Determine a schedule for meals and snacks. this will help avoid too much and/or too little hunger.
Choose and offer healthy, appealing, good-tasting food to your child. It may take up to 10 exposures for your child to accept a new food.
Allow your child to eat as much as they want at meals and snacks.
Let your child serve themselves, as appropriate.
Have faith in your child that he/she willknow how much to eat.
Aovid routinely cagtering to your child’s desires. Be sure to offer one familiar food item during meals/snacks. Set the menu and stick to it.
Give two food choices at meals/snacks. Let your child decide the option.
Serve simple foods; vary shapes, sizes and textures to spark interest.
Serve child-sized portions; avoid overwhelming your child with a heaping plate of food.
Substitue a refused food with another from the same food grape (i.e. grapes for apples). Respect your child’s food preferences.
Offer healthful snacks- this is an opportunity to round out the nutritional value of your child’s daily consumption.
Acknowledge treats as a yummy “life pleasure” that can be included when there is a healthful variety of foods offered and eaten.
Select a consistent environment for meals and snacks (table, dining room, etc)
Sit down together for meals/snacks. This is an opportunity to be a role model for helathy eating and table etiquette.
Keep mealtime pleasant. Avoid power struggles over food and eating (coercing, bribing, punishing, threatening, permitting, etc.)
Have realistic expectations about table manners. Remember these are opportunities to teach.
Avoid TV during meals/snacks. This is distracting
Stay neutral around food; do not get emotional about your child’s eating.
These tips are from Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN, Pediatric Nutrition of Green Hills