ANSWERS: 24
  • You can't, and you shouldn't. Forcing them to eat faster by threat of punishment or reward is bad parenting. Research study after research study shows that the slower we eat our meals, the healthier we are. Eating slowly promotes thorough chewing which aids digestion, and also lets us get signals from our bodies when we are full. Americans partly are fat because we eat huge portions far too fast and get overly full, distend our stomachs and create a cycle of endless overeating.
  • Oh I think it's TOTALLY fine to set a time limit on meals. We went through this with our oldest son (now 11) with, LITERALLY, EVERYTHING he did (and does). I'm not saying give them 5 minutes to eat, but set a timer for him 15 minutes after his dad, brother (age 4) and I had finished. That gave him 30 - 45 minutes to eat...that's PLENTY of time! Anything longer than that is just being pokey.
  • As I am answering this question, there are two answers, one says let the kids take it slowly and the other, I set a timer! So let us work out what or why the kids reasons are eating slowly? Perhaps the parents are time hungry, they want the mess cleaned up so fast, that the kids seem slow. If that is the case, some parents shouldn't have kids as they are a burden. Then we have to look at what's on offering, if the kids don't like the dinner, then why would anyone want to eat the crap in the first place! What happens when you give the kids, their favourite meal, do they gulp it down, in no time flat? Perhaps if the parents spend very little time with the kids, that the kids spend their time eating slowly to spend more time with their parents!
  • Have you sat down with your children and asked them what they like eating? Although some kids are slow eaters and play with their food, adding variety to meals may help make meal times more enjoyable for all concerned. I'm suggesting you are a bad cook, but if there are special meals your kids love, then you can work on some kind of reward chart for good behaviour. I know that in many households, Friday night is either Pizza night or eat out/take-away. I think the advice by one of the other writers is good advice, don't push the kids to eat faster. If they enjoy the meal, it won't stay long on the plate. Also, if there’s a television on within eyesight of where the meal is being eaten, think about removing distractions so the kids and concentrate on eating their meals.
  • I eat my meals slowly and I would feel pushed around if my parents made me eat faster. It's just not right. At least your children are eating. I'd say .. let them eat at their own pace.
  • I eat my meals slowly and I would feel pushed around if my parents made me eat faster. It's just not right. At least your children are eating. I'd say .. let them eat at their own pace.
  • why on earth would you want them to eat faster? Just let them eat at their own pace.
  • Dont make them eat faster. Its better if they eat slow. Eating slow is suppost to help you loose weight, because if you eat slow it gives the body time to digest the food.
  • Your child may be distracted when he/she eats. When it's time for them to come and eat make sure that the T.V. is off and the radio is turned down. Having friends over for a meal can be distracting to because they may eat faster than your child and then they're done eating before your child so when they leave your child may want to leave too. This doesn't mean he/she can't have friends over but if you know that your child is not finished eating when their friend is make them stay and finish. But if that's not the case then your child might just like to eat slowly, but if they eat small amounts then they could have a eating disorder like Anorexia of Bulimia. If that is the cause take them to a doctor or counselor before they hurt themself!!
  • Dress up as a referee and slam your fists on the table while screaming, "FASTER! FASTER!"
  • eating slow is good. better for the digestive system. the faster the eat the greater risk there is to be overweight.
  • eating slowly is good its healthy my rents always tell me to eat slower not faster if onli
  • ok well ask them why they are not eating faster.they might naterally eat like that,and if they do you should let them.There could be something bothering them,and should ask them and listen if they do.
  • If you make them eat fast they might get sick and may become more prone to eating disorders. Leave them be, and if it's really a problem timewise, just make sure to start earlier to allow for more time to get to school or whatever.
  • It is better to eat slower and to chew slower research shows that sometimes people who eat slower chew slower or more weigh less.
  • i have the same problem with my little girl. it sometimes takes her an hour or two to eat. i've tried everything including bribery. when you find out, let me know.
  • My kid eats slow too. There's no distractions other than the fact that she loves talking to the whole family sat down at the table. I don't want to discourage her talking - but I do want her to finish her meal relatively quickly ( ideally within 1 hour). Its not that 'eating slowly' means she chewing slowly and so better digesting her food. She's just not eating for long periods where she'll just talk or listen instead. It does get frustrating when you start eating before six - and your still all sat at the table when its coming to 9pm. I want my girl to eat her tea then have time to play and then go to bed at 8pm is (she's just turned 4). I remember in my childhood I'd always want to finish quickly so I could go and play. Now I want a happy medium instead.
  • Eating slowly is healthy..no kidding, we parents of the marathon eating children are desperate for an answer. My four year old daughter has taken as much as four hours to eat a PB&J sandwich. Tiny bites, holding food in her mouth without chewing, staring into space.... No TV, no radio, no puppet show to distract her. We do not have time to do family activities because we are stuck waiting for her to finish. Small portions of a well balanced meal. I don't want her to wolf down cheeseburgers at light speed, just breakfast and lunch under an hour a peice would be wonderful. She is upset and apologizes, but can not eat faster. Any succes stories/techniques out there?
  • It's good for them to eat slowly. You already know that they do, so when you get ready to eat just make sure you are leaving enough for the pokey ones. :)
  • If it's not causing a problem, then why change it? Unless it's taking three or four hours to eat a spoonful of food, it really isn't that big of a deal. Eating more slowly is actually healthier for you in that you eat less before the full feeling sets in.
  • Timer, ok I will try it. Today we took the un-eaten portian of her sandwich and put in the fridge until dinner time, she finished her sandwich and ate all of her dinner in about two hours. A little better, I think the taking un-eaten food away until the next meal after an hour is a good plan. Thanks! Will keep you posted.
  • In my house, meals are served at a certain hour. After about a half hour, final portions or 'seconds' are doled out and remaining leftovers put away. The kids (4,8,& 11) are free to finish up at their own pace and are responsible for clearing their own plates. Now, if we have to leave the house, I simply give them a 15 minute reminder before it's time to wash up and leave. With three square meals and two snacks, food is never far off. If they ever go hungry, it's a self correcting problem.
  • my problems similar. for lunch i gave my 4 yr old daughter 3 chicken nuggets. i figured when shes done id give her a little snack and dinner time isnt to far away. but 1 hr passed and she only took 1 tiny bite. it just gets so fustrating because i try so many methods. like being nice. racing timing. and she justs get caught up talking and wont eat. eventually i just take away the food and wont give her any snacks. and then well try again at dinner. there really isnt much you can do.
  • I dont' have an answer for you but am struggling with the same thing with my near 12 year old who was at one point underweight and we had to give ensure for along time to bring it up along with meals. Gettin to eat faster is like a powerstruggle that we always lose. and letting it be only creates it to be worse like an instigator. Hope you find the right one if you do let me know. we already tried timers rewards punishment bribes baits favorite foods less food food more often no distaractions more time which only made it take even longer. Its not that chews too slow just eats for less time than is at the table for on any given day. for every hour maybe 15-20 minutes is totally food focused.

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