Timeout with Nanny Robina: Mealtime Meltdowns

By Nanny Robina on May 27, 2010
Time Out With Nanny Robina
My daughter is three years old and it takes hours to feed her one meal. Her behaviour is obnoxious during lunch or dinner. She doesn’t chew the bite, instead she keeps it in her mouth and sucks it like a candy. I am constantly telling her to use her teeth for chewing as the bite can’t dissolve by itself. She listens for a
while and then next bite she forgets to chew it again. Please tell what is the reason behind all this?


This is fast becoming a food war, and it’s one you will not win. Your daughter is dawdling, which is not that unusual for a three-year-old.



Why not? They have all the time in the world! It takes a child an average of 45 minutes to eat a meal, so allow yourself and her more time. The more you focus on her food the more difficult it’s likely to become. When it becomes apparent that this dinner-time dilemma bothers you, she will probably use it to her advantage and have you all stressed out in no time at all.
Try cutting her food into bite size pieces and allowing her to eat at her own pace. Since you’ll be done earlier, you may be up and down a few times. Each time you pass by her, pop a bit of food in her mouth if it’s empty.
She will pick up the pace in time. Back off and allow her to show you that she can do it. Never force your child to eat. Food is meant to be enjoyed, so relax and make it more fun. Remove any toys and turn off the TV. These distractions will slow her down even more.

Published June 2010

By Nanny Robina| May 27, 2010

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