are not particularly rich in any nutrient, except potassium, which also occurs in other fruits and vegetables. Potassium is a nutrient that is found in most foods, so unless your son has kidney problems (which does not seem likely because you say the doctors have given him a clean bill of health), he is not likely to have a potassium deficiency. He is possibly using this banana craving to exercise control over you and get attention. Children are great manipulators and quickly learn how to press their parent's buttons. I don't know if there was an event in his life before the banana cravings began (birth of another child, having to go to play school, moving house, etc) that disrupted his young life and made him feel that he was not getting enough attention? If so, his demand for bananas may be linked to this. If this should apply, sit him down and explain what happened and ask him if he is upset about whatever happened. Even young children can understand when you tell them about traumatic events. If there was no trigger incident, then the best way to get him to stop this behaviour is to totally ignore it. Don't keep more than 1 banana in the house at one time and if he wants a banana, give him one. If he throws a tantrum because there are no more bananas in the house, place him carefully on a carpet where he cannot hurt himself, walk out of the room and close the door. You may find that after 2-3 episodes of you not reacting to his tantrums that he gets to understand that the banana craze is not going to work any longer.
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