It may sound obvious, but as a parent I can definitely attest to the fact that too much snacking leads to a sharp decline in consumption of the more nutritious mealtimes and the appearance of tantrums and so called picky eating. I think our society has normalised constant snacking and grazing so much, that sometimes parents forget this simple fact-If your kids eat too much food before lunch or dinner- they are not going to eat much at lunch or dinner!
I see a wide range of severe picky and fussy eating in my practice. It can be very complex. But it is always good to get the basics right first and sometimes that is all it takes. Kids and Adults do not need to snack all the time. So we need to set up a good meal routine for young kids- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and one small snack for morning tea, and one small snack for afternoon tea.
Stop the constant grazing and you will find meal times become a lot smoother. Getting everyone on board who is involved in looking after your kids is also key. Lack of consistently ruins all you efforts!
And the other big tip is to eat together with your children as much as possible – kids learn how to eat and how to mange their appetite from adults – so we need to set a good example.
Now I know all this is easier said than done, and I don’t always get this right myself, but it’s definitely an ideal to work toward. Good luck mummy’s and daddy’s .