Nutrition experts reveal the do’s and don’ts of eating

Dinner time should be a joyful event where families reunite after a long day.

But all too often, dinner time can be a source of family conflict. Because it puts pressure on the child to “eat the vegetables” and “finish the plate”.

In an interview with FEMAIL, Sussex-based baby and child nutritionist Charlotte Sterling Reed shares her top parenting no-nos when it comes to feeding kids.

A food expert and author of How to Feed Your Toddler, he argues that parents shouldn’t label foods as good or bad and shouldn’t give their kids sweet treats. . To eat “healthy”.

And she said mealtimes should be “fun” and not a source of pressure.

Here she shares her tips with FEMAIL…

Eating vegetables and finishing the plate before getting off the table: Child refuses to eat his food (stock image)

don’t use food as a reward

If you tell your child that they will get ice cream or pudding as a reward for eating broccoli, you are erroneously emphasizing that ice cream is better.

This makes them want more ice cream and pudding, which in turn makes broccoli less desirable. not.

don’t let your child eat anything

Similarly, forcing a child to eat certain foods quickly becomes unattractive. Don’t force your child to eat or describe food as “good” or “bad.” Instead, simply use role model tactics and feed yourself.

While you can gently encourage your child to eat something, it’s also beneficial to be very nonchalant about what your child eats and keep offering it, even if he doesn’t eat it first. Eventually, they’ll decide to try it – but that may not be soon.

Avoid stress during meal times

Many modern parents grew up with strict dining table rules. But over-emphasizing this is a surefire way to make a meal stressful and unenjoyable.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any specific rules, but mealtimes shouldn’t be boring, demanding, or intimidating. If so, it’s unlikely that children want to be a part of it.

Sussex-based baby and child nutritionist Charlotte Sterling Reid shares her top parenting no-nos when it comes to feeding kids

Sussex-based baby and child nutritionist Charlotte Sterling Reid shares her top parenting no-nos when it comes to feeding kids

don’t focus on the short term

Helping a child or person enjoy food and eat healthily is a long-term win. Just keep offering a balanced diet and you’re more likely to learn to eat it in the long run.

Parents often fuss when their children aren’t eating something, but this simply overemphasizes food refusal.

If your child is reluctant to eat your healthy food, show him that you are eating it and leave him alone. This ultimately helps nip these behaviors in the bud.

don’t have a regular TV dinner

Some parents let their children eat dinner in front of the TV. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this as televisions and screens are inherently used as a distraction and children haven’t learned the importance or importance of food.

Your child probably doesn’t enjoy or think about food when looking at a screen. Instead, they need to learn to appreciate and appreciate diversity and be in the moment with their likes and dislikes and different textures.

That being said, it’s important not to judge other parents about your choices. If the screen shows a child in a restaurant, parents may be in despair. you don’t know the context.

never offer a substitute

While this is an understandable response, it’s a definite table no-no and definitely won’t help in the long run. It is more important not to limit other acceptable foods.

If your child doesn’t like something new you’ve served them, simply say, “Sorry, that’s all we have for today.” If you want something else, maybe we can get it tomorrow.

Never (ideally) let young children take away

While it’s great to expose children to food from other countries and cultures, remember that takeaways are generally not suitable for young children. , not suitable for children.

However, takeout is popular, so the responsibility here is to create a healthier version of takeout for kids in the food industry.

N.don’t let the kids finish the dishes

Forcing a child to finish a plate is seen as pressure for them. The same goes for compromises that encourage you to eat only half of your broccoli.

This kind of pressure on meal times makes food and dinner less desirable and less enjoyable, and makes children less likely to return.

There is no benefit to feeding a child a “spoonful”.

Instead….offer less

Naturally, wasting food should not be encouraged.

To avoid this, give small amounts of food, especially if it’s a food they don’t like or don’t think they’ve eaten before. increase.

Similarly, if your child is in the fussy stage, serve small portions and serve in bulk with whatever they like – allowing them to take seconds if needed.

give children autonomy

Give your children autonomy instead of trying to control them. You don’t know what your child’s appetite is, how hungry they are, or when they’re full, so don’t force them to eat.

Children are really good at regulating their intake, so trust them to eat the right amount for their bodies at that time.

enjoy dinner

Try to bring fun to the dining team. Children love games, quizzes and chats. I’m not saying you should do full play, but making mealtime fun will make your child happier and more active.

The fun factor leaves less room for pressure and a negative environment. There is no benefit to children who psychologically do not enjoy eating.

slow down glutton

If you have children who eat a lot, try to diversify their diet. You can give them finger foods such as celery or carrot sticks to slow their eating pace or give them a starter plate of vegetables.

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