Ervin Moore, guest contributor

Many mothers may wonder why their children are rejecting the food given to them every meal – breakfast, lunch and dinner. A growing concern among parents has been unlikely develop about the good eating habits of  young children. These concerns are based on the reality that eating the right foods at the right time is essential to a child’s overall health. But as most mothers see, more and more children do not have good eating habits.

Children are really choosy when it comes to eating their meals. They usually prefer to eat sweet foods like chocolates & candies and do not care if it has a nutritional value or not. Of course they’re children. They doesn’t know the right food to eat and don’t understand what is nutritional value either.


Consider timing of meals

A child may think that having good eating habits is a daily chore that they have to fulfill. This makes young children think that just by eating at a time they want is enough to make them healthy and strong. For mothers, they always want their children to always eat nutritious foods in every meal but they often reject it. As a mother, what will you do to a situation like this?

In some cases, parents may get tired of having to tell their children to eat promptly during mealtime. They may resort to giving “bribes” – candies, sweets and other unhealthy foods – to make their children eat during mealtime or to avoid their young ones throwing tantrums. Although doing this from time to time may not be a big deal, it would be not advisable to “bribe” young children to eat every meal. Such a move would turn into a habit, and a child would have a disposition of refusing to eat during meals, unless his qualms and demands are met. Should this happen, a child would have a bad eating habit, and eventually, this would affect his or her overall health and well-being.


Enforcing good habits

So, how can parents help their children develop good eating habits?

Parents should have the whole family eat meals together as often as possible. This should instil onto children that eating the right food on the right time does not have to be a chore or a burden. Likewise, meals should be made pleasant as much as possible. It should not be a time for scolding young ones or making arguments with other members of the family. Mealtimes filled with unnecessary arguments and scolding would just turn away children and make them lose their appetite. Mealtimes should be a period where family members could freely interact with each other. Such meals would create a relaxed environment for children to create and develop good eating habits.


Get them involved in what they eat

Likewise, parents could involve their children in buying food and ingredients as well as preparing meals. Doing these offers several advantages. First, children do appreciate the fact that they were being factored in when preparing meals for the whole family. Also, children who have helped in preparing family meals are more likely to enjoy the food they had a hand in preparing. Parents could also gain hints on the food preferences of their children if they involve them such activities.

Parents could also help their children develop good eating habits by planning the snacks. One of the main reasons why some children don’t have the appetite to eat timely meals is because they have been snacking out of time. Getting a good snack is advisable but it should not come at a time when a scheduled meal is on the way. This will spoil children’s appetite during meal times. Thus, it would help if parents do schedule and plan family snacks.

These are just some the ways by which parents could help their children have good eating habits. Children on their own are not capable of knowing what eating practices are good for them, and most of the time they end up doing what is detrimental for them. Parents really need to step up efforts to guide and train their children to have good eating habits. Home is not only a place to get a good rest and a good place to live, but also a place to have a good meal.


About the Author

Ervin Moore is freelance writer/editor that specializes in creating art history essays and related compositions. Learned in the Harvard system of referencing, the author has been writing and editing academic papers for a couple of years.