Nutritionist reveals parents should never force fussy children to 'eat their greens' and clear plates

17 March 2020, 11:41

The things you should never say to your child during mealtime
The things you should never say to your child during mealtime. Picture: Getty Images

Parents have been warned over the things they should never say to their kids if they’re fussy eaters.

Getting children to sit down and eat at dinner time can be a struggle for many parents.

But now a nutritionist has revealed exactly what mums and dads should and shouldn’t do to make mealtimes a little easier.

Speaking to Daily Mail, Charlotte Stirling-Reed, an infant and toddler nutritionist, said forcing kids to eat vegetables isn’t helpful in the long run.

Why you shouldn't be forcing your children to eat their greens
Why you shouldn't be forcing your children to eat their greens. Picture: Getty Images

One of the phrases she said to avoid is ‘finish your plate’, because little ones are good at regulating when they are hungry or full.

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She said that if your baby keeps their mouth shut or pushes away their meal, you should stop there.

According to Charlotte, ‘Eat your greens’, is another order to be avoided because it could make them want to eat it even less.

She told MailOnline: “The best way to get your little one eating all these foods?

“Keep offering them up so that they become familiar with them - and eat them yourself!”

Charlotte also warned parents not to tell kids ‘don’t play with your food’ because this is actually a big part of development and can help the learning process.

Also, while ‘here comes the aeroplane’ might be a classic technique, Charlotte has said that using the ‘aeroplane trick’ doesn’t teach them about the “importance of food or eating.”

She explained: ”It's not ideal to turn the action of eating itself into a game, or to use other distraction techniques to get baby to eat.”

Other tips Charlotte gave, was to eat in the same room as your kids, as well as chowing down on the same meals.

She said: “It is so important to combine meals and allow your babies and young children to see you eating similar dishes.

“This will help them to be involved in the mealtime, to learn what foods you eat as a family, and, usually, more readily accept them too.”

Charlotte added that parents might need to “adapt textures to ensure that baby can manage the foods with ease” as well as leaving out any added salt or sugar.

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