Giving our children choices when it comes to food is fabulous. However, we have to be careful that we are not giving them control (which is super easy to do - eek!).
We want them to feel that they do have a say in what they eat but without us becoming short-order cooks or pandering to every whim.
One of the places where parents often struggle is around dinners. They find that their child doesn't eat enough during the main meal and so Option B appears.
If Option B is a favourite then this can lead to problems greater than a hungry child and a sleepless night. Hmmm, which do I prefer? The beef stew or the bowl of ice cream / Cocopops / crackers and cheese.
Which doesn't mean I advocate serving a meal and saying eat it or go hungry. Absolutely not. However, we have to be very careful that we are not inadvertently allowing our children to dump dinner in favour of something that they much prefer to eat.
There are lots of different ways we can manage mealtimes so we don't end up in this trap:
- Having some food at the table they are able to eat every night is advisable.
- Not having an exciting Option B is essential.
- Making sure that everyone knows that dinner is it, the main event where we should be eating.
- Having everyone hungry enough to eat when they get to the table.
If you'd like to talk about how to manage dinner and Option B please get in touch. We're happy to work with parents around aspects of eating that are particularly challenging.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.