Keeping Mealtime Pleasant
Be sure that mealtime is a pleasant time for your family. Don't allow any dietary restrictions to take the joy out of mealtime or the pleasure out of eating. Here are some ideas to help you achieve this:
- First: Schedule mealtimes at a predictable time and expect all family members to be present.
- Second: Let your child decide how much he eats. You have no control over his appetite on any particular day.
- Third: Respect any food dislikes your child might have. Insist that he taste each food, not that he finish it.
- Fourth: Turn off the TV during meals. Family time is too precious to be squandered on TV shows.
- Fifth: Use mealtime to talk about fun subjects unrelated to food. Draw your child into the conversation. Tell him what's happened to you today and ask about his day. Avoid any criticism about behavior. Don't worry, parents, your child's appetite will make certain he eats what he needs. Your responsibility is to keep the mealtime atmosphere pleasant.
If you have other questions about your child's appetite, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.