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6 Simple Hacks to Make Feeding Your Child Easier

6 Simple Hacks to Make Feeding Your Child Easier
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Parents often find themselves questioning how well their child eats and can end up lamenting the difficulty they find themselves in during feeding times. What many fail to realize is worrying about this can actually be part of the problem and this can hinder the success you can have when feeding your child.

We all know there is a tendency for some parents to brag about how well their child eats or and seeing another child wolf down a broccoli salad, when your child won’t even have a french fry, can leave you feeling helpless. If you are feeling helpless or if you just want to learn a few hacks that can help you with feeding time, then these simple suggestions can help you. All it takes is a small change in attitude or approach to the way you feed your child.

So what can you do to avoid looking for a crowbar to pry open your child’s mouth just to get them to take one small bite?

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1. Make your child feel part of the family

You may be thinking…what do you mean make my child feel part of the family??? My child is my pride and joy! Well I don’t mean it in the traditional sense. I am talking about at the dinner table…

Often parents allocate a separate time to feed their child because its easier, less hassle or to eat peacefully themselves (which is totally understandable because when do you ever get time for yourself?). However, this can be a hindrance to the association your child makes to eating. If you include your child at the dinner table with you and your family, the child can see other family members and yourself eating, which will acclimatize your child to the idea of eating.

Even if it seems like it’s really difficult, you should be persistent and try to get your child to eat with the family as often as possible. This is also great for the future as the saying ‘a family that eats together, stays together’ comes to mind. So before anything else, start including your child at the dinner table, whether on your lap or in a high chair, let the child feel he or she is part of the family.

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2. Share your food with your child

Not only is it important to have your child with you when you eat your meals, but actually sharing your meals with your children can make life so much easier. Many parents tend to prepare food separately for children, or give them food that is completely different. Although this is a good thing to do as children have different dietary requirements, sharing food with your child, whether it’s yours with them or you eating theirs, can normalise eating habits for the child.

So try sharing mealtimes with your child to make him or her eat better. Even just tasting the food you are giving your child, encourages him to eat it. Your child will be more likely to eat with less fuss and be more accustomed to the idea of eating. The simple fact of the matter is that children need to feel like what they are doing is normal, and the best way to show them this, is to lead by example.

3. Talk to your child about food

Again this is linked to the previous two, and a great tip. Do you tell your child what they are eating? Do you talk to them about how great it is to eat? Many people may already do this, but if you make this a conscious effort to speak and talk about food, your child is more likely to eat. You should mention the names of the different foods, tell them whether it’s hot or cold, or just talk about eating.

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Tell them it will make them big or strong, and make them more happy. Even if they are not at an age where they understand, it can still be effective and make them more likely to eat and even enjoy it. While you are cooking or preparing, tell them what you are doing and give them an excited feeling about it. This really does work and make them more comfortable about eating it.

4. Put small amounts of unwanted food regularly

This is a great tip for when your child does not like a certain type of food like vegetables or meat. You can add a few pieces to their plate everyday and try not to make a fuss about them. Even if your child ignores the alien pieces of broccoli or chicken, keep persisting until the time will arrive when your child will show interest.

5. Give your child a spoon immediately

Many parents think children don’t need cutlery until they are at a certain age. However, the sooner you give your child a spoon, the quicker they will get used to it. Whether they start eating with it or not, just give them the spoon so that they can get used to holding it and it’s not an unfamiliar object when they do start eating. It is definitely worth investing in a bowl and spoons early on for them to play around with. It makes the transition to independent eating much quicker.

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6. Create a happy environment

This is key. Many times parents forget that their stress and attitude can project onto their children. If you keep a happy and inviting environment during dinner time, it can have a big impact on the way your child approaches food. When you feed your child make sure you are smiling and creating a positive atmosphere. Reassure them, and make them feel comfortable during the whole meal. This will be really beneficial in the future.

I hope these handy tips will help you as much as they have helped me. The most important ingredient of these tips is patience. Don’t let the process get to you. You will always have ups and downs, you can always keep a smile on your face for your little one, no matter how much the situation is frustrating for you. Happy eating!!

Featured photo credit: //herbivoracious.com/images/2012/04/Girl-Eating-622×415.jpg via herbivoracious.com

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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