Mealtimes can be chaotic. Everyone has different likes and dislikes. Here are some suggestions for helping your children enjoy eating nutritious food at mealtimes:
- Have meals and snacks at regular times
- Offer your children only nutritious snacks between meals which won’t let them get too full. This includes carrot sticks, apple slices, peanut butter on celery, and fruity yoghurt.
- Encourage your children to feed themselves with fingers or utensils. Praise them for their attempts and for eating well.
- Try and relax about the amount your children eat and which foods they eat. This keeps the tension levels down and makes mealtimes more enjoyable.
- Try to give your children several things you know they like at meals, as well as something new. Don’t worry if they don’t eat the new food. It can take up to 7 tries before children learn to like a food.
- Let your children tell you when they are full. But, before they leave the table, make it clear that they will not be allowed to return for snacks until some reasonable time has passed.
- Try to make sure your children have eaten at least a little solid food before giving them a drink. Drinks can be very filling.
- Try not to nag your children about eating. Avoid being disappointed or angry when they don’t eat much of what you have made. It will be easier for both of you over the long run, if you can take their refusal somewhat lightly.
If you have any questions about nutritious foods or your child eating’s habits, talk to a nutritionist/dietician in your region.