Learn to Enjoy Eating with your
Family meals are important
Family meal defined:
NO: TV, telephones, books, magazines, radio
Any meal of the day, any time of the day
Why are Family Meals
Studies have shown that children who eat
3 or more meals with their family:
Better nutrition from home meals
Better food choices away from home
Better grades in school
Less likely of abuse alcohol and drugs
Have greater self esteem
Detriments to Family Meals
Cooking and clean-up
Frustration: deciding what to prepare to
keep everyone happy
Arguing: trying to get your kids to eat
Selecting What to Prepare
It’s your job to decide what to offer at
meals and offer it in an appropriate and
By offering food-you have done your job.
The Two Food Groups:
Those the help you grow big and strong or
Those that are fun
White flour bread and snack foods
High sugar foods: candy, juice
Most baked goods
High salt foods
Other Adult Responsibilities
Letting children help prepare meals.
Require an appropriate level of table
Supplying appropriate table setting and
Offer food regularly, every 1.5-2.5 hours.
Not Your Job:
How much food a child eats.
What order food is eaten.
Whether a child eats or not.
Bribing, rewarding, cajoling or tricking a child to
THESE ARE YOUR CHILD’S JOB
Don’t be an over achiever!
Give your Child Responsibility
Serve themselves when they are able.
Chose to eat or not.
Realize the consequences of their
Trust your Child, Show them that
You Trust Them.
Let them keep their natural ability to know
when they are hungry and sated (full).
0-1years: feed on demand
1 year-until they move out: Continue to follow
Offering Fun Food
When and how much is up to you.
Let the child know that this is fun food so
they will only be allowed a certain amount.
Always serve a growing food with a fun
food so a child can eat to satiety at every
meal or snack.
Children Will Not Over or Under Eat
They are offered regular meals and snacks of
a variety of healthy foods.
They are not constantly and continuously
encouraged to eat after they have shown they
are finished eating.
You Control Timing of Meals and
A hungry child is a motivated eater.
Are more likely to try new foods
If Your Child Chooses Not to Eat
That is their choice.
Remind them that there will be no more
They will not starve or have any nutritional
You Will Not:
Become a short order cook.
Give into begging for food directly after
food was offered.
Yell, threaten, bribe or punish.
“I would be hungry too if I didn’t eat
anything for dinner.
“I would be hungry too if I only ate a
cookie for dinner.”
Snacks vs. Meals
Nutrition at snacks and meals should be
equal, because your child doesn’t know
the difference between a meal and a
If meals and snacks before dinner are
mostly fun foods, you are now determined
to get your child to eat dinner.
Whether a dessert is a fun food or a good
and good for you food, it should be offered
to a child whether they ate or not.
A child 1 or over only needs 2 cups of milk
You do not need to serve milk with every
Always offer water for thirst after the cup
of milk is gone.
Many young children don’t like meat.
Children don’t need a large portion of a
protein food at each meal, there is some
protein in all foods except fruits.
Children ages 1-3 need 16 grams for
protein, they receive 14 grams from 2
cups of milk.