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Make Family Mealtime More Pleasant

Instill Healthy Habits in Your Kids


12/7/2009 4:16:03 PM

ELSEEBEE's SparkPage
Excellent article! As the result of a childhood that gave me many bad eating habits, I made the effort with my daughter to NOT make food an issue. I remember times when she'd see something she didn't like on the table and she'd just say, "I'll go to my room and read and eat tomorrow." And she did! She's now a healthy adult with healthy eating patterns.
12/7/2009 1:26:27 PM

As a working parent I don't have time to either make a range of foods for my kids to choose from or to be making meals all night.
What has worked for us is that I cook a meal that is healthy and in which there is at least something that everyone will eat. Our rule is that they need to try a taste of everything that is on their plate and if after trying it they don't like it, they don't have to eat it. However, that is the only meal being cooked that night and all that there is to eat besides that is fresh fruit.
I have found that kids that didn't like certain textures like mushrooms and onions often devleop a taste for them after a few tries and sometimes they will eat a vegetable cooked a different way. A night or two of realizing that I don't have the time and won't cook them a special meal soon makes them a little more adventurous and willing to eat when we do.
10/22/2009 2:15:39 PM

SASANDRA's SparkPage
Sounds like common sense.
9/11/2009 8:55:09 AM

As I thought more about the article, I wanted to add another comment about this suggestion: "Make a wide variety of nutritious foods available to your child, and then let your child decide what to eat."

I don't know about all of you, but no one in my family has the time to cook up a smorgasbord. The kids get two choices at meal time. It gives them some freedom and saves our sanity.
9/10/2009 4:10:04 PM

My nephews are still young (5, 7, 7 and 9) so these tips are relevant to my life. Thanks very much. I agree that it's really important to set a positive example.
2/3/2009 2:07:27 PM

-CORAL-'s SparkPage
Easier said than done. My 5 year old will eat nothing on her plate, or maybe just one bite of noodles, tell me she's not hungry, get up, then right before bed time tell me she's starving and insists on eating. So if I don't MAKE her eat at dinner time it is a huge pain, because then later she will beg for pudding, chocolate, candy, whatever. So sometimes I think it is appropriate to insist your child eat at dinner time and not later when she just wants junk.
3/19/2008 10:48:22 PM

JIBBIE49's SparkPage
Great article. I do the grocery buying so now I have healthy food and they eat it because they are hungry. Have it prepared and quick for them to get at for older children. Fruit juice works best for my teens who don't like to eat it whole, but will drink the 100% juice.
2/6/2008 6:18:45 AM

We used to be a scattered bunch when it came to dinner-time. It was when I decided to become the example to my family that it all began to come together. Now, we sit down all together (ten of us) and enjoy dinner.

Yes, it took some time, but now it seems like habit.
12/29/2007 2:07:49 PM

AV8RS_WIFE's SparkPage
I hear you! How do you change your teens/adult children??
12/27/2007 1:11:38 PM

This article is definitely geared to families with very, very young children. Are there any Spark articles for those of us who are past that stage, but still want to help our children make healthy choices?
12/27/2007 11:30:23 AM

This is great for smaller children. Unfortunately my daughter is past this phase and my "bad habits" have probably already been ingrained. For example, I have rewarded her with dessert before. Anyway, there is no reason to continue on the same destructive path, I will make a better effort to teach her healthy eating habits.

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