Teaching children the enjoyment of food

Helene Skantzikas at Elevating Child Care – Secrets to Enjoying Healthy Meals With Our Children:

When we are nervous or afraid that our children won’t eat, or not eat enough, we tend to be inconsistent with our boundaries.  It’s the same dynamic as the fear of a tantrum. We cannot set consistent boundaries that make our children feel safe if we are trying to avoid tantrums and strong feelings at all costs. Avoiding the tantrum suddenly takes priority over self-care, and that often ends in a lot of frustration on both ends.

Similarly, if “getting the child to eat” takes priority over self-care and the boundaries necessary to the family enjoying a meal, frustration ensues for the parent, as well as negative associations to mealtime (stress, power struggle, fuzzy boundaries, testing) for the child as a result.