Children want to act independently from a very early age, therefore, it is the duty of parents to educate them in each of the areas of their lives, especially hygiene and food.
A healthy life for the little ones implies optimal eating habits, a balanced diet and adequate portions according to the age and nutritional needs of each person. In order to follow these principles, it is necessary to establish a feeding schedule.
If the child knows the family schedules for each meal and snack times, he/she will be able to be confident and encourage healthy activities for his/her good life.
Feeding schedules help to avoid tantrums or whims on the part of the child to eat at the time he/she wants. A feeding schedule should be established based on the time the child usually wakes up, his naps and the parents’ routine.
The most important thing in a schedule is that the child is fed every day at the same time, this will make his stomach adapt to meal and snack times, so that the child has enough appetite for the next meal.
An example that can be considered to establish an appropriate schedule is the following:
|Snack||Around to 9:30 am|
|Dinner||6 to 7:00 pm|
Tips for guiding children to follow a feeding schedule
If the child wants to eat at non-established times, try to balance very well each of his meals, so that the child has enough energy until it is the right time to eat.
In the hours that should not be eaten, the child should only drink water, if you give him milk or juice, he could get full and not want to eat when it is the right time. Also, you can use distraction methods, sometimes when children are bored they manifest that they want to eat something, you must know how to identify when their appetite is real or imaginary.
If the child does not fully eat the portion you served at the time of the meal, you can ask, “Are you sure you ate enough? Because remember that we will not eat again until snack or lunch time.
It is important that the little one is aware of the times of each meal, so he will have to choose to eat well and wait for the next meal of the day.
To encourage healthy eating habits, the child should be provided with a suitable environment, without distractions, where all family members are ready to eat, following the schedule that is being taught to the child.
Remember, all the activities you carry out should serve as an example to the child, if the child observes that you eat at times that are not established, he will also want to do the same, but if he observes discipline in the schedule from his parents or siblings, he will follow their behavior.