How to make eating time a learning time for your child

eating_time
Nathaniel enjoys eating meals with his parents.

Eating time is the best learning time for each child of every family. Sitting down to dinner as a family every night of the week, interacting in a positive way, is essential to producing healthy kids as they grow up. Eating meals together is one way to help families build cohesion.

It’s a way in which kids are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings and for parents as well to have the chance teaching values and to encourage independent thinking. It’s like an arena, as if being especially provided for such a purpose, for family discussions.

But did you know that it should start right on the child’s birth? From birth to six months of age, when the baby should be exclusively breastfed ten to twelve times a day, or as often as he or she wants, for around fifteen minutes on each breast at each feeding, you can start telling to your infant what you’re doing to him or her even if he or she can’t still understand what you’re saying. Breast milk alone is sufficient enough to contain all the nutrients he or she needs in his or her first six months of life, and so is your talking to him or her can help nourish his or her emotional and mental capabilities.

When your baby reaches his or her sixth month, you could start introducing complementary foods to satisfy his or her nutritional needs. You can give your baby adequate amount rice porridge with added oil or from any of the following variety of foods: flaked fish, mashed potato or sweet potato, vegetables, and monggo; egg yolk; chopped meat or chicken; and fruits like avocado, banana, and mango. You can give these foods one or two times/servings per day after breastfeeding, gradually increasing to three times/servings or more per day.

Eating time can be used as a means to promote learning for your baby or child. Make sure that the baby or child is comfortable in his or her position in the chair, and the entire setting is relaxing and neat. The following are some tips on how to make eating time a learning time for your baby or child:

TALK TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT HOW TO TELL THE TEST OF THE FOOD

Effective communication is vital to learning. If nothing is transmitted due to lack of communication, no new information will be generated. You can start introducing to your child a certain food, and then tell or explain to him or her what that particular taste is all about.

LET YOUR CHILD TOUCH AND PICK UP THE FOOD

It must be known that young children are too curious beings, so that whatever it is that catches their attention or stimulate their senses, they would really be doing their best to find out. Allowing your child to touch and pick up the food is one way of giving him/her the opportunity to study the food and for him or her to familiarize it.

SHOW YOUR CHILD SOME THINGS THAT ARE SMALL AND SOME THINGS THAT ARE BIG

Comparisons and differentiations are ways in which your child’s learning, at such a foundational stage, is further stimulated. Showing him or her things that are different from the other, he or she will eventually enhance his or her choosing skills. He or she will know why this particular thing is different from the other and why he or she must choose a particular object, which he thinks is the best one, from the rest.

NAME THE UTENSILS, FOODS, AND COLORS

You need to be your child’s first teacher. It is your job to teach your child what he or she needs to know. Remember, you’re building your child’s foundation of learning what no schools or institutions could substitute.

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