"Make sure that what you are doing and striving for is going to be worth any sacrifices you will have to make along the way. If it's a relationship, job, anything in life."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

  I decided to start dedicating Tuesdays to a tip day.  Offering advise on any subject and hoping to get replay's and comments and other tips out there...

       Today's Tip:  Mealtime with a 3 year old...

    As my daughter got older I noticed she would pay more attention to me and what I’m doing.  More specifically what I eat for my meals.  I would ask her what she wanted to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner and make it.  Then I would sit down with something different and guess what...  "Daddy, I want that!"  I tired different things like telling her to eat food or that this is Daddy's food. 

    If we would go out to dinner I got the same response.  "Daddy can I have a bite"?  Well over time I did some reading and talking to other parents and just realized my child is just learning and she really wants to just be like me.  Like us, our kids adore us so of course they want to mirror us.  I learned some tricks that may help with mealtime.

If you are eating in:
    Talk to your child about some options and if you are eating the same thing then that will probably have no effect.  If you are eating something different get ready they probably will ask for it.  If you don’t want them to have it or think they are to young you can make it still and try to tell them.  You can also wait for them to nap or go to bed.  This is called the late night dinner plan.  I used to eat after she went down so it was easier. 

    You can also try to get your child to eat what you’re eating.  Hopefully it is healthy.  I used to just mix up some veggies and know she would say “no thank you”. Ha-ha.  Just recently I made a bowl and she wanted some and ate them I was happy she was trying good healthy things as well.  So make a nice healthy meal and encourage them to try some veggies or healthy food.  Your kids wanting to eat your food can work in your favor to get them to eat healthy! 

    If you need to sneak a snack, just try to slip one in the kitchen.  I've come out of my kitchen chewing and Quinn goes, "Daddy what you eating"?  I though I was sneaky but I know now how darn smart she is getting and I can't pull that fast one anymore...  Just recently when I get fish Fry's with my buddy on Friday's she used to try a little piece here and there.  Now she can't get enough!  She loves them!  I now give her a large piece and she just eats it up!    So now when we get fish I will ask her do you want your own?  She replays, "No I'll eat yours". Ha-ha...  I’ve learned how to almost get mealtime down pretty good but I am still learning.

If you are eating out: 
    When I go out I usually get something I will enjoy and if she wants it I don't mind sharing.  That's just part of being a Dad.  Parents when it comes to food get used to eating half of your dinner.  Just remember that your child is experiencing new things for the first time so to them it's new and exciting!  Also always go to a place where they will have food your child will like.  You don’t want to go to a place and have your poor child not enjoy anything.  It took some time to learn the in’s and outs but I feel pretty good and I know you will to!

 So remember when eating try to eat healthy and let them try your healthy foods.  They will learn to like them early and grow up eating them.  Explain what you are eating and what they can eat and yes they are only children but I do find if you just talk to them they will listen and understand.  They will ask a bunch of questions but that's just them growing.

    Don't forget to teach them to share.  When we sit down and have a snack or treat I split up the snack and make sure she understands that I get a part of it to instill she can't have everything she wants.  Sharing is a major part of life and with food it gets harder.  Food is something people don't always love to share.  Remember it is the source of energy for us to live off of.  So if we have cookies for example I put two or maybe four on a plate.  It all depends on the size of the snack, now people that know me will laugh and say whatever Chris you put 8 cookies.  I then tell Quinn okay here is our snack now let’s share and I’ll explain what a good split is.  Then she gets excited because she knows her section of the snack.   She will even point and say, "those are you cookies, these are mine".  It's really cute and good to know she is starting to understand these fundamentals.

    The thing also about sharing is you will notice your child will share their food with you.  This shows they are learning and not only love you but are willing to give up their food.  This shows a lot about them and is very good.  Don’t push them to give you things but you can feel free to ask and test the waters.

    When your child grows up they will be more willing to share and get alone with others.  Now kids are different but that’s another topic...  When it comes to eating always remember to you need to eat!  If you are finding you child is constantly asking you what you’re eating or you just can't seem to sit down and have one thing try to eat when they are busy or sleeping.  Also tell them, ”this is daddy's/mommies food, you have your dinner so does daddy/mommy."  If they want some well, you may have to switch a piece of chick or something for a chick finger... :)  Compromise... It will be on a later Tuesday Tip!  We will get to that later!

I hope this helps and like always I love your comments and ideas!

Always remember, 
You are never alone...

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