THE EARLY YEARS
Feeding is one of the most important
things parents do for—and with—their
children. And experts say that when
dads are involved, right from the
beginning, the whole family benefits.
Jocelyn Armstrong, a registered
dietitian with Alberta Health Services
in Camrose, says the feeding
relationship is about fulfilling a
child’s nutrition needs. And it’s
about helping children develop
healthy eating habits and behaviours,
Feeding the kids: a
mom and dad event
Support builds healthy eaters
WRITTEN BY JUDY HAMILL
ILLUSTRATIONS BY KATY DOCKRILL
as well as positive attitudes about food.
“You can influence and support your
children’s development into healthy,
competent eaters in many ways,”
She points to moms’ and dads’ own
eating practices, preferences and habits.
Parents are highly influential: how and
what they eat sets the tone for their
Armstrong urges both parents to sit
down and eat with their kids as often as
possible. When both parents are actively
involved in feeding and eating with their
children, it builds good eating habits,
Parents also need to be on the same
page with the feeding relationship. “If
one parent insists the child finishes
everything on the plate and the other lets
them just eat what they want, it creates
confusion,” she adds.
Armstrong also suggests parents
create a relaxed feeling around meals,
The benefits of both parents feeding their child last
a lifetime and go well beyond the kitchen table.