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63

My opinion and experience is that television provides much more disruption than benefit: My experience is that if the television is on, then everybody is "glued to the screen" or at least thoroughly distracted. This prevents social interaction, and it also prevents you from really appreciating the food you're eating -- potentially leading to eating ...


49

A slightly more scientific perspective. A study done called 'You Will Eat All of That! (A retrospective analysis of forced consumption episodes)' found that pressuring children into finishing their food may lower their natural appetite (perhaps because they're being told when and how much to eat, rather than learning naturally). Other studies have also ...


32

Cancel dessert altogether. When the children learn that food is just a test to pass on the way to dessert, they'll cheat, lie and steal to pass the test. I know a kid of 8 who'll argue over every single piece on his plate in negotiation, claiming not to be hungry. As soon as dessert appears, he'll eat 700 calories worth of cake. If he gets his nutrition ...


26

About 3 weeks ago we took her to the doctor for her MMR vaccination and since then we noticed that she gradually lost her appetite and refused to eat. The timing of this change in appetite is obviously somewhat alarming to you. Parents often have a pretty good sense of if their children are truly ill (or different.) You've seen two doctors now who ...


26

Give him a sensibly-sized splodge on the side of his plate and then put the bottle back in the cupboard and don't get it out again that mealtime.


25

My five kids range from "ultra picky" to "eat only healthy foods" to "surprise, I've changed my likes and dislikes". Keep healthy foods around, so their choices are all generally healthy. Keep reintroducing new foods that they wouldn't eat within a reasonably close timeframe. Sometimes it takes 7-8 tries. Try different ways of preparing the same foods. Try ...


22

One answer could be a serious reaction to mock-choking. What would you do if your child really choked on food? You'd probably act fast and not in an entirely funny manner. Also, you'd have a seriously concerned face. "This time it looked like you really were choking! I was afraid!" The important point is to be serious, not mock-serious. Also, does he know ...


22

The problem with issues like table manners is twofold: first, you want your children to behave appropriately; but second, you also want your children to choose to behave appropriately. Teaching the first is not all that difficult; punishments, delivered appropriately, will certainly yield a result eventually. Teaching the second, however, won't ...


22

Please do not read this answer as bashing your parenting style. I know from experience that it's easy to fall into a pattern of wanting your child to eat more or differently, and end up coercing them into doing so. My daughter was flagged as underweight by her doctors as a toddler, so as a family we have a long history of struggling with helping her eat well ...


19

Most parents don't believe this, but kids will not starve themselves to death for the sake of being persistently stubborn. The solution is simple. As long as they give you trouble: Don't have the foods "they like" around for them to snack on (e.g. not come hungry to the dinner table) What you want them to eat is "what we've got. We don't have anything ...


18

Whenever we have "dessert" it's something well after dinner, so it's not associated with the meal. If we ever have something after the meal, it's orange slices or some other fruit. It does happen that our son says he's no longer hungry because he's excited about something else. We set the food aside and tell him it's there if he wants it later, but he ...


18

The balance of power is very one-sided in a parent/child relationship. Children have very little power unless allowed by the parents. Probably you are giving her too much power because you want the outcome more than she does. The way to take it back is to find something she wants more, and take it away, or something she hates even worse, and make her ...


17

As a counter-point to @9000's suggestion, try ignoring him completely (assuming you can tell the difference between mock and not!). Most behaviours such are a method of garnering attention. But whatever you do, only choose one course of action, don't confuse him by switching between the two.


16

Another anecdote, from an Asian background. When I was growing up, we generally wouldn't have individual portions set out for us on our plates at mealtimes. All the food would be seen as "shared" food - it would be set out in the middle of the table, and we'd start off with a plate of rice (often dished out by negotiation) and help ourselves and others to ...


15

In a study for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Story, et al), researchers looked at the causes of unhealthy adolescent eating behaviors, and they are many! This is some of what you are up against: rapid growth means high caloric and nutritional needs skipping breakfast becomes a common practice many adolescents become less physically ...


15

Don't buy salad cream anymore.


14

Move her into her own room. At 8 months of age, our daughter was in our room and still breastfeeding. She would wake up 2-3 times a night, from what we could tell was hunger. (She'd eat and then go back to sleep.) We are fairly quiet sleepers and don't really move around our bed so much, so it wasn't like we were making noises which would wake her up. I ...


14

Same with my oldest boy lately, he can spend hours (if we let him) eating one bite. We just figure it's some sort of control issue or something with him and basically have just set a time for him to eat, if he doesn't want to finish or eat a lot then he needs to wait until the next meal. If he is really hungry either he can have water, or something healthy ...


13

"Would fixing them differently be worth trying?" Given the immense number of ways one can prepare eggs, I'd say 'yes'. Each of my kids like eggs in different ways. One loves them hard-boiled or 'runny'. The other likes them scrambled. Given that the way one prepares an egg can dramatically change the texture, I'm thinking it's definitely worth a shot at ...


13

Short version: Once a child is older than 6 months, small amounts of sugar (sugar in moderation) are probably okay, but refined sugars should be avoided, and fruit juice intake should be restricted and monitored (The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting juice intake to 4-6 ounces (118-177 milliliters) for kids under 7 years old, and no ...


13

We have a no TV rule during meals when we gather. It is not the only rule around meal gatherings. Proper clothing is required; no bathing suits or dirty clothes allowed. Good manners are expected, including participation in the prayers and conversation. Every one stays at the table until everyone is done. No handheld games or electronic devices, including ...


13

Never talk about dessert. Period. Don't remind him that the dessert exists. I've regretted every time I did it. Some good food tips from the pre-school nutritionist: just talk about the benefits the food will bring to him (stronger, smarter), never make it emotional (I'll be very sad if you don't eat your broccoli). Don't let the Drama enter your dinner ...


12

A child will not starve itself. She is probably not eating because she is not hungry. Forcing her will only make it less enjoyable for her, imo. Ask her if she is hungry/if she wants to eat something at some points of the day. When she does, propose food you can give her, and follow her tastes. If she is hungry when you also are eating, propose to eat with ...


11

Let him help prepare the eggs with you. That way, he can be part of the process of making the food itself, and can see where everything comes from. He can also suggest ridiculous ingredients (Honey! Cheerios! etc) and see where those experiments take him. We sat our toddler up on the counter and let him see the entire process of making the eggs. He was ...


11

Some insights ... my daughter is 18 months old and we had the same kind of issues with her food a few months ago. Our doctor definitively said that there is no risk at this age to let them skip a meal or several. If she does not eat what we propose, we can safely not insists or offer sth else my wife and I (also my mother who takes care of her quite often) ...


11

Depending on how they wake, many (possibly most) kids will go through this at some point. One of mine is currently a very bad waker, unlike her siblings. At a young age, the simple solution we used was just to give them a cuddle for a while and let them awake in a happy environment - after all, they spent 9 months having a mother's heartbeat all the time, ...


11

As mentioned in your comments, perhaps giving her a high-protein snack pre-bedtime. An egg maybe or even a protein shake. You could make a pretty awesome high-protein, pre-bedtime smoothie with peanut or almond butter, yogurt and/or milk and a fruit of some kind. We know that eating protein helps to sort of stave off hunger by increasing the hormone ...


11

At 6 yrs old he is definitely old enough to start understand the basics of healthy eating. Smothering sauce on things isn't healthy (as you do seem concerned about). So sit down and talk to him. Tell him that sauce is an extra and isn't healthy in large quantities. Tell him there is a time an a place for things and that he needs to learn when certain sauces ...


10

As always with regard to health-related questions: If you're actually concerned and not just curious, always consult your pediatrician. But here's my general answer: At the age of 3 months, regular eating/feeding patterns often haven't developed yet, so you can expect this to change again in the coming months. It is extremely rare that children have eating ...


10

We cook one healthy meal at home and put an appropriate amount of food on everyone's plate. You are not forced to eat anything. However, that's what's for dinner, we aren't cooking seperate meals for everyone. If you don't eat everything on your plate you don't get dessert. Also, I've found that getting the kids involved in planning and, especially, ...



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