Week1 Setting Expectations
Welcome back to the Creating Peace with Food blog. We are launching a new series this week called Feeding Your Family. Regardless of if you have little kids, big kids, a spouse who still acts like a kid, they are your family and it’s important to know how to feed them right!
We are going to go in-depth on several hot topics such as How to Raise Good Eaters-or Re-Raise Good Eaters at Any Age, Handling Picky Situations, What is Normal?!, Dinner Time Shuffles, and much more!
Our first topic…..Setting Expectations
Know Your Responsibility. Parents are responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding. Your child (NO MATTER the AGE) is responsible for the how much and whether of eating. (See Ellyn Satter’s article: Division of Responsibilites. We will discuss this in further detail soon. Until then check out this link.
Kids have about a 5-10 minute window where they are willing to sit down and eat a meal. So it’s important that you are able to enjoy these brief moments of stillness by being present with them at the table.
You can make this a reality by: Planning your meals ahead of time and have what you need for that meal available to you or your kids before sitting down (such as napkins, bibs, beverages, etc.). This will limit the number of times you have to leave the table for small trips back to the kitchen.
Food preferences vary and if you have toddlers this can vary from breakfast to lunch! It can take 8, 10, 15, or 20+ times of introducing a food before it may even be tasted. Be patient, have no fret, eventually the asparagus will get eaten.
Honor Your Mealtimes. Seems easy enough, but so often we feel rushed, anxious, and full of stress we forget to eat, skip it intentionally because of no time, or pass snacks to the kids while in the car. Occasionally yes, life happens. However on a daily basis, the consistent neglect of sitting down to eat a meal together is role modeling to our families that meals are not important, eating and enjoying our food is not important, our bodies and health are not important. This is a classic example of “Do what I say, not as I do.” Reverse this by designating set meal times through-out the day for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, & dinner. You may already be following a similar routine without knowing it!
Before you help another, you have to help yourself. Do you have a personal struggle with your relationship to food? Maybe it is skipping meals, avoiding certain foods, emotional eating, or finding time to prepare & plan healthful meals at home. Acknowledge your weaknesses and address them. A registered dietitian can help you overcome these issues so that you can lead your whole family to good health.
Weekly Challenge: Read Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibilities. Consider how you can apply these principles into your daily life. Post your insights, questions, concerns, & successes in the comment section. We love to hear from you!!!