Getting kids to eat fast

Getting kids to eat fast
Ms Cecilia Chee is concerned whether her daughter, Bethanie, can finish her food during recess.

Bethanie Kee Shi En takes about half an hour to eat dinner at home.

Mum Cecilia Chee, 40, a part-time dental assistant, wonders how her six-year-old daughter will cope with just 20 minutes for recess at Alexandra Primary School next year.

She says she and her engineer husband, Mr Kee Chong Tat, 36, "don't rush" their elder of two daughters over dinners in their three-room HDB flat in Redhill Close.

Says Ms Chee: "I have told her she cannot take her own sweet time to eat because when the bell rings, she'll have to go back to class."

Miss Rachel Lim, branch administrator of PCF Canberra Branch, notes that a pre-schooler's routine, such as eating, taking medication and school dismissal, are guided by pre-school staff.

In primary school, children have pocket money - likely for the first time - and must decide what to buy, how to handle food and eat within a given time.

The child needs to know how to relate to the school canteen menu, check food prices and whether they are within his budget.

Create opportunities for your child when the family is having meals outside. Let him decide what he would like to eat, count and use money and to buy food on his own.

Turn your home into a school canteen, and play the role of a teacher and canteen vendor. Set a timer for the child to follow and complete a simple routine, with you playing the role of a teacher and canteen vendor.

Through these activities, your child would learn to better manage his recess time and be prepared to take his meals on his own in school.

Most schools assign an older pupil as a buddy to each newcomer to show him the stalls, how to buy food and get the right change during the first few days. They eat with their young chums too.

In addition, some schools also cater packed food during the first couple of days to serve the little ones.

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