​It might take some time, a few failed attempts, and a whole lot of patience, but building a regular eating schedule for your child is worth it! While Mummies and Daddies should not force the little one to decide what or how much to eat, scheduling regular mealtimes and offering healthy food choices are still duties that fall on the shoulders of responsible parents.

Related: Is Your Child Eating Healthy Meals at Pre-school?

Routines Work for Baby and You

A regular meal routine is important, because it works together with bath, playtime and bedtime routines to give your baby (and also you!) structure, so you know what baby and you will be doing for the day. A bit of spontaneity is good, but too much of it can be exhausting! Once you've got a routine going on, mealtimes will become much more relaxing for you and your child.

It might take a while before your baby hops on board with the meal routine, but having regular meals helps your child recognise what "hungry", and "full" means. A fixed meal routine also allows parents to plan nutritious meals for your growing child in advance.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner as a Family

Building a routine shouldn't be too hard. After all, aren't you already having breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Your baby is growing up, and it's about time Junior has meals with the family at the dining table—even if he does need a baby seat. Your child will need some snack time in between these meals but be careful when deciding on the portions to give. You don't want your child to fill up on snacks and miss out on the sumptuous meal you have prepared for the whole family!

Your baby might not be hungry at first. That's fine, do not force Junior to eat if he doesn't want to. But let him stay at the table until everyone is finished with their meal. This encourages family bonding and helps let your baby understand that mealtime is also family time. Isn't that great? 

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