5 ways to end mealtime battles with your kids
By Aimee Heckel
Standup comedian Louis CK nails it. One of his most famous bits is about the battle to get his kids to eat.
“When your kid wont eat, you just go crazy, because you have a physical need to feed them. It’s an instinct. And when they’re just sitting there looking at their food, you’re like, ‘Just (explicit) eat it! You’ll die, you idiot, eat the food.’ ‘I don’t like it.’ ‘It doesn’t matter. Put it in your face.They have your footprint at the hospital. They know that I have you. I’m not allowed to let you die… eat it! You have a social security number. You’re on the grid… eat! If you’re skinny, I go to jail. Do you understand?”
Mealtime battles are beyond frustrating, especially if you just spent time and energy trying to prepare something healthy for your family to eat.
The Huffington Post recently ran a blog with some tips about how to end mealtime battles. The first rule: You don’t have to eat, but you have to sit at the table with the family. The articles suggests eliminating the fight by putting parents in charge of what is served, when to eat and where, while the kids get to decide what and how much to eat.
There are plenty of other theories on how to eliminate mealtime wars. Here are a few other ideas:
1. Don’t beg, coax or encourage your kids to eat. This amplifies the power struggle, according to PositiveParentingSolutions.com.
2. Shut down the kitchen after dinner time. That means no snacks.
3. Involve your child in preparing the meals, according to Parenting.com. This can help interest picky eaters in mealtime.
4. Don’t play short-order cook. If you serve your child something else, he will just hold out longer the next time to get what he wants, Parenting.com says. This perpetuates the problem.
5. Make food a part of life beyond the dinner table, suggests Essential Mums. Involve them in shopping, planting a garden, feeding the pets and even making food art projects.
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