Mealtimes can be challenging with young children. From having a picky eater to a food thrower, the constant struggles can turn what is supposed to be a pleasant time into a struggle for power.
If you have a picky eater, you will probably find this article rather interesting. This is also a helpful article from Positive Parenting Connection.
In regard to food throwers, here's what I wish I had known before someone hurled peas at my head.
1. Throwing food is a fun game. I don't think children are quite the devious masterminds society has painted them to be. It isn't a "misbehavior" for a baby or toddler to throw food.
2. Making a big deal over throwing food only makes the game more interesting.
3. Food can be picked up easier than relationships can be repaired.
Then, there are the ones who refuse to stay seated at the table. No booster or high chair can hold them!
1. Is what you're expecting from your child age-appropriate? If you want your 14 month old to sit through an hour long meal at a 5 star restaurant, you may want to scale back a wee bit.
2. Distract them. It probably goes against every bit of parenting advice ever offered ever, but when mine were toddlers, we had a portable DVD player and several Thomas the Tank Engine movies tucked away in the diaper bag. Order meal. Pop in movie. Voila. Happy kid. Happy parents.
Loving courageously through mealtime battles:
1. Don't engage in mealtime battles. Offer healthy foods alongside favorite foods and let them eat. If they throw food, remove the food until later. If they're hungry, they won't throw it. It's not a very fun game anymore if the food goes away. Don't try to get your toddler to sit through a long and boring meal, and be prepared with an activity to keep your little one busy when you go out.
2. Please don't make your kid go to bed hungry! Too many kids have to for real. Food shouldn't be a punishment or a reward.
Today, just write down 5 things you are grateful for.
Join me tomorrow for "Courageous Love is Not Self-Seeking."
Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.
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