Tip 11: Don’t make eating a struggle

Don’t make it too clear that you want your child to eat something, because it can turn against you. Your child knows that by not eating, they will get extra attention and power. Don’t give your child that power. Remember that forcing them to eat is a battle you’ll never win.

Anne, mother of Dennis (3 years old)

As a mother, I think it’s important for Dennis to eat healthy, so I was always focusing on whether or not he was eating enough fruit and vegetables. Eating became an issue and meal times were anything but pleasant. Once I had decided not to worry too much anymore, things got better. My advice? Don’t push toddlers and young children too much. Eat at the table and serve healthy foods, but don’t focus excessively on the food itself. Sometimes Dennis eats a lot of fruit and vegetables, other times he eats less. When he’s really hungry, he always eats. The bottom line? He won’t starve!