& Other Benefits of Taking Kids Outside To Play
Are mealtimes a joy for you and your family? Or do you dread them because they are all about power struggles between you and your picky eater who doesn't seem interested in the food you serve?
There are many reasons why your child might not be hungry enough or interested in trying new foods when it's time for dinner. Grazing and a lack of structure around snacks and meals can be one big contributor. For the month of March, I shared one of my favorite mealtime tips with my newsletter followers (to sign up, see bottom of page):
"Close" the kitchen at least 2 hours before dinner to allow your child to build up a healthy appetite. If possible, allow for lots of activity and fresh air prior to mealtime and they are more likely to eat well and even try new foods.
Studies show that most kids spend more and more time in front of a screen and less time outside. Spending too much time inside not only leads to inactivity but kids are also more likely to ask for snacks around the clock.
What can you do? Try to plan ahead for your next family meal (make use of your slow cooker or Instant pot?) and take your kids outside! Even just half an hour of outside play before dinner can make a big difference in your child's appetite! Best of all, outside play doesn't only improve your child's appetite but can also increase his fitness level, decrease his risk for depression and anxiety and improve his sleep.
Let me know if you give this a try and if you notice a change in your child's eating or feel free to share in the comment section below what other tricks and tips work for your family to make mealtimes a success?
Did you know that I also offer nutrition consultations and in-home personalized cooking classes for families who struggle with picky eaters or need help with dietary restrictions/allergies? Leave a comment below or send me an email to find out more.
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