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6 Simple Hacks to Make Feeding Your Child Easier

6 Simple Hacks to Make Feeding Your Child Easier

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 January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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