Become a mealtime partner
- Feeding your child takes team work!
- Parents decide what, when and where to feed and your child will decide whether and how much to eat.
- Include your children in planning and preparing family meals.
- Prepare all foods using the same herbs and spices.
Schedule meals and snacks
- No grazing.
- Eat all meals and snacks with your child seated in a high chair or seated at the table.
- Make a mealtime and snack schedule and routine. Stick to your schedule!
- Do not offer food in between meal and snack times, even if your child does not eat much.
Encourage family mealtimes
- Family mealtimes are a time for sharing stories, daily events and coming together to eat and spend quality time.
- Focus on healthy habits during mealtimes.
- Act as a role model for your children. If they see you enjoying trying new foods, they are more likely to as well.
- Minimize distractions: Turn off TV, computer, tablet and phones during mealtimes.
- Separate mealtimes from playtime.
- Focus on foods they can hold in their hands or feed themselves with a spoon.
- Let your child self-feed, even using their hands!
- Allow your child to feel in control when it comes to food and eating.
Learn and trust your child’s cues.
- Stop feeding if your child starts to throw food or becomes disinterested.
- NEVER chase your child with food.
- Picky eating is normal behaviour. Prepare the same meal or snack for everyone.
Do not play games!
- Do not entertain or play games to get your children to eat more.
- Do not pressure, bribe or sneak food into your child’s mouth.
- No eating or feeding while walking around or in the car seat or bath tub.
- Avoid emotional eating. Do not use food to calm down an upset child. Do not praise your child for eating or show disapproval when they don’t eat.
- Focus less on what your child is eating and more on how they feel and behave at meal times.
- Children will balance themselves by eating more at one meal and less at one another.
- Children need to learn how to enjoy a variety of foods.
- Respect that your child will learn to know when they are hungry and when they are full.