What do mealtimes mean to you? Do you dream of enjoying your lunch or dinner as a relaxing and joyful family gathering? To have little chats about what exciting things happened that day in school instead of having to negotiate over how much your child should eat? I will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of when it comes to having happy family mealtimes. In short, what you can do as a parent to help your children overcome their food issues. And maybe, Happy Meals won’t just be a daydream…
|Make it fun; focus on your child’s level of understanding and experience, when it comes to offering veggies; star shapes or number shapes when you cut your cucumber or carrot with a cookie cutter, dragon drinks (with spinach)||Don’t focus too much on veggies only; let your child know it needs to try a bit of everything, so veggies, pasta/potato, meat/fish.
|Be patient; children need to try new flavours 8-15 times before they are used to it||Don’t make a fuss about it, your child won’t starve itself|
|Give the proper example; snack with veggies yourself, show your child you like to eat it||Don’t cover the veggies with sauces; let them get used to different flavours|
|Let your child help with preparing the meal; cleaning and cutting veggies, hussle a salad, decorating the table/plates||Don’t tell your child it’s healthy or necessary to eat veggies; kids are not impressed by these arguments|
|Try new recipes and let your child choose what’s for dinner that night (in general; your two healthy choices of course, however, once every now and again something less healthy is okay as well, it’s all about letting your child choose it’s dinner sometimes)||Don’t FORCE your child to finish it’s food. You decide WHAT your child eats, your child decides HOW MUCH.|
|Dinnertime should be a happy family event; talk about the day, what exciting things happened, give attention to positive things.||Don’t give your child a platform for negative attitude; if it doesn’t want to eat, continue yourself with eating, don’t pay attention to negative attitude|
|During dinnertime, every family member stays at the table until all are finished eating.||Don’t punish your child if it doesn’t want to eat. Just clear the plate after everybody is done and do not give a replacement.|