Aspects to be considered
Don’t think of food as a battle. If you do, your child will feel your anger and frustration. This will make the problem worse. Be calm and patient. Consider how you can improve the situation. For example:
- Serve small portions. A small portion in a large plate will make you look like almost nothing.
- Introduce your child to new foods in the grocery store. It can be fun to look at different selections and colors. Talk about how you can prepare them.
- Improve your breakfast time. Think of healthy ways to serve peanut butter or shaped vegetables. Do not allow your child to “snack” outside of the planned time for snacks and meals.
- Do not serve juice as a fruit substitute. In fact, there is so much sugar in the juice that it is best not to serve it at all.
- Do not fulfill individual food requests every night. Your job is to serve healthy food, not special foods for each family member.
- Do not force your child to eat. This leads to a battle. Your child has the energy to be patient in battle.
- Do not bribe your child. Bribery is becoming a habit and your child will never try new foods without a reward.
- Do not ban certain foods. This only makes the battle worse. Limit them instead.
- Do not use dessert as a reward or punishment. If you are serving dessert, make it part of the dish.
- Remember to learn the behavior during meals. If your child doesn’t like something, politely teach him to refuse. Respect her opinion after one or two sensible attempts to introduce new foods.
- Don’t stress if your child doesn’t eat enough healthy food. Your child will decide how much he can bear.
Lunch at school
Most public and private schools in the United States offer a variety of health products to suit different tastes and preferences. Some schools offer lunch suggestions as to which foods go together. This helps students avoid eating only carbohydrates or only fruits.
If your child buys lunch at school, ask school teachers or cafe staff what is on offer. Set rules with your child to buy “extras” such as candy and chips (usually just a high school option). Find out if your school can “lock” your student’s lunch account to keep them from buying junk food or helping themselves to a second plate.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) suggests that good nutrition is a key pillar of health and should be reflected in all dietary suggestions / options in schools (eg nutrition, nutrition, sales, outsourcing, etc.). Products with little or no nutritional value should be replaced by healthy alternatives.
If you are packing your child’s lunch, pack healthy foods. Make it fun with sandwiches with cookie cutters, vegetable molds and more. Try introducing a new food with a “sample size”. Add a love note to encourage your child to try it.
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