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Never Force-Feed Your Child

Never Force-Feed Your Child

Though you might feel embattled, don't draw lines in the sand when it comes to your cooking and your children. To help your children have a positive attitude about eating healthy, don't let dinner become an arena for conflict; this fundamental aspect of your relationship with your child shouldn't become adversarial. Instead, simply provide your children with three well-balanced meals a day and keep in mind that they might eat only one or two complete meals during any given day.

This is normal. If your children are eating one or two full meals a day that you've made sure are packed with nutrients, they probably don't need much at other times. If they complain of already being full at mealtime, however, take a close look at how much milk, Kool-Aid, soda, or juice you've let them have leading up to mealtime. Excess liquids can fill their stomachs, leaving little room for the solids you serve up. If you think this habit might be contributing to your child's decreased appetite at meals, cut back on the milk and juice and see what happens.

Forcing your children to eat when they aren't hungry can lead to feeding problems and even eating disorders in the future. You also shouldn't force your kids to eat more than one bite of foods they don't want. Instead, make meals pleasant and enjoyable and use them as a time to learn about your children's days.

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