How Important Is A Positive Attitude When Feeding Your Children?
Having a positive attitude is generally helpful in most situations in life, but how important is it when feeding your children? Some parents find that their attitude plays a big part in the way their children approach different kinds of foods.
When you initially wean your baby it is really helpful if you adopt a positive attitude about the experience. Many of us do not like change but remember that this change is centred around your child’s development and health. It is a good thing and the beginning of your child’s relationship with food. And let’s be honest, food is pretty wonderful. Sharing the joy of food with our children can be a really lovely experience.
During those early weaning days, a positive attitude can also really help when it comes to the extra work you might find yourself doing. If you look at this in a positive light it can be something that you get a lot of joy and satisfaction from. Instead of dreading the process you might consider putting your favourite music on and looking at this time as an act of love for your child. As you line up the little pots and chop the ingredients remember that your efforts are for your little one’s nutrition. Seeing your child enjoy the food that you have lovingly prepared is a really special experience.
As your child gets older they will begin to pick up on your mood and attitude. If meal times tend to come with a lot of sighing, voice raising and chaos then it is likely to become a time that your child does not enjoy. It really can be a time to laugh, play and enjoy experiencing different flavours, colours and textures together. Picking up some colourful plates and cutlery can add to the excitement. Why not look for a set that features your children’s favourite TV character or toy? They may just come to associate this experience as a time of fun.
It is extremely difficult to remain calm and positive when your child is displaying fussy eating behaviour. Particularly when you have spent time making the food yourself. It is almost impossible not to take it personally and many parents feel an element of rejection from their little one. Fussy eating is something that affects almost every single child at one point or another. Maintaining a level of calm will only help the situation. If you struggle to react calmly it may be helpful to take a couple of deep breaths and sip a glass of water until you can compose yourself. Your child may be young and innocent but they also have an uncanny ability to take advantage of those times where we are vulnerable as parents. In the battle of food and toddlers, toddlers tend to have the control in the situation. If your child repeatedly rejects a certain food item it is, of course, possible that they simply do not like it. Keep things fresh and mix new tastes and flavours with reliable favourites to encourage a warm welcome from your child.
In many cases, children do as they see. Do you find yourself eating quickly while you are on the phone, texting or doing other household chores? Your child may notice this behaviour and endeavour to mimic it. Try to sit down, be present and enjoy every meal you have even if it is a grab and go snack or lunch. It is great when children learn to see meal times as a positive experience for the whole family.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.