Mealtime Meltdowns (And How to Avoid Them)

Feeding kids can be tricky. There seem to be a lot of rules around when to feed and what to feed your kids. It’s natural to want your child to eat everything you eat. It sure would make life easier, right? cooking healthy and delicious meals during a busy week is exhausting, especially when everyone wants something different.  

Today’s blog is all about how to optimize nutrition and lifestyle habits for your whole family and reduce meltdowns. We uncover why temper tantrums and meltdowns might be happening and offer some tips that will minimize unnecessary meltdowns, making mealtimes enjoyable for the whole family, cook included!    

Meltdowns or tantrums often occur when a child’s nutrition or routine has been disrupted. This can look like an environmental change, time change, or sudden change in activities. When a child is having a meltdown, it’s similar to an adult responding to stress. Meltdowns are a stress response and a product of your kid expressing emotions. As a parent, the most important thing to do is stay calm when this happens. If you can’t stay calm (because that’s not always possible), here are our next best tips.  

Mealtime Routine Optimization  

Post-breastfeeding, mealtime routines need to be rigid enough that a child’s blood sugar doesn’t drop too low, but flexible enough to support an appropriate transition from activity to mealtime. Some takeaways for you: 

  • Include your child in the menu selection process. You don’t need to let them pick the whole meal but allowing them two to choose between on-hand options (banana or apple) can get them excited about mealtime and suggest that it’s approaching.
  • Designate activities that your child likes to do before or after your meal so that they are either satisfied before their meal or have something to look forward to after they eat all the veggies on their plate.
  • Having child-friendly plates, cups and utensils can help. Allowing them to choose their desired utensils can help spark joy and creativity which can boost feelings of calmness and prevent any disappointment when they sit down to eat. 

Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes

Our second tip is optimizing blood sugar management. Have you ever been hangry? Irritable, tired, and stressed because you haven’t eaten in a couple of hours or after a starchy, processed meal. This is the adult response to rollercoaster blood sugar levels and can cause you to feel like crap. Well, the same goes for children. This is where nutrition plays a significant role for the whole family. Stressing the importance of balanced and nutrient-dense meals is HUGE in preventing mealtime meltdowns.  Here are our tips:

  • Make sure adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats are on the plate to avoid a blood sugar spike, improve digestion and balance energy. 
  • In general, the formula for reducing blood sugar spikes while eating foods is fibre (vegetables), proteins, fats, starches and sugars. Eating food in this order can promote steady energy levels, and hormonal regulation and reduce food cravings throughout the day. 

    At AIYANA, we know the importance of healthy meals is so valuable to you and your families, which is why we do what we do. Providing you with healthy, balanced and prepared meals is the core of our mission. We encourage you to try these tips! If you need some extra help in the kitchen, our kid-friendly meals are always here for you.  

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