It’s easy to have a kid who only wants snacks. This isn’t a result of parenting, in most cases; it’s generally just a child who has learned to have an insanely picky palate. If you’re raising a kid who only wants to snack all day long but is reluctant or flat out refuses to eat any meals, there are some ways to help fix the situation.
Here is what to do when your kid only wants snacks and not meals.
Set Structure with Eating
The simple fact is that all kids need structure. We tend to forget that when we’re living our busy adult life. Create a schedule for snack time and meal time in your home where you offer snacks at a specific time of day and meals are served at a specific time. Do not allow your kid to have free reign to snacks all day long so that when meal time arrives they’ll be hungry to eat that meal.
Offer Healthier Snacks
One of the easiest ways to get kids to stop wanting only snacks versus meals is to switch up the snack options. Instead of offering snacks that the kid enjoys eating, think of healthier snacks like carrot sticks or granola and yogurt to deter your kid from holding out for snack time by refusing to eat their meals. If your kid already prefers healthier snacks, then limit how much they can eat at snack time.
Have Kid-Choice Night
Once per week have a meal choice that is completely up to your kid. If you have more than one kid then alternate an option where one day a week a kid has the choice for what one of their meals is that day. This will help encourage your kid to get used to eating meals because they’ll have a little control over what their meal choice will be at least one time per week.
When you’re meal planning for the week try to switch up your meal choice with new options that include a variety of options for your kid who only wants to eat snacks. This will help your kid have more options instead of getting bored with the idea of eating the same meals. Parents tend to stick with specific meals because they simply get too busy to think outside of the box with meal ideas.
Keep Snacks Out Of Reach
Some parents put a combination lock like this on the pantry to deter their kids from snacking. You can place them up high where they can’t reach it. If your kids are a little older than toddler aged, try teaching your children that they must ask for a snack and they are not allowed to rummage whenever they want.
Having a kid who only wants to eat snacks instead of meals is a difficult part of parenthood. The easiest way to help deter this is to practice the tips I shared today to help inspire your kid to try meals. Limitation on snack time will ultimately help your kid be hungrier during meal time and allowing them to have some choice in the meal options will provide the right environment to encourage your kid to eat more meals in no time.
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