Life is not perfect.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the table. We all want our children to be happy and healthy but their likes and dislikes often turn mealtime into stress time.
Here are some quick tips to take some of the stress out of feeding your family.
Lead by example
Want the kids to eat porridge? Serve yourself a bowl too. If you’re stocking and eating healthy foods, they’re more likely to follow suit.
Put it out there and then leave it alone
Once you prepare a meal, let go of it emotionally once it is served. Your child will decide what to eat and how much. If they decide NOT to eat, then stay calm. Do not offer an alternative. Your child will be hungry by the next meal opportunity.
Shrink your grocery cart
Bulk shopping can be great value, but buying large quantities of food may tempt everyone to eat more and having to police portions can add extra stress. Save the value shopping for staples like toilet paper, not food.
Make it easier to say yes
Buy the foods you want your family to eat and leave the rest at the store. Limit your visit to the “sweets and goodies” aisle and stock up more on healthier snacks you’re happy to see the kids eat, such as cut-up fruit and whole grain crackers. See point below about treats.
Use the party rule for indulgences
“Sweets and goodies” are like parties. Everyone likes them, they add pleasure to life, but every day cannot be party day.
Give yourself a break
It’s not the end of the world if a treat gets into the house (see the party rule above). They eat it, everyone gets over it.
Ruthie Burd – Founder the Lunch Lady Group