Updated: May 7, 2020
“He eats all day.”
“I can’t get her to sit down for a meal.”
“He will only eat if the TV is on.”
“Sometimes I just have to give her an iPad to get her to eat.”
Let’s start looking at ways to modify mealtime. A parent’s concerns and complaints of mealtime are usually founded and valid concerns but dismissed by medical professionals and described as bad parenting by many in social media.
Mealtimes are meant to be social. It has been a standard in that 9-5 working family that the entire family sits down together to enjoy dinner. Not only does a family mealtime give you time to connect as a family, but you get to have appropriate models during mealtime. Ideally, all meals and snacks should be offered when another family member or caregiver is eating. Further, it is best to offer and eat the same foods whenever possible.
Children of all ages can learn from the models that they are observing. The can see how try all of the food that is presented, that family members differ in their seasoning preference, that you generally serve yourself only what you are going to eat, and even that there are times when an adult doesn’t enjoy part of their meal but they at least tried it.
What challenges do you have with a social mealtime? Are you able to have you children eat their meals and snacks with another person consistently? Questions? We are here to help!