Infant nutrition

When the child eats badly in the school canteen


If your child stays to eat in the school canteen, two things can happen: that he eats well and that is where the problem of eating away from home ends, or that he eats badly and that is where the problem of eating away from home begins.

There are many unappetizing children who, however, eat well in the school dining room. The anguish of many parents and the despair of many dining room caregivers comes when not even in the dining room shows an appetite. In these cases, some behaviors of the canteen keepers can make the situation worse, and others improve it instead.

I was a terrible eater when I was little and, to the torture of my caregivers, I ate in the school dining room. They got so fed up with me that they asked my mother several times to take me home to eat, it could never be. So I had no choice but to face scolding, pressure and punishment at lunchtime.

Now it is my middle son who lives this situation. His caregivers are more affectionate than mine were, but even so, from one day to another he has been punished at recess for eating badly ... mistake!

- force the child to eat: punishing, urging or pressuring the child to eat is counterproductive. I'm not saying it, the experts say it. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics says that the child must be left to regulate his need for food and the amount of food he wants to eat.

- urge the child to clean the plate: not all children are able to eat the same amount of food. Caregivers should respect that just as there are children who ask to repeat, there are others who are not able to finish everything on the plate.

- humiliate the child: making the child the laughingstock of his tablemates by exposing how bad he eats or making comparisons will only make the child hate eating at school.

- encourage the child: motivate him with affectionate phrases when he does well or positively reinforce his good behavior at the table

- notify parents: in case the child has tried absolutely nothing

- respect the child's tastes: instead of forcing him to eat something that disgusts or disgusts him, they can add more or ask if he wants to repeat what he did like a little more.

- apply large doses of patienceAlthough the fact that a child does not eat may despair, pressure will only block the child.

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