Here are a few parenting “don’ts” to avoid that might help you reap better results at mealtimes and what you should “do” instead.
- Don’t rush. Some kids -- especially younger ones -- take longer to eat, so make mealtime more leisurely. Let your child chew longer if needed, and give her time to eat at her own pace.
- Don’t be a short-order cook. Fixing extra, substitute meals only teaches finicky eaters that they don’t need to eat what’s on their plate. So don’t cook individual dishes. Instead provide a less-favorite food with more popular ones.
- Don’t insist on clean the plate. Coaxing kids to eat more will get you nowhere. So don’t push food, but do encourage the “One Bite Rule” (try at least one small bite but you never have to like it).
- Don’t give up! Studies show that calm, repeated exposed to a new food -- especially vegetables -- daily for 5 to 14 days is often effective to getting kids to overcome a food aversion. So don’t give up on the food if your kid puts it in the “yuk” category the first time. Instead choose one new item at a time to introduce.
- Don’t give too much. “Shrink” the food serving so it doesn’t appear so daunting: use smaller portions (even a teaspoon size) served on smaller plates.
Find out more about this book:The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries