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Conquering Mealtime Battles

Being a sitter likely requires you to feed the child that you are taking care of! Yet, mealtime battles can be a common occurrence for babysitters when caring for young children. It can be challenging to get children to eat what they need, and it can be frustrating when they refuse to eat or make a mess.

Here are some tips for sitters to help avoid mealtime battles:

Follow the parents’ instructions
Be sure to ask the parents about the child’s eating habits, likes and dislikes, and any special instructions such as food allergies. This can help you plan meals that the child is more likely to eat.

Create a positive mealtime environment
Set the table with colorful dishes, and engage the child in conversation during meals instead of having other distractions such as the television, phones, or tablets around which may lengthen the meal duration.

Offer healthy choices
Offer a variety of healthy options, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources to ensure that the child gets all the nutrition that they need. This can also encourage the child to try new foods.

Be patient
It can take time for children to develop a taste for new foods, so be patient and keep offering healthy choices. Don’t give up on food after just one try.

Avoid power struggles
Avoid turning mealtime into a power struggle. If the child refuses to eat, don’t force them to eat. Instead, use words of encouragement to encourage them to eat.

Make meals time fun
Try to make meals fun by creating shapes with the food, having a colorful food plate, or offering a dip for vegetables. Even, getting the child involved in meal preparation, such as having them help mix ingredients can help increase their interest in trying new foods, making mealtime more enjoyable for them!

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