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The reasons why adults eat usually come down to three types of hunger: physical, psychological or emotional, and social. However, this does not happen in babies, and naturally, not in children. Children maintain, if they are respected and their decisions are not influenced, a healthy relationship with food, without fear of new flavors or obsession with some in particular.
Mindful eating means, in a way, eat consciously of what you eat, and while the concept may sound too profound for a child, the basics are very natural and respectful. Let's see some tips to achieve it.
- Tomar awareness of our responsibility as parents: offer healthy food, at a certain time, do not snack and have access to snacks all day - and in an appropriate environment, sitting at the family table.
- Respect that it is the child who makes the rest of the decisions, if you are going to eat, what, of what you are going to eat, and in what quantity.
- Accept that every child is differentEven the brothers themselves, raised in the same way, have different needs and we must respect them.
- Involve children in everything that includes eating: cooking, shopping, food choices ... talk about it and the reasons for the decisions. Allowing them to participate with age-appropriate jobs, from washing vegetables to setting the table, and even, when they are ready, offering to choose some foods to include in their meals.
- Set a meal time that is just for food. At lunchtime you don't play games, you don't watch TV, you don't read. At mealtime the family sits at the table and has a conversation, about their day to day or about food, but we all sit together and share the moment.
- Try to proveAs a family, new dishes on a regular basis, and share the sensations.
- Avoid using food as a reward or punishment.
- Set simple rules when it comes to meals, for example, trying all the food on the plate by giving at least three bites each, sitting at the table until we are all done ...
- Listen to children's opinions about the dishes we offerThey can even offer ideas on possible variations! Do not give up on the first try, since a child needs several minutes to trust the food on his plate and dare to try it, and several bites to decide whether he likes it or not.
- And above all, have patience, continue offering healthy meals even if they are not to the liking of the children, trying to make them either mixed dishes or a first and second course so that if they reject something they will not be left hungry.
You can read more articles similar to Tips for introducing mindful eating to children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.