Is your child a finicky eater? Do they barely touch their lunch or dinner?
If so, your child could be eating less for lunch and dinner because they’ve been filling up on snacks between meals.
What Does Your Child Eat at Snack Time?
So, how do you keep your child from filling their stomach with snacks?
With younger children, this problem can be easily resolved. Keep the snacks you give your child small. Instead of giving them an entire slice of cake after school, give them a few cookies with some milk. And tell any other adults who might be in charge of your children to keep any snacks they give them reasonable.
For some children, it’s natural to get hungry several times between meals. If there are still several hours before lunch or dinner, you don’t want to deprive them by not giving them a snack. But the snack you give them to curb their hunger might leave them too full to eat a balanced meal later on.
If this is the case with your child, make sure to give them healthy between-meal snacks, like fruits, vegetables, cheese, and crackers. Then, if they barely touch their lunch or dinner, you’ll at least know they’ve ate something nutritious earlier.
Juice My Be Filling Your Child Up
Many parents think nothing of giving their children fruit juice whenever they want it. But, if your child drinks enough juice, milk, soda, or even water, it could leave them feeling so full, they don’t want to eat at mealtime.
If your child is finicky at mealtimes, consider cutting back on the fluids they consume. And you should cut sodas out of their diets entirely. Unlike fruit juice and milk, which at least contain vitamins and minerals, soda has no nutritional value. So, your child will feel full without receiving any of the essential nutrients.
Stick to a Regular Meal-Time
If you set a regular mealtime, your child’s body will get used to eating at those times. In fact, being hungry at the regularly scheduled mealtimes will almost become a habit.
So try to schedule a specific time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And try not to change that eating schedule. If your child is used to eating lunch at noon, they might not be hungry enough to do anything but pick at their lunch if your serve it to them at 11 am. And, if they’re use to eating dinner at 6 pm, they might lose their appetite and not be able to eat a meal served to them at 7:30.
Establish regular mealtimes for your kids, and stick to them.
So, if your child has finicky eating habits, it could be because they’ve been eating or drinking the wrong things at the wrong times. Making changes in when they snack, what they snack on, and how much they eat at snack times, could be all it takes to make them eat more of the well-balanced meals you prepare for lunch and dinner.