The parent-child struggle over mealtime is one nearly every family goes through at some point. The conflict between your children eating what they need versus your children eating what they want can be a frustrating experience for parent and child alike.
There are ways to encourage your child to eat healthfully without a constant struggle:
- Make sure your child is hungry at appropriate times by limiting snacking between meals. A healthy afternoon snack is okay, but a hungry child is more likely to eat what you serve at mealtime.
- Don't pressure your children to eat healthy foods. Discuss benefits of healthy food choices and encourage them to make healthy choices.
- Serve as a role model for your children. Show them how to eat healthfully by eating healthfully yourself.
- Take your children to the supermarket and allow them to pick out healthy foods they like. Also, let them help you plan the menus.
- Plant a vegetable garden with your children. Playing an active role in growing vegetables provides more incentive to eat them.
Picky food tastes are a part of almost every childhood, but by talking with your children and including them in your meal decisions, each meal can include something for everybody.
More Answers from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics