So, you've cooked healthy meals for children and you've set the table. But your child is more interested in what's on TV, the game on your phone, the cat under the table, the noise of his fork against his glass, or how high his carrots can fly. What's a helpless mom like you to do?
Teaching your child to behave at the table and finish his meal takes a lot of time and patience. Pero we all know that once we get over this challenge, the rewards are worth it: peaceful mealtimes at home and of course, (when they stay and eat their balanced meals) a 100% nourished kid.
Here are a couple of friendly tips you can try the next time you sit down for mealtime.
1. First of all, avoid distractions. Patayin ang TV, itago muna ang cellphones, iPad, at toys. At kung may alaga kayo, keep your pets away first. This will help them understand the importance of family mealtime.
2. Involve your kids sa preparation of meals and even during clean up. Believe it or not, kids love having small tasks to do like laying out the placemats or putting back the chairs. Being this involved gets them excited to eat their meals.
3.Family meals should be about food, socializing, and bonding. Create this mood on the table to promote the good energy that can create happy memories and positive association with healthy meals for children. Samahan na rin ito ng healthy drink like Lactum 3+or 6+.
4. Try to use plates, spoons, and forks that are attractive to your kids. It may be their favorite color or have their favorite cartoon character. This way, you can easily get their attention to eat healthy meals for children.
5. Let them join the conversation. Mamaya na ang usap na pang grown-ups. Involve your little one in the conversation and he will feel the mealtime go faster and will enjoy the attention, too.
6. Try to serve smaller portions. Minsan, nabibigla ang bata kapag nakikita niya yung dami ng pagkain na kailangan niyang ubusin. Kids feel a sense of accomplishment when they are able to finish something and come back for more. It also makes moms feel good when they see how much their healthy meals for children are enjoyed. Lalo kapag nauubos ito ng mga kids!
7. Try to serve healthy meals for children that encourage kids to be interactive. If he likes to play while eating, why not serve food he can have a little fun with? Kids usually enjoy food that they can pick with their hands or dip in sauce, in other words - finger foods. Medyo messy, but at least your child is engaged and eating.
8. Have realistic expectations of how long a child can sit at the table. Generally speaking, ang 2-year-old ay mas nakakatagal sa lamesa kaysa sa 4-year-old, dahil mas mabagal pa siya kumilos at madi-distract siya sa mga tao sa lamesa. It's best to take note of the following guidelines before serving healthy meals for children at the dining table.
- a 3-year-old can sit at a dinner table for 5-10 minutes.
- a 4-year-old can last from 10 -15 minutes
- a 5- or 6-year-old can usually stay for 15-20 minutes
9. Avoid the "one more bite" phrase or "last na" line. Once kids are done, they're done. Hindi na sila maniniwala after you say "last na" and then follow with "ok, ito, last na talaga" This builds your kids trust in what you say and creates a more relaxed eating environment when he's not pressured to take another bite. This won't help encourage enjoyment when eating healthy meals for children at home.
10. Lead by example. What we sometimes forget is our kids pick up their habits from us. Learn to sit down and fully appreciate healthy meals for children, before and habang kumakain. For sure, your kids will see you and do the same! Show you know it, and your kids will become little mealtime aficionados themselves!
*with three balanced meals a day in some articles with mentions of 100% nourishment*.