Mealtime for parents can be an absolute nightmare especially with younger children. Getting your child to sometimes eat anything at all, let alone anything healthy can be a massive challenge. For many families, mealtime often becomes a huge battle and the days of enjoying a peaceful meal together are few and far between.
We’ve compiled 6 ways we believe would help in getting your child to better their mealtime behaviour.
- Be consistent with your mealtimes
Establishing routine with your children almost always delivers good results, so try your best to stick to the same mealtime every day. Also make sure that meal times take place at the kitchen/ dining room table, the more structured your meal times are, the better your chance at success.
- Avoid giving your child too many snacks/ drinks before mealtime
This will really help them from filling up on other food before mealtime.
- Get your child to be part of the meal preparation process
Children are more likely to try new out new foods if they have been apart of putting the meal together. Never force the child to help if they don’t want to, but at least by asking the child every day if they want to help they will feel more apart of the entire meal time experience.
- Praise your child frequently
Praise your child throughout the entire mealtime. Especially for things like sitting nicely at the table, trying something new that they don’t usually eat, even if it’s just a bite. Praising your child will make them feel good about their behaviour and so they are more likely to behave well again.
- Make mealtime as fun as possible
By fun, we certainly don’t mean turning on the TV or starting a food fight but keeping the dinner table as positive as possible is key to a successful mealtime. We suggest some word games should you run out of things to speak about.
- Use a rewards chart.. if needed
Rewards charts are always favourable in many child filled homes. Adding in an incentive for good behaviour over mealtimes is always a good idea.