You can feed your kids feedinglittles.com confidence by believing in their abilities. If you feed your children with confidence, you can trust themselves to eat a variety of foods in a structured, supportive, nurturing, diet-free environment.
Sadly, much of the child nutrition and feeding advice is based on fear and diet culture messaging. Anna and I founded Sunny Side Up Nutrition because we have seen the harmful effects of all the fear-based nutrition information out there. Feeding your kids can be challenging when you must wade through all the noise! Even as child feeding experts, Anna and I have moments when we question whether we are doing things correctly.
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR KIDS FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT EATING
Don’t doubt yourself! Children are best known to you. Parents are often confused and worried by the child nutrition information available. Do you know how you can promote true health? Read Anna’s article: “What Can Parents Do?”
Children will eat and grow if you trust them. There is a lot of child nutrition and growth information that tells parents to monitor their child’s weight and feed them only “healthy” foods. But you should always trust your child to eat and grok. It helps to ZOOM OUT. Feeding our children is a long-term process.
Maintain a pleasant and pressure-free environment during meals. Are your kids picky eaters or easily distracted during mealtimes? It’s natural to feel frustrated! Remember your jobs (what’s on offer, when it’s offered, and where it’s offered), and your child’s jobs (what and how much they eat). We can quickly turn mealtime into an unpleasant experience if we force kids to eat more, eat what we make, or eat one more bite of vegetables to earn dessert. Rather than what or how much kids eat, what matters most is the time together to connect with others. Here are some tips on how not to pressure your children to eat.
Toddlers can have difficult eating habits. Your child may eat a lot of food one day and nothing the next. HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD WHEN HE REFUSES TO EAT? Avoid responding to his refusal as much as possible. If you force him to eat, he will become more irritable. Toddlers grow slower than babies. Their appetite changes as they grow.
Allow your child to help you cook. They enjoy eating foods they help prepare. Discuss what you eat together. Food plays a vital role in your toddler’s development. Show him or her what to eat! Share your meals together. Eating healthy benefits the whole family – and your child will learn from your example. Make sure your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed by food. An overstuffed child will ask for more! HOW TO BE A MEALTIMES SUCCESS
The first time a child tries a new food may require being offered it ten or more times. Stay positive and do not force them to try the food. It is important for a child to feel in control so that he can try new foods. Bites will not help. Kids will learn to expect a prize or reward for eating. This will make them pickier about what they eat! Do not leave the table before the meal is over. Your toddler will be more focused on eating. Be patient with slow eaters.
EMBRACE PATIENCE Teach your child to listen to his hunger and fullness signs. Do not force your child to eat when he does not want to. Keep your child with you during mealtimes, even if he’s not going to eat. Stick to the meal you’ve planned – avoid offering him other foods. Be relaxed if he doesn’t eat at this time. Snacks or meals will follow.