What we learn about food as kids shapes our eating habits and relationship with food as we get older. Sometimes the things parents say can have a lasting negative effect, even though they had good intentions. Skip these common mealtime directives to set your kids up for success (and not just when you make kid-friendly meals).
You can’t leave the table until you clean your plate.
This sets up kids to become overeaters and not listen to their bodies to decide when they are full. Consider if you’re giving them too much food to start (they need a lot less food than adults). If there’s still a lot of food on their plate and you don’t want to be wasteful, just cover their plates and put them into the fridge. When it’s time for a healthy snack, just reheat their leftovers.