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Yesterday at dinner, my two-year-old son decided to try the lettuce and tomato salad. It is true that it has not caused him great enthusiasm, but I consider that has been an important start: Until now I had not even wanted to see her! This small achievement makes me think about the great benefits of eating as a family or in a group on the educational issue of infant feeding.
As we know, imitation is the best tool that parents have to effectively persuade our little ones, they love to repeat the behaviors of the people who are part of their environment. I cannot reason with my son about virtues to eat fruits and vegetables, if I don't try them. Through the imitation of behaviors, our child will appropriate of healthy habits of family or school nutrition.
Well, eating as a family in addition to favoring the introduction of new foods, has many other equally interesting benefits:
- Infant feeding takes place in the appropriate context and environment, without improvisations, a place where all members of the family participate and enjoy. The child who eats only occasionally gets bored and does so reluctantly because he prefers to escape from the situation and the place. The child must understand that feeding consists of enjoying a need, not an obligation or unpleasant moment. The dining room or kitchen become the ideal "practice room" for infant feeding.
- From the year, favors the interest in accessing uncrushed diets and chewing, and the imitation of parents and siblings awakens the desire to eat alone and, consequently, the interest in developing the motor skills of the hands.
- They are set a pace at mealtime: they are taught to eat slowly and chew well, but without entertaining themselves or abandoning the plate to their fate; as the saying goes, "no rush, but no pause".
- It is possible to whet the appetite in children who find it difficult to eat, just like when we are invited to a banquet and we get to eat even more than we want to enjoy the moment and the company.
- It helps us to detect and prevent possible disorders in infant feeding: anorexias, overeating, phobias or allergies, whether temporary or not.
- The time of the meal helps us to teach them to have small responsibilities at home such as setting the table or picking it up, sweeping the crumbs from the floor, etc.
- It is possible to feed, not only the body, but also communication between parents, children and siblings. It is an excellent moment of family gathering, of which we have few on a daily basis.
Learning correct eating behavior is very relevant and is a fundamental mission of parents, so I think it is best to bring the smallest members of the family to our table as soon as possible, even if we have to make room for their high chair and adjust the schedules to their routines or infant feeding needs.
Patro Gabaldon. Guiainfantil.com
You can read more articles similar to The benefits for children of eating as a family, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.