How to get your child to finish their tiffin

How to get your child to finish their tiffin in school without any help?

How to get your child to finish their tiffin in school without any help?

You set an alarm early in the morning to prepare breakfast and lunch boxes for the whole family. Just put in a lot of effort and love while you pack your child’s school box. You ensure it is not junk, it is your child’s favourite food, and it’s healthy and interesting. When you open your child’s tiffin box in the afternoon, you realise that your child has not even touched the food or has just nibbled it.

When this situation repeats over and over, you get discouraged. Children are fussy as toddlers but as they grow theoretically they should get over it. But there are some reasons for them to grow into picky or fussy eaters and I can help.

As parents, we want to pack our child’s tiffin in such a way that it tempts them and gets them to complete their tiffin. If they skip eating their lunch often, it can deprive them of essential nutrients to grow, study, focus, stay stable emotionally, stay stressed, and prevent inflammation and performance. Here are some reasons for pickiness and some tips that you can try to get your child to finish their tiffin at school with or without any help.

Here are the reasons for pickiness:

  1. Some eating disorders can interfere with your child’s appetite. There is slow growth to no growth between ages 3-8, which is another reason for poor appetite.
  2. If you have been forcing your child to eat or “force-feeding” him/ her then it can lead your child to hate eating and food.
  3. When you serve food your child might not eat because he may not be hungry, the previous meal is not completely digested, and the gap between meals is short or late breakfast and early lunch can reduce appetite.

First, it begins with keeping the following in mind: how your child eats at home, your child’s eating habits, and their preference. Does your child have a habit of watching TV and eating food? If so, then there is less chance of them completing their tiffin since they haven’t been seeing their food and eating. It might be boring to eat food without a TV. Or it could be a distraction and easier to eat the food without eating or smell it.

Here are 6 tips to get your child to complete their tiffin box:

1. Approved foods:

When you observe meals that your child can complete without any distraction and relishes, make a note of it. One can up with enough options, and start giving them in tiffin. Their tastes keep changing, so make sure you continue observing their preferences.

2. Let your child plan and pack their lunch-

Some children like to know what is in the lunch box and involving them in the kitchen while packing can help increase the chance of completing their tiffin. If your child is not interested, then your child comes home without eating the tiffin, you can ask them the reason after they come home. You will have to make a note of their preferences. This leads to the next step which is planning all meals.

3. Building a habit of planning meals-

Plan easy foods which smaller portions to eat. It will help you prepare food more efficiently without you feeling bad and discouraged to cook.

4. Quantity matters-

Some children are more likely to eat food if they see less quantity or portions rather than more portions. So observe the quantity that eats at home and serve the same quantity in their tiffin box. You can serve smaller portions of 3-4 ingredients along with the meal instead of just 1-2 dishes. Ex: 1 Chapathi, 2 tbsps sabji, 3 pieces of fruit, 5 nuts and 1/2 cup curd.

5. Some children are not comfortable self-feeding or have not learnt to self-feed. they might require help to eat. there is nothing to feel ashamed of. We self-feed and learn skills when it’s time, we just need to give them a chance at home to learn to self-feed. Hence, it’s sure your child has helped to complete their tiffin. Children self-feed themselves when they observe their friends eat by themselves.

6. They may be comfortable self-feeding only some utensils or tiffin boxes. They might be comfortable eating only with a spoon and not by hand. This can be another reason for leaving their tiffin untouched.

These tips may seem simple, but it’s the simple things that solve the problem when done consistently as a family, to learn your child’s preferences, teach your child eating skills and etiquette and involve them in the process of cooking. This will increase the likelihood to get your child to finish their tiffin. Share your thoughts and tips that worked for you.

Suhana Shriyan
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