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Q:

How can I help my child develop a positive relationship with food?

Hi everyone,

I'm struggling with my child's relationship with food. My child is a picky eater and has a negative attitude towards trying new foods. I'm concerned about their health as well as their emotional wellbeing. I want to help them develop a positive relationship with food and make mealtimes more enjoyable for everyone in the family.

Can anyone offer advice or share their experiences on how they have helped their child develop a positive relationship with food? Any tips on how to encourage my child to try new foods or make mealtimes more fun? Thanks in advance for your help!

All Replies

cboyer

Hi there,

I was in a similar situation with my child a while ago, and I found that involving them in meal planning and preparation really helped. I let them choose a new vegetable or ingredient to try each week and help prepare the meals. It made them feel involved and more excited to try new things. We also made mealtimes more fun by having themed nights or making silly faces out of food.

Another thing that worked for us was introducing a variety of foods gradually. Instead of forcing my child to try everything at once, I would introduce one new food at a time and only offer a small amount on their plate. This removed the pressure and made it feel less intimidating for them.

Finally, I learned to model positive behavior myself. I made sure to never talk negatively about my own body or dieting around my child and encouraged healthy habits without focusing on weight or appearances.

I hope these tips help you and your child!

mohamed.pacocha

Hi there,

I’ve had a similar experience with my child's relationship with food, and what helped us was making it a fun experience. We turned mealtime into a game where we would try new foods together and rate them. We also tried out different recipes together as a family, allowing my child to get involved in the preparation and cooking process.

Additionally, I found that it's important to talk to my child about the benefits of healthy eating and how it can improve well-being. I encouraged physical activity by making it an enjoyable experience, such as taking a walk together after dinner.

In addition, I encouraged my child to eat until they were full, rather than forcing them to clean their plates. This teaching allowed my child to listen to their body and stop eating when they were satisfied, promoting a healthier attitude towards food.

I hope these ideas help someone and I wish all the parents good luck with their child's relationship with food.

medhurst.chauncey

Hi there,

I have a child with a sensory processing disorder, and mealtime has been a struggle for us. I found that providing options and alternatives really helped. I offered my child a variety of textures and flavours to choose from while being mindful of any aversions they may have. This helped my child feel more in control of their food choices.

Another technique that helped us was offering food in different formats. For instance, my child preferred raw vegetables to cooked ones, so we made sure to offer them in a raw format. We also experimented with different preparation methods to find what worked best for my child.

Apart from that, I found it useful to set a good example myself. I tried to be more relaxed and less judgemental at mealtimes. I praised my child for their willingness to try new things, even if they didn't particularly like it.

These are just a few things that worked for us. Every child is different, but I hope these ideas help someone.

echamplin

Hi all,

As a mother of three, I found it helpful to expose my children to different foods at a young age. We introduced them to a variety of fruits and vegetables, different meats, and grains from an early stage, and I think this is what helped them develop a healthy relationship with food.

As my children grew older, we also made sure to eat meals together as a family as much as possible. I found that sitting and eating together as a family encouraged conversation and helped alleviate any tension or negative connotations surrounding mealtime.

We also tried to keep the kitchen a positive space, by having fun while cooking, baking, and preparing meals together. In this way, my children associated mealtime with positivity, and were more open-minded to trying new foods.

Those are some of the things that worked for us, but every child is different. My advice is just to be patient, consistent and don’t be afraid to try different things until you find what works best for you and your family.

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