Dinner time can be one of the most challenging parts of the day for parents – whether a child is a fussy eater or not.
However, a woman on TikTok has offered some helpful advice for anyone struggling to get youngsters to eat a meal they have made.
Certified nutritionist Emily Dingmann shares three things to say when a child refuses dinner – in a video that has since been viewed more than one million times.
Emily reveals how to encourage kids to eat foods they don’t want – and that cooking them a separate meal, reacting negatively and taking it personally should be avoided at all costs.
Emily lists three things to say when the situation arises, including: ‘Maybe you can try it next time.
‘You can decide what to eat off your plate.
‘I know you will try it when you are ready.’
3 things to say when your kids say, “But I don’t want that.” #Momtok #feedingkids #parentsoftiktok #healthyfamily #familymeals
Some individuals replied to Emily’s video describing it as ‘lazy’ to not prepare food that a child would enjoy.
However, the nutritionist counteracted this point by saying: ‘There seems to be this view that if you are not making your children separate meals, then you are either starving them or you are force-feeding them.
‘It doesn’t have to be that way.’
Emily stresses that when you make another meal when a kid refuses food, it presents two problems.
Firstly, it makes you look like a ‘short order cook’ (ready and available to cook at all times) and secondly it doesn’t help expose them to new foods.
Emily sees introducing new flavours to kids as a benefit – even if that means they might not like it the first time.
She says to ensure they still consume something, make sure you serve the new food with ‘1-2 items you know they will eat.’
The nutritionist adds the more you encourage children with these phrases, the more they might surprise you by trying new foods.
Other parents have also backed up Emily’s suggestions – saying these phrases drastically improved things for their families.
One person replied: ‘This approach has changed the vibe of dinner times for us. No more arguments. I’ve decided what to make tonight but you can decide what to eat.’
Another added: ‘I have four kids. I say – every meal doesn’t have to be our favourite meal, but this is today’s meal.’
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