Children are the sweetest beings in this world, but they can be very messy and naughty at times. If you have young children at home, you might know this better; they get moody at times and ask for impossible things. The hardest part would be managing them during mealtime; especially if you are a first-time parent, it would be very hard. You have to give them nutritious food, but it should also be tasty for them, pretty hard, right? Here are some helpful tips for parents to make your children’ meal time easy for you and enjoyable for them:
- Screen time and meal time are different:
Most parents commit a huge mistake by showing their children videos on mobile or tablets while giving them meals. It helps encourage your child to eat the whole meal but leads to long-term problems such as eating disorders. So never give your child a phone or any other gadget while eating; their sole concentration should be on the food while eating. Let them enjoy the meal and savour the taste.
- Fix a healthy and happy menu:
Your children should have a healthy menu with a good balance between their favourite snacks and healthy items. Let them choose their favourite dishes and include one favourite thing in every meal. That will make the meal more enjoyable and gives them the satisfaction of being a part of their diet planning. Please consult with your paediatrician before fixing the menu, follow it thoroughly, and keep updating it.
- Let child experiment with taste:
Childhood is a period where children get to experiment on everything, so don’t restrict your child from experiencing new tastes. Give them the chance to order when you are at restaurants and ask them how they like it. Consider their opinion while cooking something for them and ask about their opinion on it. That will help children develop a taste and curiosity for food, and food won’t be their enemy.
- More food is NOT equal to more nutrition:
Never force children to eat more than they feel; this will lead to eating disorders and other unhealthy eating habits. Let your child stop eating when his/her body tells them to stop; that way, you are teaching your child to eat according to their needs. It ensures a healthy eating habit in your children and protects them from mood-eating and unnecessary cravings.
- Food is never a reward or token of love:
If you are a parent or guardian who rewards your child with extra snacks or food items to express your love, stop that now. Don’t give the wrong impression to your children that food is the reward or a token of love. Food is food; it has nothing to do with love and other emotions, so give them food only when they are hungry.
- Eat with your children:
Children need to develop a healthy and pleasant eating routine, and eating with them makes mealtime – family time. Sit with your children, ask for their feedback on the food, and talk about their other interests. Your children will also be able to watch and learn table manners and different eating etiquettes from you. It can also be a good bonding time for all of you.
Children understand things faster than adults, and it is easy for them to adapt to new situations. So, change the monotonous and dull mealtime routine and start having a good and fun mealtime. Start engaging with your children, know and respect their taste and include that in the family menu. Let them feel that they are part of the family and they are loved. Ensure that your nannies, relatives, babysitters, and caretakers of the nursery follow these rules during mealtime. For safe, playful, and enjoyable care for your children, enrol them in Cheeky Chums Day Nurseries today.