Tips for teaching your child how to regulate eating according to hunger and fullness
Dr Gowher Yusuf
Hal 3rd stage, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
To help your child feel hungry, feed your child at regular times and space meals and snacks 3-4 hours apart.
Do not allow your child to have any snacks, juice, or milk between schedules meal and snack times. If your child gets thirsty, offer only water.
Serve small portions and allow your child to ask for second, third, and fourth helpings. This will help your child be engaged in the eating process and prevent your child from being bored or overwhelmed by large amounts of foods.
Most important, it will help your child to learn to eat until full.
Teach your child to sit at the table until “Mommy’s and Daddy’s tummies are full.”
Children do not learn to eat until they are full until they learn to sit at the table long enough to eat until fullness.
Do not offer more than three different foods at any one meal and remain seated at the table with your child.
Meals should last no longer than 20 to 30 minutes, even if your child has eaten very little or nothing. Your child will learn to make up for the minimal food intake at the next meal.
Praise your child for self-feeding skills, but keep a neutral attitude about your child’s food intake.
Do not praise or criticize your child for how little she eats. Your child’s eating is not a performance, but should be regulated internally by your child’s physiological needs.
Do not allow any distractions (e.g., toys, books, television) during meals or snacks.
When distracted, children do not pay attention to their inner signals of hunger and fullness.
Do not use food as a present, as reward, for comfort, or as an expression of your affection.
Do not place emphasis on sweets and candy; ask your child whether he wants to eat the dessert or the other foods first.
Discourage your child from playing with the food or talking too much instead of eating during mealtime. Have a special playtime or talking time outside of mealtime.
If your child gets up from the chair, throws food or feeding utensils, or misbehaves in other ways, give her ONE warning. If she does not stop the behaviour, give her a time-out.