Food has become a daily stress and tension for the child and me. I cannot take it anymore!

Food has become a daily stress and tension for the child and me. I cannot take it anymore!

Scenes where the child refuses to eat, persistently ask for certain foods, or even creates tension with tantrums and yelling is something that all parents have experienced to a greater or lesser extent. But when this happens almost daily, it becomes torture for the parents or anyone responsible for the child’s nutrition. The nightmare leads to the exhaustion of adults as well as children. It burdens the climate of calm and harmony that is necessary for the existence of healthy relationships between family members.

What could be done to improve the situation? Below are some recommendations:

Children will eat foods they have access to. Therefore, ensure that there are only foods at home and the environment in which the children grow up that you want to be included in their diet. For example, if no sweets are in the house and no one buys them, they will only eat them if someone treats them. Something that certainly doesn’t happen often.

It would be best if you became the dietary pattern you want for your children. A child who sees his parents eating fruits and vegetables will undoubtedly, at some point, ask to try them, while no matter how much we ask the child to avoid certain foods, we do not convince him from the moment he sees us consuming them.

Keep trying. A child must taste each food 10-15 times before accepting and integrating it into his diet.

Involve the child in the food preparation process. The child is more likely to eat something he made by himself.

Involve the child in planning and planning the family’s weekly meal plan. You can ask him to prepare a list of his favorite foods and the favorite foods of the rest of the family members and prepare the menu for the week together. A menu that includes everyone’s favorite food, and because not all like the same food, he will realize that in a family, everyone makes compromises.

The schedule can be posted in the kitchen so he knows what to eat daily to avoid arguments and outbursts at mealtime.

Try many different recipes for the same food. For example, we can try many recipes for a legume until we find one the child likes or tolerates.

Preaching does not help. Children learn more from what they see and less from what they hear. Even we adults, how often do we stick to habits we know are harmful?

Don’t be extreme about the rules. We cannot completely ban certain foods from children. Everything is okay to eat, even unhealthy foods, as long as it is done in moderation. Absolute prohibitions will create guilt in the child when he consumes food that the parents forbid since there will come a time when we cannot fully control his diet.

Enforcement brings reaction. The same applies to nutrition. Foods forced upon them to eat will eventually be rejected, while those forced upon them to be excluded look like a prize in children’s eyes.

 Food is not a prize, and it is not good to use it as such. If we use specific foods as rewards, these foods seem to have an exceptional value in children’s eyes compared to all others. Except that usually, the foods we use as prizes are unhealthy.

Please don’t give in to his unreasonable demands and outbursts; you’re teaching him this is a successful way to get what he wants.

You can always engage in dialogue and review the rules and the child’s feeding plan together in a climate of mutual understanding and respect when the child’s age allows it and when everyone is calm.

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