When you think of the family table, we all have the image of a happy family, eating and laughing together. Which may make you LOL it's so far from your dinnertime reality right now. I have 3 kids, so I get it (and our meals rarely look like this photo-shoot pic!).
You might have a hard time just getting food on the table, to start. Or avoiding fights, battles and tears because your kids won't eat. Or even just getting everyone together at the table, schedule-wise may be a challenge!
Today I'll touch a bit on how to end the dinnertime battles and providing some structure and routine. But I'm mostly going to chat about WHY it's worth this effort to get your family to the dinner table together.
First of all, to define "family meals," this includes eating together at least 5 times per week. At least one caregiver with the kids. If one parent is not present or you are a single parent, you STILL get these benefits by sitting down with your kids...
If you have a picky eater at home, you might be struggling to get your kids to try new foods. You've probably become a short order cook. And you may feel like you have to bribe, pressure or reward your child to try even take one bite of dinner.
All of this just leads to stress at the table for everyone. And often arguments and tears (on behalf of the kids and parents!). And we want dinner to be a nice place for everyone!
Wouldn't it be great to stop stressing about how much or what your kids eat at the table? Have more peaceful dinners, with no more tears or yelling at the dinner table? And for your kids to eat new foods without complaining about it!?
This is definitely possible. But one of the obstacles for us to getting to this point is the plethora of contradictory advice about how to deal with your picky eater! My doctor told me to give my daughter what she wanted....which I know is exactly the wrong advice.
To give you some understanding of the...
Does your kid avoid anything green? All veggies? Picky eating is a struggle for many families and vegetables are definitely one of the most challenging foods for young kids to enjoy. They naturally tend to prefer sweet foods - or quick, easy energy sources. So it's common for children to enjoy fruit, but shun more bitter vegetables. The good news is that fruit and veggies contain many of the same nutrients! Your child can find folate, vitamin C and fibre in both fruit and vegetables, so you can relax a bit.
One common tactic I want to chat about is sneaking pureed vegetables into your children's food. I don't recommend this, as it does not allow your child to experience that particular food and learn to like (or dislike!) it on their own. And at some point, they will also probably figure you out - possibly leading to distrust, a stronger dislike of the offending food and power struggles.
It's also not aligned with the "Division of Responsibility" principles, which...
Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own.
Are you worried that your child doesn’t get enough protein? If you’re the parent of a young child, this is a common concern. Especially if you have a selective eater with a small appetite (which is most toddlers & preschoolers!).
In this blog, I’ll discuss why your child needs protein, how much they need, where to get it and share a protein-rich breakfast recipe.
Protein is the building block of the entire body. Muscles, organs and the immune system all need protein.
It also helps to keep us feeling full, so it’s good to offer protein at each meal and snack.
To figure out how much protein your child needs, take their weight in pounds and divide by two. For example, a 40 pound child needs about 20 grams of protein per day.
For children of average weight, this works out to about...
Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own!
"What should I do if my child doesn't eat dinner?" As a dietitian working with young families, this is a very common question.
Should you be worried that your child isn't eating enough? Bribe him with dessert, so he finishes dinner? And should you still give her a bedtime snack if she doesn't eat dinner? I'll answer all of those questions for you here!
First of all, know that you're not alone if your child often doesn't eat dinner. Dinner is the most challenging meal of the day for most young children, for a few reasons: