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Good Mealtime Habits

From an early-age onwards encourage children to develop good mealtime manners (such as swallowing before talking, asking politely for a dish to be passed etc.). Be a role model of these behaviors as well.

Tell children they must take at least 5 bites of any new food item before making a decision about whether they like it or not.

Avoid forcing your child to eat, however, remind him/her of the importance of eating nutritious foods to grow up into a healthy adult.

Encourage children to take their own dishes to the sink after eating and help you clean up after mealtimes.

Discourage wastage of food. Ask your child how much of each dish he/she wants, and explain that they must finish the portion served.

Telling stories about the amount of effort taken to produce, transport, buy and prepare food, and also about all the children in the world without adequate food, may help your child value food from an early age.

Reward your child with praise whenever he/she eats an entire meal and shows good mealtime behavior. You could also offer a small treat in the form of a favorite sweet as dessert.


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