- Have the whole family eat at a table, at the same times every day, as much as possible.
- Even if your baby has already eaten, sit him at the table, and if he’s showing signs of hunger, offer a selection of finger foods to choose from.
- Make sure your toddler is sitting up comfortably and is included in the meal.
- Toddlers are little copycats and you are their idol, so make sure they can see you clearly so you can show them how it’s done.
- Give them smaller portions of what you’re eating on unbreakable plates.
- Ignore silly behavior (throwing food around, shouting, banging on the table).
- Praise good behavior (eating, enjoying, trying to use spoon and fork).
- Talk to them about the meal, its taste, colors, smells, and textures.
- Don’t focus all your attention on them—it’s a family meal after all.
- Don’t worry if they don’t clear their plate.
- Do offer a variety of healthy foods, for baby and the whole family.
- Don’t offer alternatives if they refuse what’s on the table.
- Don’t have unhealthy snacks, sugary drinks or sweets on the table.
- Don’t switch on the TV or have phones or screens during mealtimes.
- If eating out, try avoiding peak times in case your mini-food critic acts up.
- Make sure the restaurant is child-friendly with highchairs, child-sized meals, and child-friendly plates and cutlery.
- If they have a tantrum in a restaurant or café try taking them outside or to a quiet corner for a moment. They could just be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of a busy environment.
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