Take control during mealtimes

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Mealtimes should be a fun and happy time for the family. So why is your child always making a big fuss when you set his plate in front of him? Here are 5 easy tips to help you bring back the joy during mealtimes.

Is your child making a fuss during mealtimes?

Is your child making a fuss during mealtimes?

Most kids discover that they are capable of doing many things for themselves by the time they celebrate their second birthday. In fact, they want to have some control of their lives. This includes choosing what they want (or don’t want) to eat, which often sparks off a power struggle during mealtimes.

In times like these, it is important for mums and dads to be in control of the situation, to make mealtimes fun and happy for all in the family.

1. Stay calm
This may be the most difficult thing to do. But take deep breaths and count to ten. Remember to be encouraging when your child does something right (such as eating all of his the vegetables) and be firm when your child is naughty.

Do not force your child when feeding.

Do not force your child when feeding.

2. Don’t force your child to eat
This tactic will make your child hate mealtimes and it will waste your time in the long run. If it takes more than twenty minutes for your child to finish eating, stop feeding and try again later.

3. Try fun and creative recipes

When planning meals combine different foods with familiar ones. Look up recipe ideas on the Internet or try some here. Incorporate different colours and flavours into your kid’s meals and soon, your child will start looking forward to every meal.

4. Serve easy-to-swallow portions

Food in smaller chunks is the key.

Food in smaller chunks is the key.

Bear in mind young children can’t chew tougher or drier foods. Also, it can be dangerous if large pieces of food get stuck in the throat. Cut food into small pieces and don’t hurry your child into finishing their meal.

5.  Stir up interest

Try interesting your child in food. Let him or her stir, smell and even feel various food textures. Of course, if your child stops exploring and starts making a mess, it is time to be firm.

6. Don’t feed separately

Try not to feed your child apart from the rest of the family just because you want some peace and quiet to yourself. If your child does not want to eat, let him or her sit at the table. Your child needs to be in your company too.

Don’t forget to enjoy eating with your child! This is your time to bond with your children early in their lives. In today’s fast paced world, mealtimes are rare chances for the entire family to be together.

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Written by

Sandra Ong