It most definitely does..
Mealtime is important to our kids’ physical, emotional, and social development, as well as to their academic and behavioral outcomes. There needs to be some sort of regularity in terms of place and time when it comes to maintaining a healthy meal time habit for our kids. Creating and sticking to a meal time for our kids will help them learn healthy eating habits and develop positive attitude towards food. This doesn’t necessarily mean that dinner has to be eaten at a specific time- say exactly 7:00 pm daily. But, it’s just a way to make our kids aware that mealtime is ‘big business’. Predictability is important to children. If they know what to expect, they will pose less resistance when it’s mealtime. Here are more answers to the question- does meal time matter for kids?
Creating a meal time for our kids gives room for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their nutrition and cutting down on unnecessary snacking which is the number 1 cause of childhood obesity. Mealtime helps our kids eat healthy as their system doesn’t develop a lot of cravings before meal time. And as they grow, they are able to make healthier food choices on their own as well.
As our kids grow, mealtime becomes the perfect time to teach them proper table etiquettes. We teach them that running around during meals and making a mess is an inappropriate way to behave; Of course this should be done in the subtlest way. In other words, mealtime helps instill discipline in our children.
Mealtime can be an important time to encourage communication. A time when we can converse with, nurture, and obtain feedback from our kids. We may have to Consider turning off the television, removing the distractions of scattered projects, games etc., from the eating area. Always ensure that food is eaten in a relaxed environment.
Keeps kids engaged
Before meal activities such as setting the table and clearing the plate after meal, pushing in the chairs, will help keep our kids get engaged. Young children enjoy helping to make food as well as to eat it. Sometimes, helping to make meals encourages children to try foods they might not otherwise want to taste.
You can control the portions
During meal times, we can teach our kids to stop eating when they are full and not when their plates are empty, as many of adults do. We need to teach our kids the ‘time to stop eating’ signal. We want them to listen to these signals so they don’t become overeaters or have unhealthy relationship with food.
So you see moms, helping our kids have an organised mealtime is indeed a thing to start in this year. What other good habits can be picked up from a timed meal time?