Meal time troubles

  • I have a 2.5 and a 3.5 year old, both of which ate great eaters. The problem I am having is that it takes sooooo long for them to finish meals at times. We try and limit distractions, so no TV or radio, no toys, no books, ext. Should I be putting a time limit on meal times? I feel they need tho each to keep up with nutrition but my husband insists on enforcing a 30 minute rule. Any advice would be great. 

  • Yes, if they haven't finished their meals in 30 minutes then they obviously aren't hungry. If you let them take too long, then they tend to graze all day and you spend the whole day in the kitchen.

  • I think 30 minutes is pretty reasonable. I know it seems like it's not a nice thing to do but MommyRN4 is right  - grazing for long periods of time isn't teaching them great habits. Make sure they get some snack times in between meals with some good healthy options so you know they aren't holding out for crackers, etc. My son knows he can have veggies or fruit in between meals if he is hungry. It usually makes him a little more eager when we put a full meal in front of him! 

  • I'd toss my vote in with the others-30 minutes sounds like plenty,  Otherwise mealtime can turn into play time. -Jess

  • parents to encourage our children to learn to sit at a table and eat.20 to 30 minutes is agood time limit for a main meal.it is hard to sit in one place for a long time. Mealtime is not only an opportunity to ingest nutrients but also to maintain physical and emotional health. The quality of mealtime is an indicator of quality of life.

  • You speak the truth Rebecca!

    -Jess

  • The 30 minutes sounds good. I'd also say make their portions small enough that they don't just eat on one item the whole time. ie mash potatoes

  • Lasage-it's been a few weeks since you posted and so i wanted to check in and see how things are going.  We would love an update!

    -Jess

  • Since my first post things are going wonderful!!! We ended up doing the 30 minute timer and only had to use it twice before the lesson was learned and we have had no further issues. Thanks for all the suggestions and support:)

  • Did you take away dinner after 30 minutes? Did they cry? Let us know how you got through and this will help other moms out there as well!