Happy Meals; Do’s and Don’ts when your child is a picky eater

What do mealtimes mean to you? Do you dream of enjoying your lunch or dinner as a relaxing and joyful family gathering? To have little chats about what exciting things happened that day in school instead of having to negotiate over how much your child should eat? I will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of when it comes to having happy family mealtimes. In short, what you can do as a parent to help your children overcome their food issues. And maybe, Happy Meals won’t just be a daydream…

Do’s Don’ts
Make it fun; focus on your child’s level of understanding and experience, when it comes to offering veggies; star shapes or number shapes when you cut your cucumber or carrot with a cookie cutter, dragon drinks (with spinach) Don’t focus too much on veggies only; let your child know it needs to try a bit of everything, so veggies, pasta/potato, meat/fish.

 

Be patient; children need to try new flavours 8-15 times before they are used to it Don’t make a fuss about it, your child won’t starve itself
Give the proper example; snack with veggies yourself, show your child you like to eat it Don’t cover the veggies with sauces; let them get used to different flavours
Let your child help with preparing the meal; cleaning and cutting veggies, hussle a salad, decorating the table/plates Don’t tell your child it’s healthy or necessary to eat veggies; kids are not impressed by these arguments
Try new recipes and let your child choose what’s for dinner that night (in general; your two healthy choices of course, however, once every now and again something less healthy is okay as well, it’s all about letting your child choose it’s dinner sometimes) Don’t FORCE your child to finish it’s food. You decide WHAT your child eats, your child decides HOW MUCH.
Dinnertime should be a happy family event; talk about the day, what exciting things happened, give attention to positive things. Don’t give your child a platform for negative attitude; if it doesn’t want to eat, continue yourself with eating, don’t pay attention to negative attitude
During dinnertime, every family member stays at the table until all are finished eating. Don’t punish your child if it doesn’t want to eat. Just clear the plate after everybody is done and do not give a replacement.