It is not uncommon for parents to find difficulties with feeding their kids. Even getting them to eat something healthy for snack times can be quite an ordeal.
Unfortunately, their eating habits can have negative effects on their present and future behaviors and attitudes. As such, it is important that parents avoid and correct key feeding mistakes that can have a bad impact on their growth and development. This is a crucial thing to do if you want your children to grow up the right way and avoid being “problem kids”.
Below are some of the key feeding mistakes parents should avoid:
Interfering too much while the child is eating.
Studies show that about 85% of parents try to control their child’s food intake at mealtime. They have a say about the child taking two more bites or insisting that he or she finish a plateful of food so that he or she will get a dessert.
This is a crucial mistake to avoid since children are born with the natural ability to regulate their food intake. If parents try to get children to eat less or more, for example, they inadvertently teach their kids not to trust their body, which in turn, can hinder self-regulation. Various studies have also shown that pressuring children to eat results in less food intake while cutting them off at mealtime increases the likelihood they will eat even if they are hungry (hence, leading to obesity).
Short-order cooking if your child doesn’t like the food.
You will always find difficulties in feeding picky eaters. There will always be instances when they won’t like to eat dinner because they don’t like the produce you cooked. And because you don’t want your child to go to bed hungry, you make him or her an alternative meal on the spot just so he or she would eat.
Parents should avoid and immediately correct this mistake since in general, kids learn to eat a variety of food at different paces. This mistake is telling a child that he or she shouldn’t expand his or her food repertoire which will decrease his or her eating confidence.
Forcing kids to eat their vegetables.
Many parents go to great lengths to get children to eat their vegetables so that they don’t miss out on the important nutrients. Unfortunately, one of the reasons veggies are often shunned by kids is because about 70% of young children are sensitive to the bitter compounds in them, something that decreases over time. When you force your kids to eat all the vegetables you serve them, they may become averse to them instead of gradually learning to like them, had there been no pressure.