5 Mealtime Moments You’re Probably Getting Right
Mummy guilt can be all consuming. Constant questioning about how we parent and whether we are doing the best for our kids.
Am I paying enough attention to the kids? Do they get one-on-one time with me? Am I on my phone too much? Should my kids play more outside? Did they eat anything healthy today?
There are times in our life when we need to just stop with the guilt and think about what we are doing right. Because chances are, you are doing plenty. Here are some examples of how your ‘chaotic’ dinner time can result in some pretty fantastic positive eating habits your children will take with them for life.
5 things you’re probably doing RIGHT without thinking about it:
1. Allowing mess at the table – like it or not, babies love to get messy with their food. Parents with more than one child at the table often don’t notice the mess their baby is making until towards the end of the meal – and that’s a good thing because it means they allowed it to happen. Playing with new textures and learning about new foods should be enjoyable for kids. It’s play with a purpose. There are multiple steps to eating that children need to be capable of doing before they consider actually eating a food. Read more about kids getting messy with food.
2. You enjoy eating healthy food in front of the kids – chances are, if you’re any thing like me, sitting down at the table in front of a big salad sandwich feels amazing. Taking 5 minutes to myself to eat something delicious is always satisfying. I make sure my kids know about it by telling them how much I am enjoying my healthy lunch, crunchy salad greens, bright orange carrot, etc. Having someone, particularly someone kids trust, demonstrate how to eat the new food and show enjoyment will encourage them to accept and enjoy it too. Read more about family mealtimes.
3. Cooking with the kids around you – we have all experienced one handed cooking, or cooking with a baby in the highchair, toddler drawing on the floor or pre-schoolers walking in and out making their demands. By cooking with and around your kids you are encouraging food acceptance from an early age. Babies who smell all the different smells of family foods are already beginning to accept them, and toddlers who ask for a bite of whatever your chopping are trying new foods in a non-confronting way – both limiting fussy eating behaviour in the future. Read more about the benefits of cooking with kids.
4. Casually talking about good food and basic nutrition – kids ask a lot of questions. Don’t they? And the constant banter while you cook dinner may actually be doing them a lot of good. The benefits of seeking out answers to simple nutrition questions can be learnt from an early age. Knowing you need fruit and vegetables every day, and knowing why we limit ‘sometimes food’ is a great first lesson for children, and your honest answers are setting them up for positive food associations right from the start. Read more on how to talk to your kids about nutrition.
5. You seek information about food for kids and/or find new healthy recipes – you’re reading this article so you probably care about what you are feeding your kids. We aren’t all perfect, we can all do better in different ways, but trying new things with fussy kids, cooking when you know they might throw it right back at you, and always looking for a new information and ideas to try is what makes you a wonderful parent.
Share this post with your friends so make them feel a little warm and fuzzy about themselves too.
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