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 Picky Eater Tip #3. It is important to set regular mealtimes and snacks.
Why do we need 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.
How long should the gap be between meals and snacks?
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 use Picky Eater Tip #3?
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
Picky Eating can cause stress for children, parents and the whole family. Try picky eating tip #3 at home with your child. If you are still concerned about your child’s picky eating habits, then it is best to start doing something about it now. Our ‘YukToYum’ program helps to build adventurous eaters who will try new foods. The program has 3 versions:
- Individual sessions
- Group Therapy Sessions
- Online parent Training
Call us in our Bondi Junction or Mascot clinic on (02) 80657837.