Tips to make the meal times interesting for your child
Created by Richa Pandey Updated on Jan 28, 2020
Just too often I hear parents complaining about their child fussing over food. I am a working mother and it’s been a challenge for me too. But I do also wonder — as parents, do we really make a conscious effort to understand why and what the child is struggling with? After all, meal time is not only challenging for us but also for the child…right? Maybe it is time we make that little extra effort to understand our child’s likes and dislikes and experiment different ways to resolve the meal-time challenge.
Here are some tips to beat the stress out of meal times….
1. Bring in the variety: Avoid repeating the same food daily, unless your child demands for it. Even we as adults crave for variety, so why deny the same to our child. Children love colour and different shapes, so tweak the food accordingly. Use a variety of colourful veggies. Invest in some food cutters to make interesting shapes out of sandwiches, fruits and so on; make a smiley with chocolate or strawberry sauce or any accompanying chutney over idlis or pancakes. There are a hundred ways to make food look interesting. Put your imagination to work and see how your child responds to it!
2. Explore and make notes: From time to time just let your child explore and experiment with food. Give your child the freedom to interact with food without all the stress of eating it. Give your child a platter with different foods – mashed potatoes, baked veggies, rice pulao, small bowl of fruit or corn chaat and so on. Let her create a mess and take a mental note of his/her expressions as she tastes, touches, sees and what she eats first etc. Then tweak your meal plans accordingly.
3. Make meals playful: Children like to move around – we all know that. So even during their meal time they tend to do the same which can be very taxing for you. Catch them young and make it a habit to feed them at one place. Make the eating corner a bit lively with dolls or toys, play some nursery rhymes in the background – cut out the boredom and stress.
4. Don’t give up: Do not give up easy. If your child resists, you must persist – but maybe after a small break. But do not give up – it will send a signal to your child that s/he can avoid food with a small tantrum. You are boss at the dining table – that should be made loud and clear.
Yes, it all requires that extra effort and time but in the end you will relish the satisfaction of your child relishing his/her food and actually finishing a meal without your constant prodding. All the best and happy feeding! Do you have more ideas to make food interesting for a child – share it with fellow parents. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments section below.
| Feb 13, 2017
Also, I would like to add that it is very important to set a routine. Your child should know that there are mainly 3 major meals in a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They should be fed during the appropriate time. Secondly, eating together at the dining table motivates the child to sit and eat, though with toddler s it can be a little messy. but what better than to develop liking towards normal food.
| Mar 15, 2017
Hi lovely mother's . I read all your valuable feedback. but my situations really seems different. my daughter she is 2. 4 year old weigh 13. 5 kg. she is a perfect drama queen. I don't need to loose my patience as she rules the home. She always say no at fisrt nd then after some time , she look around the things nd start eating on her own . where 40% food she is wasting. worst part is when I try to feed her in her food corner she started shouting nd then vomiting. I am working mother she spend 9hours in day care. I checked if she does same at day care but answer was surprising"No". she eat her meal in a single go. she eat chappati with her own hand some times too. Her teacher advised she want my attention that why she do so. but she never eat fruits neither at home neither in day care. hey mum's can you share your ideas how can I start feeding her fruits .
| Mar 31, 2017
hi Hina , I totally agree with you kids love to eat with everyone and especially they love to eat at dinning table , but I really need help as my kid doesn't eat anything at school she has just started going to play school whenever teacher tries to feed her she just vomit , what to do she woke up at around 8 she just have milk small cup after that she don't eat anything Tull 12:30 or sometimes till 3 as she sleeps just after coming back from school.