Tips for Peventing Food Hassles
Feeding Kids – Getting started
Happy encounters with food at any age help set the rage for sensible eating habits throughout life. When adults provide and promote nutritious foods in a calm and positive setting, children will be more willing to make healthy food choices.
The following are 8 important mealtime tips to keep in mind:
- Do not force you child to eat. While parents are the best judges of what children should eat and when, children are the best judges of how much they should eat.
- Offer a variety of healthy and tasty foods. Be adventurous!
- Serve meals and snacks on a regular schedule
- Make mealtime a pleasant social occasion. Turn the TV off and enjoy family time together
- Set a good example in your choice of foods and drinks.
- Do not use food as a punishment or a reward.
- Involve your child in food discussions, planning, purchasing, and preparation.
- Encourage and teach good manners at the table.
Mealtime is more than food Food Choices are a way of life:
Set a good example by eating meals at consistent times and by making healthy and tasty food choices. Encourage your child to try different foods. Teach your child valuable lessons about food by involving your child in food discussions, planning, purchasing, and preparation. Remember that the best predictor of a child with a healthy weight and lifestyle is parents with a healthy weight who make wise food choices. And regular exercise is important too! Mealtime is family time:
Set a good example by eating meals at consistent times with everyone seated together. Children learn many things when the family eats together. three, two, one..let’s eat!Prepare children for meals. A 5-minute warning before mealtime lets them calm down, wash their hands, and get ready to eat.
Occasional meal skipping and finicky food habits are Ok.
Well-meaning adults often view a child’s odd food and eating behaviors as a problem. However, childhood food jags, (Jags- when a child eats only one food, meal after meal), a fear of new foods, and other feeding challenges are usually a part of normal development.
Be creative! A variety of colors, kid-friendly shaped foods, any foods arranged on the plate in an appealing manner can entice children to try foods they might otherwise avoid. Children often use the table as a stage for showing their independence.
Sometimes food is NOT the issue at all.
Work up an appetite! Active play, along with eating right, promotes good health…..and a healthy appetite! And it is the best exercise for toddlers and young children. Did you know?
Encouraging your child to wash his or her hands thoroughly before meals will help prevent food borne illness.
How to make mealtime a more pleasant experience:
Food jags: let your child eat what he or she wants if the jag food is healthy.
Food strikes: if you child refuses to eat what’s served, Make sure the child is hungry when mealtime comes.
“the TV habit” your child wants to watch TV at mealtime.: Turn off the TV. Watching TV during mealtimes is a distraction that prevents family interaction and interferes with a child’s eating.
Fear of new foods: refuse to try new foods: Continue to introduce and reinforce new foods over time. It may take many tries before a child is ready to taste a new food. Mypyramid.gov food and menu planner for the latest information form the US Department of Agriculture about making healthy food choices and keeping physically active, visit their Website at www.mypyramid.gov.