Jumat, 18 Juli 2008

Tips for Mealtime at home

Parents traditionally acted as gatekeepers, determining what foods and activities were available in their children’s live. They usually wanted to promote nutritious choices and healhful habit, they provided access to nutrient-dense, delicious foods and opportunities for active play at home. Nowadays, children have greater influence over family decision concerning food, so parental guidance in food choices is very necessary.

Most parents have problem with their children’s eating habit. Problems over food often arise during the second or third year, when children begin asserting their independence. Many children reject to eat in mealtime and some children only consume small amount of food. Facing those problems, parents should have strategies to increase their children’s appetite. Here are some tips that parents can follow in order to handle their children’s eating problem and to increase their children’s appetite:

1. Make mealtimes fun for children. Young children like to eat at
little tables and to be served small portions of food.
2. Young children also like to eat with other children, and they tend
to eat more when in the company of their friends. Children are
also more likely to give up their prejudices against foods when
they see their peers eating them.
3. Foods should be warm, not hot, because a child’s mouth is more
sensitive than an adult’s. The flavor should be mild and children
prefer foods that are familiar, so offer various foods regularly.
4. Allowing children to help plan and prepare the family’s meal
provides enjoyable learning experiences and encourages children
to eat the foods they have prepared.
5. When introducing new foods, offer them one at a time and only
in small amounts such as one bite at first. Offer new food at the
beginning of the meal, when child is hungry, and allow the child
to make decision to accept or reject it. Never make an issue of
food acceptance.
6. Make sure the child sits when eating to avoid from choking.
Choking is more likely to present when child is running or falling.
Parents must be alert to the dangers of choking, so parents
should be present whenever the children is eating.
7. Make schedule for outdoor activity or play before meal time.
8. Pay attention to your children’s snack. Parents may find that
when their children snack, they aren’t hungry at mealtimes.
Instead of teaching children not to snack, parents are wise to
teach them how to snack. Provide snacks that are as nutritious
as the foods sered at mealtimes. Parents should not give snack
before mealtime.
9. Parents should limit access to candy, soft drinks, and other
concentrated sweets in order to prevent child from nutrient
deficiency, obesity or both.

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