Teaching your children to eat right might mean implementing different forms of discipline.
It really isn’t fair that your toddlers and preschoolers can exist solely on chocolate milk and cookies without feeling sluggish or gaining an ounce, but one glass of wine has you too bloated to fit into your skinny jeans. Kids do have a great metabolism -- and they really would exist solely on chocolate milk and cookies if you let them -- but they have to eat a healthy diet to be healthy kids. If your toddler or preschooler gives you a hard time about eating, you have to take it upon yourself to introduce the proper disciplinary actions.
1Introduce your little one to the concept of actions and consequences. A good choice, such as eating his broccoli with dinner, is rewarded with a good consequence, such as dessert after dinner. However, a bad decision like not eating his broccoli with dinner is rewarded with a bad consequence, which is no dessert for him.
2Tell your little one that if she does not eat her breakfast or lunch, she will not get to play outside/sleep over at Grandma’s house/watch television today. Do not attempt to discipline your child by telling her she will not eat anything else the rest of the day after either of these meals, because she does need to eat several meals a day. However, you can discipline her by taking away something she was looking forward to or a toy she likes to play with often. However, you can use that form of discipline at the dinner table, since your child will only go hungry from dinner to breakfast. This unpleasant feeling of being hungry after not eating dinner will make her less likely to refuse to eat her dinner again. Additionally, the unpleasant feeling of losing her favorite toy or fun privileges will make her less likely to want to refuse her breakfast or lunch again.
3Discipline your toddler with logical consequences. If he throws food on the floor for the dog to eat, simply remove him from his booster seat. He will quickly realize that he is hungry and unable to eat his food on the floor, and he’d much rather be back in his chair eating. This logical consequence teaches your toddler that he has a choice: he can sit in his chair and eat his food and become full and happy, or he can play with his food and have it taken away from him, which leaves him hungry.