Asistel in English
Reducing mealtime tension
Parents decide which healthy foods are served and when they are served. Kids decide how much to eat and whether or not to eat. If you get into fights with your child at mealtimes about eating, this might help you. Establish a policy in the family that gives specific eating roles to both the parents and the children.
Parents should make it their responsibility to consistently offer healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables; cereals, tortillas, rice and other grains; lowfat milk and cheese; beans, meats and eggs. Limit foods that aren’t healthy such as soda, juice drinks, chips, pan dulce, doughnuts, cake, cookies, candy and fried foods.
Parents also decide when meals and snacks are served. Children should eat only at meal or snack time—other times are for playing, sleeping and other activities.
Kids will appreciate having control over their own role. Sometimes they will be hungry and eat a lot. Other times they won’t eat as much. That’s fine. This helps kids learn to eat when they are hungry and stop eating when they are satisfied. Parents should not force their children to eat or to “clean their plates.”
Kids also decide whether or not to eat. If they choose to skip the meal, they still come to the table with the family. They should not be allowed to play or watch TV instead. Then they need to wait for the next meal or snack time to eat again. Skipping a meal occasionally won’t hurt a child if he or she is offered a variety of healthy foods 5 or 6 times a day.
It may take some time and patience to do this with your children, but it works, and everyone gets to enjoy family mealtime.