Children may become restless and irritable when they are hungry—just like adults sometimes do. Many Care Courses students tell us that lunchtime is one of the most difficult parts of the child care day. Cranky children and cranky caregivers do not make for peaceful meals.
That’s why Care Courses offers Transitions and Other Troublesome Times, a training course that helps you conquer lunchtime as well as other challenging periods in your schedule.
Transitions and Other Troublesome Times presents many strategies to make lunchtime an enjoyable experience for you and the children alike. Here are five suggestions from our course to help lunchtime go smoothly:
- When planning a schedule, keep the length of time between meals and snacks short enough that children never get too hungry. When children get too hungry, they may become frustrated and exhibit challenging behaviors.
- Plan menus that are not too complicated. Meals should not take too much prep time before serving. This allows the children to receive more attention at lunch time. Serving soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or raw fruits and veggies can make lunch time less of a hassle.
- Start each child off with a small portion and offer seconds later on. Allow children to serve themselves whenever possible.
- Never try to bribe or force a child to eat. Never withhold food or use food as a punishment or reward. Children develop life-long relationships with food early in early childhood, so make sure that the relationship with food is a positive one. Children’s bodies know how much they need. They won’t starve themselves.
- Expect spills and messes. Most spills are true accidents and the child who causes the spill will likely be embarrassed and sorry the minute it happens. If a child intentionally pours milk or juice on the table, do not scold them. Use positive guidance techniques instead, saying something like “Let’s wait until after lunch to practice pouring. You may practice pouring later either in the sink or outdoors in a water pan.”
Lunchtime is likely just one of the challenging parts of your day. Transitions of all types can be troublesome—whether it’s the daily transition of moving from free play to circle time, or bigger transitions such as moving to a new classroom. Transitions and Other Troublesome Times can help with all of these times. The information in this course is applicable to toddlers and preschoolers, and the techniques can be applied to many different scenarios. Visit our website to learn more!
Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!