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To make family meals as calm and relaxed as possible, without distractions from children or despair from parents, it is necessary to take into account some guidelines for food, timing, and behavior to have on the table.
Before we sit down to eat, it is important for children to know what we expect of them. For this to be possible, it is advisable that we put into practice some good habits.
1. Call the children to the table and before sitting down to eat, we should all wash our hands. It is a rule that in addition to preparing children to eat, they teach them good hygiene habits.
2. Before going to the table, the children should collect, with or without the help of their parents, depending on the age of the child, the toys they were handling or stop with the activity they were enjoying so that they can focus on the food and not what they were doing before. Both toys and television should not be allowed at meal times
3. For children to come to the table with appetite, you should avoid giving them treats, snacks or other foods before meals. Ideally, children should enjoy 5 meals a day: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
4. During the meal, you should avoid fruit juices with sugar and carbonated drinks. Natural juices and water are the most recommended drinks for everyone.
5. Children should eat varied, appetizing foods And if possible they have a simple presentation and arouse their interest and desire to eat. When children are introduced to a new food, it is a good time to decorate the dinner plate. That way they will be more interested in trying it.
6. Food must be balanced. They must contain the appropriate proteins, nutrients and minerals oriented to the development of children.
7. Mealtime is not just the act of eating food, it is also a time for family communication. It is a good time to share experiences, ideas and information with everyone, to talk as a family about the things that have happened to us, etc.
8. Parents should be examples for their children at the table. Children should know that when we are eating, even a bottle, we should not do anything else. Do not turn on the television or answer the phones. Just saying to the child 'be good at the table' is not enough. You have to set the example.
9. When the child does not like the specific taste of a food, he should not be forced to eat. There are flavors that everyone likes and that should be considered. You have to be patient and offer him a different possibility.
10. When children are old enough to use cutlery, they need to be taught how to hold them. Never let them eat with their hands or speak with their mouths full. Learning can be fun and playful. When they are very young, they can be motivated with games and reinforcing their successes with a smile or applause.
11. While at the table, mealtime should not become a battlefield. It is not about fighting so that the children eat, but feeding them, teaching them manners and building a moment of union and communication. You have to be very clear about that from the beginning.
Parents are responsible for creating good eating habits in children. When these habits are instilled in them from the time they are babies, the customs will go away on their own with time. It is also important to remember that parents are an example for their children even at mealtime.
You can read more articles similar to Good eating habits in children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.