Trying to get a child to eat their vegetables is a full time job for some adults. It may seem very difficult, but we must be patient with children. I have seen many mistakes that adults make when dealing with children at the dinner table.
I’m not a saint. I admit to being a hindrance to my cousin eating her vegetables before I realized she must have a balanced meal and lately she has been very sickly.
I will give you advice about what not to do when getting a child to eat their veggies. Most of this advice seems simple, but you will be surprised by how many children are not eating vegetables due to these actions.
Hit Your Child
According to many psychologist, hitting a child stunts their growth. And ask yourself, do you like being hit. I know I don’t. Thus, don’t hit your child, because they won’t eat their veggies. Children have to learn, and by doing so you are causing your child emotional damage. You’re teaching your child that violence is the solution to get someone to do something when they don’t want to. Please don’t resort to violence.
Give your child other alternatives rather than to hit them. Your solution may be to put them in time out but hitting or spanking them should not be a solution. I know from my own experiences, a child will grow to have animosity towards you, if you’re constantly hitting or spanking them.
Do whatever you have to, but don’t hit your child. In most instances it won’t work and the child will become more defiant. You hitting them will have to become more painful to have any effect, and the result could be that you abuse your child, because they won’t eat their vegetables.
Yell At Your Child
Many adults turn to yelling and screaming at the child rather than hitting them. This isn’t a solution. It’s affecting your health, causing your blood pressure to rise and giving you hypertension. Also, your child will start to tune you out.
From my childhood, I hated when my mom yelled at me. In some instances, it made me avoid her. Yelling always made the situation worst. The situation becomes stressful. It might get your child to eat the vegetables out of fear, but it also might be causing strife in the relationships and causing you health problems and stunting your child’s growth.
The biggest problem with yelling is that you subject the child to emotional abuse. A 2001 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that yelling and other forms of emotional abuse was a significant predictor of mental illness than sexual and physical abuse. In my opinion, yelling is also an way for adults to let their frustration out on children and inflict abuse.
Stop yelling and give your child the proper guidance they need.
Most importantly, don’t curse at your child. Studies show yelling and cursing at your child is often ineffective, because the child doesn’t listen. Children between the ages of four to five display more aggression and have social withdrawal with adults who yell at them.
Lose Your Temper
Keep yourself under control when dealing with your child. You might have a long day at work or things aren’t going well for you. Don’t take it out on your child. You want your child to respect you out of pride not fear. You damage your health and the child.
You don’t want the child to grow up and model poor behavior. For the moment, your actions increase the child risks for having behavioral problems. And the child will continue to defy you. Fear is not the solution.
Be patient with your child. And remember you may forget what you said or did when your child wasn’t eating their vegetables on that day, but the child won’t forget.
Leave Your Child Lonely
If the child won’t listen to you, don’t leave the child to eat alone. Eat dinner with your child. In doing so, you are getting to know your child and it promotes the well being of the child. Talk with the child, something might have occurred that you don’t know. Don’t guess or make judgments, let your child explain.
Ask them to think about how not eating their vegetables makes you feel. Allow your child to think about what they’re doing rather than withdrawing your attention. Not paying attention to children gives them permission to do bad things. Have you ever turned your back on a child, and the picture frame fell and broke? Well, this is what happens when you leave children to their own devices.
Mistakes happen and the situation becomes worst. Don’t withdraw attention from your child instead engage with them.
Force It In Their Mouth
This is a sure way to have your child crying and throwing up their food. Some children know how to make themselves throw up. My cousin is one of them. It’s not fun cleaning up vomit. It’s even more stressful to do this while your child is crying. Doing this will only cause more drama. And you could hit your child in the process.
If your child is old enough and capable to eat on their own, force feeding them is not a good idea. In addition, you might chock your child and have to take them to the doctor.
This is not a solution that will work everyday. As your child gets older, they will start to form their own identity and become stronger. Breaking their will and power to choose can cause emotional damage and affect the course of their life.
Give Them Junk Food
I know many children who refuse to eat and then they are hungry later. Tell your child they’re going to be hungry later, and thus they better eat know. And that you aren’t going to give them their favorite snack. Giving a child junk food after they didn’t eat their vegetables is unacceptable. In doing so, the child is learning that they can be rewarded for not doing what you as the adult ask them to do.
Take notice of what you give the child before a meal. It can make them full and unable to eat their vegetables. Junk food is usually unfulfilling and your child ends up hungry later. Giving your child too much can deter your child from eating healthy. I am not against giving treats to children, but give it out sparingly. Encourage good behavior and discourage disobedience.
I once heard from my friend how he left candy bars out on the table to take to work the next day. When he got to work, candy bars were missing from the box. He realized his children had ate the candies. He looked under their beds, and he saw several candy wrappers. Recently, my friend found out his son has four cavities.
Children can be slick especially when they know they’re doing something they should not be. Not giving your child junk food includes not leaving it out where they could get it or even hiding it in places that they can find.
Be proactive in your household when it comes to food and how you and your family eat.
Stop Cooking Meals
When children won’t eat the food, some parents stop cooking for the family. That is a sure way to get your child to eat poorly. I understand you might feel unappreciated from cooking the meal and your family doesn’t eat it.
This is bad for your health and the child, because quick often unhealthy meals are eaten more often when the adult fails to cook. Create a consistency in your meals so your child will get accustomed to the meals. A sudden change is often met with resistance. Keep cooking and making vegetables, your child will eventually have to eat it if it is the meal you cook for the day.
You have to be consistent and encouraging to get your child to eat healthy. Make time to cook and your family will respond. Get honest feedback from others about your cooking. Use the feedback to do better if there are complaints.
Embarrass Your Child
Don’t make your child feel bad for not eating their vegetables by embarrassing them in front of others. In doing so, your child might embarrass you. You want to be respectful of your child’s feelings. This tactic might cause them to feel inferior to others and stunt their development. You’re essentially comparing them to others and implying that others are better than them. It creates unhealthy competition between children.
Naturally children will follow the crowd, but take precautions when trying to make comparisons to get your child to do better and embarrass them amongst their peers. It’s part of showing respect to your child when talking or reprimanding them in private rather than in front of others.
Also, you don’t know what your child says about you behind your back. This action could be a source of conflict in your relationship with the child. Children need discipline, but avoid abusing or emotionally scarring your child.
Go right now, apologize to your child if you have acted inappropriately in any way.
Refer back to Part 1: Avoid The Drama: 8 Ways to Get Your Child To Eat Their Vegetables if you want to know how to properly get your child to eat their vegetables.
We have to eat everyday so avoid causing pain or abuse over how you want your child to eat their vegetables. It will stick with your child their entire life. Avoid common mistakes that I have discussed. Make eating vegetables a part of your child’s life. It is never to late to make the changes. Make apologizes if necessary, correct your mistakes, and be patient while your child learns to eat their vegetables.
Have you had to deal with a child who won’t eat their vegetables?
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