Eating on time
Q. My kid is too slow in eating food and we need to constantly remind him to eat faster which makes us impatient at times. What should I do?
Most parents face the problem of getting their children eat their meals on time or show interest in having their meals. I can understand your problems as you are definitely NOT alone. Children especially at the age of 2 to 4 commonly have less interest in food or eating as growth slows down at this stage and they get more mobile or active. They are more interested in play rather than sitting at one place to eat.
Another big challenge these days is technology. Every parent or grand parent has given their mobiles or tablets to the child to pacify while eating. So, if you do not give them that, they refuse to eat. Sounds familiar?
As parents, we must stay strong with certain rules and regulations for mealtime:
* Model healthy eating ourselves
* Provide meals at the right time and not change timing every now and then.
* Do not allow eating while watching TV and that begins with ourselves too.
* Do not give them the mobile or tablet while eating, instead you can reward them after finishing their meals for 10 to 15 minutes. Say that and bring that to a routine. No two ways about it.
* Eat as family and make mealtime an enjoyable experience.
* Have a basket or box around the dinner place to keep away all mobiles into the basket and that makes them understand mobiles are not allowed during a mealtime.
* Serve food that your child likes.
* Set a timer ( 40 mins ) for eating and the child automatically has this thought that I have to finish eating before the timer beeps.
* Last but not least, decorate the meals like a cartoon character, a story or make it colourful with eyes, ears etc.