I wish this was a simple “yes” or “no” answer. It it a bit more complicated than that. You could give your Baby/Tot a cracker or cookie if they are……
- Not feeling well.
- Have just entered daycare and are establishinging a new relationship with this person.
What is important is to not have food be the FIRST option you offer when they fuss. When you do that consistently, you send the message that fussiness is “rewarded.” That is not the message you want to send, learn more about dealing with babies at http://www.janadaclark.com/tip-for-dealing-with-a-picky-eatercook-with-your-child/
The basic rule about food is that you refrain from using food as reward. Why is that?
It is natural to want to turn to food for comfort from time to time. Everyone does this. What you want to avoid is encouraging the habit of turning to food for comfort. This gives food too much power. If food is your first response to fussiness you are setting yourself up for potential eating problems in the future.
Nutritionists state the following:
Parents are responsible for WHAT the child eats and the manner in which it is prepared.
Children are responsible for HOW MUCH they eat and IF they eat.
Clearly understanding these boundaries establishes healthy boundaries when it come to meal time.
When your children get a bit older the issue of dessert will come up. You may find yourself wondering…..
- Should I feed my children dessert?
- How often?
- What should dessert be?
- Should you only serve dessert if they finish their meal?
- What if they don’t eat dinner, should they still get dessert?
Check out an article on this website, “Got Dessert?” that addresses these questions. Besides parenting, I have a passion for healthy lifestyle living and can offer nutrition tips as well. I worked for Weight Watchers for 12 years and have taught nutrition and stress management at Stanford in their WorkLife Department.