Oh boy. A new baby doll was introduced at the London Toy Fair yesterday, and it's causing quite the stir over in the U.K. The "Nenuco Won't Eat" doll, produced by Famosa, is basically a baby doll who turns its head when a (fake) spoonful of food is offered to it.
The doll is set to hit store shelves next month, and some are worried the behavior of it shunning food could potentially set a bad example for toddlers -- even making them have a negative attitude toward food. There's also a fear that the doll could encourage eating disorders down the road.
The way it works is that the doll has a little magnet in its mouth. It will keep refusing the food until the spoon is correctly aligned with the mouth -- at which point it will take the food.
You see what has some folks so upset, right? They're worried that by seeing the doll refuse food, kids might consider not eating to be normal behavior, which they will then start exhibiting themselves.
And while I completely understand where the cause for concern lies, especially when it comes to something as serious as eating disorders -- I'm just not sure I'd be all that worried if my own child were playing with this particular doll. Maybe it's because I don't have a little girl, so I can't really say for sure whether or not playing with certain dolls affects the way they think and develop. Still, I tend to view the doll's behavior as something babies typically do in real life; therefore, it's nothing to get all excited about.
My own kiddo was (and still is) the pickiest eater on the planet. And feeding him as a baby was no picnic, as he'd turn his nose up to food at almost every meal. This doll really kind of paints a clear picture of what it's like to feed an infant. That can be seen as a good thing as far as teaching children who play with it about the ins and outs of parenting. And don't kids love to "mother" their baby dolls? Maybe they won't even be fazed by the doll turning its head away from the food. Getting it to eat could be a fun little challenge or something.
But then again, toddlers and preschoolers probably aren't thinking about being moms at that point in their lives, so I guess there is the potential that they could attempt to model the doll's behavior?
Hmm. This one is a tough call for sure. Ok, your turn to weigh in.
Would you let your child play with this doll?
Image via Famosa