My child cannot sit well at the table during mealtimes, what can I do?
Why children cannot sit properly while having the meal?
Children of age 1 to 2 are so energetic and curious, and they like exploring the world actively. They cannot eat too much in a meal as their stomach sizes are small. Generally, children can finish their meals within twenty minutes. After feeling a bit full, they want to play. When they are bored to have their meals, it will be easy for them to be distracted and leave their seats.
If parents deal with this situation by chasing and feeding their kids, the kids will think that they do the right thing and continue the behavior. Then, it will be difficult for the children to develop good eating habits.
How can I deal with such problem?
In order to solve the problem, parents should work in the following directions. It can help children build up a good eating habit and also solve other eating problems.
The basis of mealtime routine is to schedule meals regularly: three main meals and two snack times in between the meals. The meals and the snack time need to be separated by two to three hours. If foods are taken too frequently, the children’s appetite will be affected.
Concerning the environment, parents should prepare a high chair with pedals or a movable baby seat. Let children sit comfortably, such that it will be natural for them to concentrate to eat.
Before having the meal, parents should switch off the television and remove all the toys, to avoid children being distracted.
Since the patience of children is limited, you should put your kid on the seat only when everything is ready for the meal.
You should provide a variety of food so that your kid can have choices. The texture of the food has to be suitable for your kid.
When having the meal, let him use his own feeding tools to eat. You can talk with your kid about the food. This will increase his interest and concentration on eating. Also, praise him when he does well.
If your child leaves the table, tell him not to do so and bring him back to his seat. If he still does not want to eat the food again, or is not interested in the food, it means that he is full.
Most children can finish the meal within twenty minutes. So, set a fixed time for the meal, for example thirty minutes. When the time is up, take away the feeding tools.
Family members should have consensus and not chase to feed the children. Let the children know they should sit down to have food.
If I do not chase and feed my child, he cannot finish the food. I’m worried that he may have malnutrition.
Parents need to note that, most children will not eat too much in a meal. To satisfy their nutritional needs, apart from the meals, you also need to provide snacks in between the two meals. Provide nutritional and healthy foods as their snacks. Two to three hours after the meals, when the foods in the meal time were digested, he will eat snacks and have his body needs replenished.