Picky eaters cause parents a lot of stress. Parents worry about their child’s nutritional intake. They try very hard to get their picky eater back on track. Sometime, the parents strategies work. Sometime, the whole thing keeps getting worse. Do you have a picky eater? Let’s look at Tip #3. It is important to set regular mealtimes and snacks.
You need to set a regular meal and snack time schedule. Track your child’s eating times for three days. Look at the pattern. Decide where you need to make improvements. How do you know if the schedule is ok? Let’s look at some guidelines.
There should be a gap of 2.5-3 hours between regular mealtimes and snacks. A sample daily food schedule might look like this:
- 6.30am – breakfast
- 9.30am – morning tea
- 12.00pm – lunch
- 3.oopm – afternoon tea
- 6.00pm – dinner
At mealtimes and snacks the parents put the food out. The child then decides what they will eat, and how much they will eat. Outside of snacks and mealtimes, no other food is offered. Water is available but we do not recommend milk or juice in between. Grazing is discouraged.
What do we do this? This helps the child develop an appropriate hunger cycle. They will come to the table hungry, but not ‘hangry’. It breaks the habit of grazing.
Remember to schedule drinks too!
More picky eating tips
If you are concerned about your child’s picky eating habits, call us in our Bondi Junction clinic on (02) 80657837. Sessions can be done via Skype. Our ‘YukToYum’ program is building adventurous eaters.