Keep mealtime relaxed and fun.
Even when you make their favorite food, kids sometimes view meals as an obstacle between them and more playtime. However, eating too quickly is unhealthful. Kids are more likely to choke when they rush and they might also ignore their body's fullness signals and overeat. Plus, eating together as a family has many benefits, from strengthening your family's relationships to teaching your child those much-needed manners. Help kids slow down when eating by creating a relaxed atmosphere and valuing the meals you share as a family.
1Give kids a five- or 10-minute warning before it's time to eat so they can finish what they are doing and start cleaning up.
2Eat meals together as a family, sitting at the table. Eating while standing or on-the-go encourages kids to rush.
3Turn off the TV and put your cellphone away during dinner to create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere. Keep conversation on positive topics, such as what you did that day. Avoid stressful topics such as discipline because kids might try to finish their food faster to avoid the topic.
4Serve small portions and don't force kids to clean their plate. However, let them take seconds if they want to.
5Cut foods into small pieces or help young children cut their food. Taking small bites helps kids slow down.
6Ensure everyone stays at the table during meals, even if they are not hungry or are finished eating. You can make conversation as a family until everyone is done.
- Don't let your child fill his cheeks with food like a chipmunk before he swallows. This can cause choking.