Make meals relaxing

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Make meals relaxing
Make meals relaxing

In children, food satisfies two fundamental needs: that of nourishment in order to develop, but also the satisfaction of a need for love, communication and exchange.


Food is linked to the notion of pleasure since through it, the child has many affective experiences.

It goes through your mouth

So your child eats first to get pleasure. This oral satisfaction is caused by the organs solicited during suction: the lips, the tongue, the palate. Eating is a pleasure and this pleasure is an energizing factor thanks to which he feels the desire to live, the desire to turn to others and to the outside world.

Food: a form of tenderness

You parents need to keep the balance between fun and food. The absence of pleasure or its reduction during meals is as serious for the psychological development of your child as the lack of food for his physical development. Food provides the amount of tenderness it needs. He does not eat only to give himself individual satisfaction, but he eats to "get his mother" who must be as available as possible to the exchange of looks and to offer him words and caresses in moments of privileged relationship.

Thus, food is not only a source of comfort and peace of mind, but it is also an opportunity for your child to awaken to the surrounding world.

Meals are special times

After the discomfort of hunger and the tiring activity of sucking, comes the delicious moment of satisfied pleasure and relaxation shared by you and your child pressed against each other. It is also at me altimes that he has the opportunity to lead a more active life: he gradually begins to look, to scrutinize his surroundings, his first visions are organized, soon accompanied by a smile, a little vague at first, then more clearly directed towards your face. Thus, food is an opportunity to awaken to the surrounding world.

Warning, the relationships that are formed at me altimes between parents and children, but also between brothers and sisters are not trivial!

Eating is going from intimate to public. A baby's first meals happen in the context of a body-to-body, heart-to-heart relationship, most often between mother and child. This relationship is exclusive, meal time. Little by little, life gets involved, to make this moment a time of conviviality where being at the table is also meeting other people.

Eating is also humanizing

It's doing "like a grown-up" when you're sitting on a seat, and standing like an adult usually standsat table. As soon as he is "verticalized" and well held, the child, by his head carriage, can follow a gaze, and this contributes to his awakening. Being at the table together is also an opportunity for an exchange between brothers and sisters. And if your baby tries to do like his elders – hold his spoon for example –, the big ones often want to do like him, eating with their fingers!

Taste, smell and touch form the harmony of the meal

Parents must respect their child as a person with a need for activity and create the most favorable conditions for the meal to take place peacefullyWhat happens around the preparation of the meal – shopping, washing and peeling vegetables… – counts as much as the meal itself. This is the culmination of a long process that can be experienced as a happy habit or on the contrary as a constraint, which the child will share with his parents.


  • force a child to finish.
  • get impatient.
  • thinking that if he doesn't eat at this meal, it's serious.
  • shout, grumble or scare.

To do

  • offer a bottle, a dish, if we feel that's what your child wants.
  • understanding and accepting your rhythm.
  • be patient.
  • telling himself that he decides when he no longer wants it.
  • create a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere during meals.

In conclusion

Food opens access to the first experience ofsatisfaction, foundation of desire and source of emotional awakening. Properly managed, food is a dynamic growth factor. Otherwise, it is a negative factor that results in more or less serious problems…so you might as well set up favorable conditions right from the start.

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