NAILING MEALTIME
May 18 2024

NAILING MEALTIME

  • Abiola Ojebola School Mktg & Comm. Coord.
  • 11605

In today's challenging economic climate, many families are struggling to provide a variety of food options due to rising costs. Picky eating adds stress for parents trying to ensure their children get proper nutrition. However, practical and positive strategies can make mealtime enjoyable and stress-free:

  • Involve Children in Meal Planning and Preparation: Let children help plan meals and choose ingredients, making them more likely to try and enjoy the foods. This also teaches them about balanced diets.
  • Make Mealtime Fun and Interactive: Use cookie cutters for fun shapes and allow children to build their own meals, making mealtime engaging and giving them a sense of control.
  • Be a Role Model: Eat a variety of healthy foods and show enthusiasm for them, setting a positive example for children to follow.
  • Introduce New Foods Gradually: Introduce one new food at a time alongside familiar favorites, encouraging children to try new foods without pressure.
  • Establish a Routine: Use a food timetable to create predictable meal schedules, reducing anxiety and resistance, and ensure meal times are calm and distraction-free.
  • Avoid Short-Order Cooking: Serve the same meal to the whole family, with slight variations, if necessary, to avoid making separate meals for picky eaters.
  • Encourage a Positive Mealtime Atmosphere: Use mealtime for family bonding and conversation, offering praise for trying new foods and eating balanced meals.

By involving children in meal planning, making mealtime fun, modeling positive behaviors, and introducing new foods gradually, parents can help their children develop healthy eating habits despite economic challenges. These strategies can create a harmonious and nutritious eating environment for the whole family.

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