I wanted to switch gears for a post and talk about another common mealtime challenge - the pokey eater. Do mealtimes seem to go on forever in your home, your child continuing to pick at their meal for a long time after everyone else is finished? I wanted to share a simple strategy to help with the pokey eater - the visual timer! A visual timer is great even for very young children because they are able to see how much time is left. It serves as a prompt to remind your child to keep taking bites and makes it that you don't have to be the one constantly providing verbal reminders. Here's what one looks like (this one is called the Time Timer and is sold on Amazon):
There are also apps for smartphones that do a good job. Here is an example of free iOS app called "Countdown" that I use in my home. It allows you to choose a custom photo to use and the color of the timer changes to red as time runs out. My daughter loves to be surprised with a new photo each time.
It's simple, but it's effective!