Behavior Modification Tips and Strategies
How do I get my picky eater to eat? How do I stop the battles at the dinner table? These are questions that I am often asked by friends, parents, and co-workers. I turn to Love and Logic for the answers to these questions. In the Love and Logic newsletter, The Insiders Club, Dr. Charles Fay gives many great tips.
- Model good eating habits (of course, this is the hardest part).
- Provide a variety of healthy meals.
- When your kids complain about the meal or refuse to eat, say “Dinner will be on the table until 6:30. You may either eat it or see if you like what will be served for breakfast a little better.”
- Resist the urge to nag, remind or warn.
- With great empathy, allow them to be hungry until the next meal (Fay).
I have used these suggestions in my own home and they really do work! My 14-year-old knows that if she doesn’t like what is for dinner she will probably eat a good breakfast. I know for some it may be hard to let your child go hungry. I promise it will teach a valuable lesson! The best lesson that has come at our house is that my kids have actually tried things they might not have tried if they thought they could eat something else.
We all have friends (maybe you’ve even done it yourself!) who turn into short-order cooks come dinner time. This is not fair to you and doesn’t teach children to try other foods. Remember- your role isn’t always to “rescue”- but to gently yet firmly teach while enforcing the rules.
*image courtesy of r. nial bradshaw / flickr / creative commons license