Game Play – in this case games are used inappropriately, in an attempt to get the child to consume the amount of food the adult wishes
As a result, mealtimes become “battle zones”, reducing the pleasure of eating and bringing feelings of repulsion. In this situation, the adult is transmitting to the child the message that his/her internal sensation of being full is not relevant, which ent of adequate self-control (8,27) . As a result the child may start to depend on external commands to start, continue and finish his/her meals.
This practice is harmful because it causes the child to lose the sensation of being full, making him/her believe that the ideal amount of food is what is imposed by the adult. It should be emphasized, however, that play activities are appropriate if properly used.
“Camouflage” – masking food so that the child does not recognize it. This can makes the child unable to face challenges. Besides, it is not correct to offer only food that children like and accept. In the long term, it leads to boredom and the child becomes indifferent.
However, the use of appropriate strategies were was also reported by some mothers (two out of sixteen mothers): encouraging the child to use the touch and smell; using kitchen gardening so that the child feels valuable when planting and collecting the foodstuffs; encouraging the child to prepare and appreciate the refused food, and the use of melodramatic language (pretend and make-believe) so that the child can recognize characteristics and functions of the different food types.
These included: acceptance of different type of meals, more autonomy to help themselves, and standardization of the schedule of mealtimes
Although the mothers said they did not know about the eating practices at the Institution, 15 of the 21 mothers reported a positive change in their children after they started to attend the pre-school.
Of the 10 mothers whose children attend the pre-school full time, 9 recognized positive changes in the eating behavior of their children, namely: greater flexibility towards tasting new types of food and the children starting to eat foods they had previously refused, a fact reported by all the mothers. The mothers believe that these changes are due to the social environment of the pre-school, where the children are encouraged to eat, and learn how important it is to eat different types of food, besides the greater variety of food offered. Consequently the children improve their eating behavior.
Of the children who attend the pre-school on a part-time basis, only two out of the 11 had improved their eating practices and started to accept foods they had previously refused. These two mothers attributed this change to the physical activities and the favorable social environment of the pre-school. It was evident that their improvement was not as significant as that of the children attending full time.
The mothers of the children who attended the institution full-time (8-9.5 hours per day) reported that their children had better eating habits, which was more frequent than the mothers of those who attended on a part-time basis. Curiously, this occurred in a pre-school which, despite its incentives and education projects for food, we cannot consider as satisfactory in this area. We must remember that the only information the mothers receive is a video with some scenes filmed inside the preschool. The children shown on the video are not their own children, since the video is shown before the children attend pre-school. The mothers therefore attribute the positive changes in the eating habits of their children to reasons do not know. In spite of this, it is commonly known that social group is a positive stimulator of eating behavior. Also, the idea makes sense that in pre-school, the children get to know different types of food, and come into contact with different physical activities.