7 Effective tips to Minimize Tantrums during Mealtime and Food Refusal by Children

7 Effective tips to Minimize Tantrums during Mealtime and Food Refusal by Children

Oct 01, 2021

Mealtimes are supposed to be enjoyable. It’s always an opportunity to relax and chill out. It is, however, not always the case for everyone, especially when you have children. Children will often throw tantrums when having a meal making you frustrated. Food catering for children in Calgary understands your struggles and effectively handles mealtime tantrums and food refusal in children.

These tips are tested and proven by many families. Interestingly, the tips have nothing to do with the food. It’s all about making a good environment and mood. You want your kids to have a healthy diet prepared at home. Try the following tips and see the wonders.

Tips to lower mealtime tantrums and food refusal in children

1. Cut out snacks

Eliminating snacks between mealtimes is one proven tactic to boost children’s appetite during mealtimes. Have a planned schedule of offering them snacks and water when dealing with toddlers. When you don’t dish out snacks to the kids throughout the day, they will be hungry during mealtimes and sit and eat.

2. Pretend to steal their food

Children are very possessive. You can therefore trigger them psychologically by pretending to steal their share of the meal. They instantly start eating food that they had already rejected. You can take a bite from their plate and see the miracles that follow.

Alternatively, you can engage your kid to trigger competition. Agree that you’ll compete to eat with them and whoever finishes first will eat the other meal. Since children love competition, they will suddenly have a good mood and a spike in their appetite.

3. Include a food they like

There are some foods that children like by default. Study and learn the secret food winner for your child and after that start introducing it in meals. You are sure the child will eat a good portion of the meal with or without being hungry. Fueling Minds understand what foods children like and have special diets for families with kids.

4. Introduce good eating behaviors

Behavioral adjustment is critical for handling fussy eating kids. Make mealtimes a family activity so that you all enjoy them. Children seem to enjoy food when they realize you are all eating a similar meal. You also cut down on the time you spend preparing separate meals for adults and kids. Besides, research suggests that children who sit down to eat with their families have a higher intelligence quotient (IQ).

5. Introduce picnics, eating out, or inviting guests during mealtimes

The goal is to snap the harmful mealtime habit in your kid. Introducing a new habit such as going out on a picnic will trigger a positive eating habit. Children are also known to behave well when there are visitors to woe them.

You can invite your pals over meal times and see the wonders it will create on your kids’ eating habits. Additionally, having lunch or dinner in your favorite restaurant will also yield substantial results.

6. Engage children in conversations during dinner

Spike conversation with kids during meal times. Since kids love attention, ensure to make them the center of the conversation. Introduce topics about them, their day, and their interests. Although it takes time, you can slowly learn, and you will effectively minimize food refusal by your kids.

During the conversation, ask engaging questions. Open-ended questions create diversity in conversations by letting kids speak their minds out, give opinions, suggestions, and ideas.

7. Tease the kids during mealtimes

Introduce some fun when eating. Makes jokes and allow for play (food play). Enter the children’s space and see how fast they will stop throwing tantrums during mealtimes.

Bonus tips

  • Avoid forcing children to eat
  • Minimize giving children negative attention by ignoring the tantrums and giving attention to good mealtime behavior.
  • Introduce physical exercises within the day
  • Include drinks during mealtimes


The key element to success in everything you do is persistence. Try these tips again and again. You don’t have to try them out all at once. Pick a few and as time goes by, introduce the rest and see the wonders. Above all, the stage of tantrums and food refusal will come to pass.

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