Joy of eating
Granted, sometimes the spinach ends up on the wall. That’s just a part of it all. In general though, a balanced diet can go together with the joy of eating.
Here are a few tips & tricks for a good mood at the family table:
- Nutrients, calories and vitamins don’t interest babies at all and they don’t matter to talkative children either. Eating is mostly about fun.
- Eating is an enjoyable family ritual. Talk to the baby, maintain eye contact, encouragement to try new things makes everyone at the table happier and helps with learning.
- Quantity concerns are unnecessary: A healthy child has (unlike most adults, by the way) a functioning hunger - fullness mechanism. It eats as much as it needs and knows when it has had enough. Therefore, one should not be over encouraging or try to force the child to eat.
- A sensible diet should be natural and pleasant - not made of compulsions and prohibitions. To not like a meal or empty the plate once is completely okay.
- The “Pizza-Tactic”: kid favourites like pizza or chips shouldn’t be completely stricken from the menu plan. Instead, it’s better to combine these with healthy foods.
- Food is neither punishment nor reward. Additionally, some traditional patterns of upbringing often end up in the wrong nutritional direction: The well-known adage “A spoon for mama, a spoon for papa...” does not promote healthy development. Rather, obesity for the future.
- Snacks like colourful fruit can and should be allowed.
- When children take food in their hand most parents are completely unsure: Allow? Forbid? Developmental pedagogues consider this playing to be highly valuable since it trains the motor skills and senses. This brings about a compromise: Allow a short time to pass, to enjoy the feeling and consistency, preferably away from the dinner table where making a mess won’t be a problem, but at the same time making it clear that eating at the table has its own, clean rules.