The society talks a lot about kids’ behavior even though they are as depcate as flowers. It is you as parents who are responsible for all of that. Especially during the ages of 1 – 5 conditioning children is easy. As the tender mind has the ability to absorb a lot of things, children imitate a lot of things they see and hear during this time. Therefore, we should be very attentive with how children mould themselves.
Today, even older kids’ certain eating behaviors are not very appealing. Therefore, in order to ensure your kid is a disciplined child at the table, we can start modeling them from their small days.
Let the kid sit at the table along with you when the child is one year old. Sometimes the child may not be tall enough for the table. In those times, keep a pillow on the chair and make the child sit on it. By this kind of engagement, you can teach your child good eating habits.
What are these habits?
Washing hands before eating
Kids will not understand this, in the beginning, no matter how much you try to teach them. However, by watching the mother, father and adult siblings washing their hands before sitting at the table to eat, the kid will tag along eventually.
Serve yourself only what you need
You might be quite familiar with this experience. Some children who attend festive events carry plates that are taller than them. With absolute fuss, they serve themselves everything they eat and do not eat. In the end it all goes to waste. Hence teach children from a young age to serve themselves only what the amount they need. You might have witnessed at some restaurants small children accepting everything brought to them, only to reject consuming it. As children till around three years of age the child will not have any idea of money, train them to always serve themselves only what they need.
Train them to use fork & spoon
From a young age teach the child how to use the spoon at the table. Advise them not to touch the spoon and glass with unclean hands. You might have seen unappealing habits such as some children spitting back the water in to their glass because they like to see the water bubbling inside. Even though such habits may seem adorable to you, others may find it disgusting to watch. Hence it is possible to teach them even how to hold the water glass only when everyone in the family is seated at the same table together. Even though we say we do not need to pull tricks with forks, it is important to train the child to use the fork as well since at some places may not have the facilities to wash hands, but only let one use fork and spoon. Therefore, teach children how to use fork and spoon from a young age to be on the safe side while attending festive events.
Making sounds while eating and covering whole fingers with food is inappropriate
Covering finger joints with food and making sounds while eating is not a good habit. But nowadays mothers do not think about such things. Not only making sounds while eating, talking while having food inside the mouth, stuffing the mouth before the food in the mouth is not yet swallowed, and keeping food inside the jaw are all not appropriate behaviors. Importance of avoiding such behaviors should be taught to the kid from the age of one.
Knowing fruits and vegetables
Some children do not know different fruits and vegetables even at the age of ten. However, if the child is taught different kinds of food from the age of one while seated at the table they will automatically learn the colors and nutrition in different fruits and vegetables. It will automatically be helpful in future nutrition lessons.
Keeping waste aside
Teach the child to keep aside the waste food on the plate without scattering it everywhere. A certain child of a family might have made a hobby out of throwing things on his plate at nearby people. Teach the child not to do such things. There are a few reasons as to why children do not learn proper eating habits.
Family members not taking meals together at the same time
Treating it as a special task to feed the child
Small children not joining in at the table
Parents enjoying some habits of children
However, think about this. We eat to live, we do not live to eat. Therefore, as parents it should be ideal to keep in mind that eating is a task done in a disciplined manner and that a cultured child can be identified by the way they eat.