5 Things You Should Never Say To Kids At Mealtime

You should avoid saying certain things to your kids at the table that won’t help them develop a healthy relationship with food. Here are some common phrases parents should avoid when it comes to mealtime that could negatively affect their children’s eating habits.

“Finish Your Broccoli; Then Have Dessert”

Healthy eating is encouraged through “food negotiations.” There is a problem with this because it reinforces disconnected eating. It is not their body that wants broccoli; you want them to eat it.

“That’s Enough Pasta, Eat A Fruit Instead.”

“Children can discover their self-trust and satisfaction when environments allow them to tune into their inner body wisdom,” therapist Alissa Rumsey, author of Unapologetic Eating, explained. You inadvertently tell them not to listen to their body if you ask them to switch to another “healthier” or “cleaner” food.

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“You Have To Try One Bite.”

Never force a child to eat no matter how small the portion is. The result is a power struggle you cannot win. Don’t let them become accustomed to others telling them what to eat or how much to eat.

Children May Binge If Told Food Is Bad

The kids can connect the dots between what they eat and who is eating it. Don’t let kids judge themselves or their eating habits.

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Food Labels Cause Guilt And Deprivation.

It is natural for kids to assume that if a food can be “good,” then consuming more good foods will make them better. Kids may eat more perceived “bad” foods and past their fullness points.

“I Deserve Another Helping.”

From a label you apply to certain foods, this is taking it one step further and relating it to your worth. It implies that one must earn food or change one’s body by making statements like these, Rumsey said.