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Alex Allan Nutrition
By Alex on 03/07/22 | Family Health

My top tips for happy mealtimes 

(these aren’t just for children! Most of these tips are valid for you too)

  1. The aim is for mealtimes to be relaxed and happy.
  2. Eat around a table - not in front of the TV (as this can encourage overeating due to focusing on something else rather than what’s going into your mouth).
  3. Avoid using threats, bribery, or force feeding. Don’t feel obliged to finish your plate.
  4. Avoid rewarding your child by giving them attention for not eating. This will only reinforce the behaviour. It is hard not to be concerned but they will eat eventually.
  5. Pair something enjoyable with mealtimes, e.g., reading a story, non-food related conversation, having music on in the background.
  6. Try to have a regular routine for eating and mealtimes so that everyone gets into the habit of balancing their blood sugar well. Try and stick to three meal a day, with no snacks. When works for you for regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Make a plan and stick to it.
  7. Encourage everyone to try new foods (make this a normal part of eating). If you have children, from pre-1 year old if possible as it gets harder after this. Modelling: let your children copy you enjoying your food and trying different things. Think about adding new fruits and veg to your trolley with your weekly shop. Have a go of a fish recipe that you’ve not tried before. Push yourself out of your comfort zone!
  8. Find non-food rewards – this is a key! Make a list of what’s relevant to you, and when you feel you deserve a treat think about what you can pick from that list.

Let me know how you get on. Which of these resonates with you? What can you change?

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