Published by Madhushree
3 months ago
Does your child have a hard time during meal time? Well, it is quite common and can make you and your child frustrated. Just when you think you are presenting your child with something they like, but a fuss starts? We have all experienced it.
It is extremely important that your child develops a healthy and positive relationship with food. This can very well help your child to start liking what they eat, respect the food and also enjoy various types of food. It provides them with the opportunity to be open to various textures, tastes and also various cuisines.
Lets understand some ways to have to a fuss-free meal time :
Routines, as we all know, are a great way to help children become aware of what is coming next, and not startle them with something they are not comfortable with. Having set meal times and a followed routine can help your child develop the understanding and association of the fact that it is ‘time to eat’. Teach your child to wash their hands, set their cutlery and sit at the set place. This can help them reduce their anxiety and will allow them to become comfortable once they get into the routine.
Children may come across various types of food in terms of texture, colour, smell, taste and shape. This can create curiosity in your child, and will hence try to play with their food. Allow them to explore their senses and develop an interest in what they are consuming. This can ease the situation for you, and your child as well.
Looking at different varieties of food can make your child happy! The options can be to choose between two of their favourite foods or maybe their least favourite foods or it can even be the order of when they will eat their dessert and veggies. This will allow them to have a sense of independence and give them the skills to make decisions on their own terms. This can reduce the child’s anxiety drastically.
Children are always interested in seeing fun pictures, toys, cartoon faces, etc. When presenting food to your child, spend some extra time putting in your creativity. From cutting sandwiches into different shapes to using veggies to create funny faces, you can get in touch with your inventive side and also make it an enjoyable experience for your child.
Everyday is not the same for your child. Some days they may be more hungry because of a physical activity and on some days they have had a sleepless night. This can vary the child’s appetite and it makes it important for you to understand when and how to negotiate the portions with your child. Recognize and acknowledge the situations and alter to provide small or big portions.
Make the meal time a calm, normalised situation. Become role models as children love to observe. Eat your meals along with your child, as this can reduce the attention and pressure on themselves. Make it an enjoyable, positive experience for your child.
These can be some of the most impactful strategies you can try. However, it is important to have consistency to maintain peaceful fuss-free meal times with your child. Follow routines, have a stress free environment and give your child freedom during this time. It is not always easy, but you can see great outcomes!