Do you find family mealtime challenging? Are you struggling to get your child to eat intuitively – or to eat at all? Mealtimes should be a time to connect, not a source of stress. Use the tips below to get rid of food fights for good:
- Follow the Division of Responsibility: Parents are responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding, while kids are responsible for the how much and whether of eating.
- Be present: Research shows that regular family meals strengthen family connections and improve the health and well-being of all family members. With this in mind, model presence during mealtimes: turn off the TV, silence your cell phone, and be attentive when enjoying a meal with your kids.
- Provide options: Make sure every meal has one item your child has been exposed to and has enjoyed, but don’t cater entirely to their preferences. Provide a variety of foods prepared in different ways to encourage exploration of new and nutritious foods.
- Cultivate independence: Let your child make their own choices around food, like what to eat, how much to eat, how fast to eat, etc. We love family-style meals where children can serve themselves and learn to listen to their body – and their taste buds!
- Stay consistent: Keep snacktime and mealtime as consistent as you can. Kids love predictability, and they will learn to trust their body if they know that a snacktime or mealtime is coming. Consider making a posted schedule that has meals and snacks clearly written out.
Check out our podcast episode: Picky Eating and Mealtime Struggles: How to Bring Harmony to the Dinner Table for more tips and tricks.
Our Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods Course is the complete guide to creating non-picky, intuitive eaters from 4 months on. It covers everything you need to know about feeding your baby real food and gets you fully prepared to confidently tackle this meaning-full milestone. Also, you can shop all of our favorite Baby Feeding Essentials here (with part of the proceeds going to Baby2Baby).