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Parenting and the Meal-Time Tamasha

There is a huge contrast in how kids were brought up earlier or how they are brought up in the rural areas of our country. It is probably more of a city phenomenon that the well-educated Indian parent is fussing over everything to do with their kids and especially with food. I myself face challenges when it comes to feeding a balanced diet to my children. Over time, I have come to believe that it is better not to be too bent upon having our way all the time when it comes to feeding children.

We need to give up on our control, to let our children learn from their own experiences and get more independent with feeding themselves. It may work better if we let them choose the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how much’ food to eat and encourage them to eat healthy, even if it means additional time or some mess around the table in the initial days. We as parents need to be more patient, offer them healthy food options, not bribe them with treats for eating and ourselves be role models for healthy eating. Lastly, as parents, we should stop stressing ourselves out over food and let our children learn to understand and feed themselves based on their bodily cues, while giving them ample opportunity to feed themselves healthy foods at designated meal times.

Also Read: How to Get a Fussy Eater to Eat Healthy Food


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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

6 thoughts on “Parenting and the Meal-Time Tamasha

  1. sia

    I agree completely. We are a generation of paranoid parents.this is primarily because there is not enough work for us to do. Letting the children go is essential for their own good.

  2. Swati Nitin Gupta

    Good post Aditi! Yes, we as parents tend to get fussy with our kids and the solution is that we need to go easy on everything.

  3. Kritika Srinivasan

    Good post Aditi. I learnt this the hard way. My daughter has always sat at the table to eat her meals (no running around), and without the aid of TV – instead we used to have stories and songs. But, I used to feed her every meal, and even force feed when she said enough. She was increasing weight rapidly and that was when her ped said that she needs to eat herself else she would continue putting in more weight than was good for her. Apparently, kids tend to eat more than what they need when they are fed because they like the comfort of that routine, the complete attention to them, etc. That was when I allowed her to start eating on her own. Three years down the line, I still struggle with allowing her to choose how much she wants to eat (the mother in me always thinks she is not eating enough!), but I am making the effort to let her choose. But she still requires complete attention from me when she is eating – mealtime stories and conversation!

  4. Aditi Dutta

    Thank you for sharing your own experience with your daughter. Agree…We as moms always feel that our kids have not eaten enough.


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