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Most kids in their early stages of life are messy eaters as they are learning about food and table manners. Parents need to be patient in understanding about this kind of behaviour and should inculcate good table manners in preschoolers by helping them to learn about their food.
This is the period when your preschooler starts learning about the basic eating habits. As the child is still in the learning stage, sometimes there may be instances where they will create a mess on the table, or throw a tantrum if the food is not his favorite. You should have the patience needed to handle the mess with utmost care without making your little one feel ashamed or guilty. Read through to arm yourself with the right tricks for handling picky preschooler.
Handling Messy Eaters
1. Change His Clothes
If he is wearing some good clothes, changing them before a meal can prevent them from getting dirty.
2. Keep the Meal Time Short
The shorter the meal time, the less likely he is to mess with his food. Make sure your child is hungry before you serve him as this will make him eat more and waste less. Similarly, ensure that you take away the food plate as soon as you see him stop eating.
3. Serve Less
The less you serve him, the less he will spill or throw. Let him ask you for more food, then serve the required amount in his plate. This will prove to be beneficial in reducing his messing-with-food habits.
4. Break the Food for Him
Provide considerably small pieces of bread, vegetables or fruits during meal time as they are easy for the kid to eat and will also attract him, as he can hold them and put in his mouth on his own.
What to Expect from Messy Eaters
Like so many other baffling habits, messing with food seems to be the favourite game of such kids. Studies have shown that playing with food is one of the best ways of development and learning to identify different foods quickly.
Expect the following from your messy eater:
- Dropping food on the floor if he doesn’t like it
- Digging his mouth and hands in the food
- Splashing his meal as he finds it amusing
- Playing with it, in case he is not hungry or is full
- He will definitely mess his clothes while digging into juicy food items like melons, mangoes, oranges and more
Thus, patience is the key to handle messy eaters. While some kids may deliberately mess with food, others use it as a way of learning and growing. Deal with your messy eater with love, and he will learn to eat properly, much faster than your expectation.