Some kids just love food and need more than others.
Here are five things to do if your child tends to eat fast or too much.
1. First and foremost, it’s important that both parents and kids are clear about their mealtime roles.
All too often, these roles get reversed, which can cause or exacerbate feeding issues, especially when it comes to kids who overeat or are picky eaters.
2. Allowing Natural Consequences And Turning Them Into Teachable Moments
I’ll never forget the night that we ordered pizza, and my son – four-years-old at the time – ate an entire pizza to himself. He loves food, and one of his favorites is pizza We had served raw veggies, too, which he also ate. I kept reminding him to “slow down” and “listen to your tummy,” but he insisted that he eat piece after piece, which we didn’t deny him. I knew that he would be overfull, but I almost wanted it to happen so that he would learn the natural consequences of eating too fast and too much.
3. Reassure Your Child That Their Favorite Foods Aren’t Restricted
If your child feels that a desired food is limited or restricted, it will create a desire for more, so that when it is available, they may eat more in anticipation of it being restricted afterwards. Make sure to offer a variety of nutritious foods at mealtime, but also include foods your kids love.
4. Serve Dessert With Dinner Sometimes
From time to time, offer your kids a treat with their meal, instead of after. I know — it sounds crazy! Last fall, I gave my son a few smarties with his lunch (he asked me if he could have some after lunch, they were leftover from Halloween). He was a bit confused when I offered them with his sandwich and veggies, but didn’t say much about it.
5. Remind Your Child To ‘Listen To Their Tummy’ And ‘Slow Down’
Instead of getting your kids to “eat three more bites,” or telling them “after that serving, you’re done,” ask them to “listen to their tummy” to help them know when they should stop eating. Describe how it might feel when you’re “just right” and when you’re overfull or not full enough.
Please let us know what you will do if your child has an eating problem.
Oliver & Kim
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