5 Things Not To Say To Your Kids At The Dinner Table
Some kids can go through food without batting an eye, however, there are some which can make their parents lose their sleep with their picky eating habits. Kids are tremendously receptive and your every word or action has a significant impact on how the kids think and learn from your message. Since kids are always looking upon us and listening to what we say, we should carefully monitor the words we say around these impressionable little minds especially around food habits.
1. "You can have dessert if you eat your spinach."
Food should never be used as a reward or punishment, as it highlights certain food group as superior to others, essentially maximizing their appeal by a huge degree. All food groups should be treated equally and both desert and greens should be put on the same platter but at the same time controlling the portions and frequency of foods like desserts is important too.
2. "Eat five more of vegetables and than two bites of chicken."
Dictating how much food your kid needs to have might sound tempting, as it allows you to ensure that your child has a balanced meal instead of picking the favorite bits. However, this makes the kids feel like eating is a mechanical task and they have no control or say over their food. Instead be a role model for your kids and observing parents eat healthier foods will encourage them to opt for the same.
3. "You wouldn't like it, its too sour."
It is not fun to have a preconceived notion of the food that you are about to have, and the same stands true for kids too. It is okay to give a heads-up that something is spicy or sour, however, let them draw their conclusions on whether they like something or not. Encourage them to try a variety of foods and maybe they will end up liking something which is not typically a favorite.
4. “We don't eat sweets in our house because they are bad for us.”
Labeling food as “good” or “bad” is strongly discouraged as it can lead to severe problems later on. This puts certain food in the 'bad' category, which can make your kids want it even more, as they are forbidden, such behaviors can lead to future health problems such as eating disorders or binge eating. The inclusion of all food groups in the household should be encouraged with an occasional cookie or a sweet now and then.
5. “We are going to have brinjal for dinner tonight. Since you don't like it, what would you like for dinner instead?"
Making your kid's favorites might be a sure shot way of ensuring that they are eating enough. However, this way the child will have the complete control over dinner and this, in turn, will prevent them from trying any new food options. They will also expect the same alternative options if they are eating somewhere else.
Kids will be kids and will eat only what fancies them. However, saying the wrong things in an attempt to get them to eat, might have the adverse impact on them, or put out the wrong message altogether. Make sure you evaluate your words carefully before putting them out there and encourage your children with positive messages.