5 common feeding mistakes parents make and how to fix them

5 common feeding mistakes parents make and how to fix them.


5 Common Feeding mistakes Parents Make and How to Fix Them

Feeding kids isn’t easy. You may be feeding a picky eater, a kid with special dietary restrictions, or maybe you are just feeling a lot of pressure to raise healthy kids. You may be guilty of making these feeding mistakes, but it’s not because you are a flawed parent. Up until now, you probably just didn’t have all the things you needed! It’s time to finally turn those terrible feeding habits into something positive! Here’s how to do it.

Mistake 1: Bothering your kids while they’re eating

Did you know that 80% of parents control their child’s food intake at mealtime? When parents try to get their kids to eat more or less, they are teaching their kids not to listen to their natural instincts and teaching them bad eating habits. This can encourage eating when they aren’t hungry, and even sneaking food.

How can you fix this?

As a parent, your job is to decide what, when, and where your children will eat, but leave the how much and whether or not to eat up to your kids. This teaches your kids to learn the signs of when they are full and when they are still hungry.

Mistake 2: No meal structure

When there is no rhyme or reason to when kids get to eat, they are learning to eat out of habit and not out of hunger. This is keeping your kids from learning what hunger means, and can sometimes impact how much your child eats at mealtimes.

How can you fix this?

Structure meals and snacks at designated places and times such as the kitchen or dining room and at set times. When children want to leave after not eating much, remind them that they will have to wait until the next meal time and when it is.

Mistake 3: Alternative meals

We’ve all been there. It’s dinnertime and everyone is happily eating, except for one who refuses to eat. As a worried mom, we tend to whip up something for that child in case they don’t like the mealtime choice tonight. Children will learn to eat food with variety over time. When alternative choices are available, that is teaching your child to eat only a very small window of foods because they know another option will be waiting.

How to fix this?

Ask for input from the family when making meals, and stick with just one meal at dinner time. Allow variety with plated dinners and buffet style meals where your kids are able to serve themselves from time to time as well.

Mistake 4: Forcing vegetables on your kids

Every parent is worried that their kids aren’t eating enough fruits and veggies. Some even go to great lengths to get their children to eat their vegetables. 70% of young children are sensitive to some of the compounds that make up vegetables, and this will decrease over time. When we push vegetables on our kids, they learn to hate it and will be less likely to like them over time.

How to fix this?

Offer a variety of vegetables frequently and in a variety of different ways such as smoothies, salads, dips, etc without the pressure to eat them.

Mistake 5: Fixing behaviors that aren’t broken

Parents have a tendency to jump the gun when it comes to food-related behavior. Picky eating and wanting to eat what friends are eating are all part of normal food-related behaviors that children adopt as they get older. These “errors” shouldn’t be fixed during early childhood.

How to fix this?

Be prepared for each food stage in your child’s life and be flexible, and don’t take it personally. Be a good role model, and learn to work with your children.

Parents can become fearless feeders with the right tools! With these helpful tips, you’ll avoid making these food mistakes and teach your children to be healthy eaters as they grow.




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