Every meal doesn’t have to be a food fight.
Mealtime shouldn’t feel like a power struggle between you and your little ones.
Studio 5 Health Contributor Miki Eberhardt shares advice to make meal time more peaceful.
Find more advice from Miki on Instagram, @nutritionbymiki.
5 Ways to Stop the Food Fight
Manage YOUR expectations.
- A successful meal should not be measured by the number of bites your child eats, the number of green foods consumed, the lack of junk food enjoyed. If your child happily sits at the table, engages in conversation, chooses something to eat, and leaves the table satisfied…that, my friends, is a win! And that’s also something that you can build upon.
Create a relaxed atmosphere.
- The best family meals have minimal distractions. Turn off the tv, leave the phones somewhere away from the table, try not to make anyone feel rushed or hurried—can cause extra stress. If you need to get somewhere and you have a slower eater, plan accordingly.
Serve foods family style.
- This allows deconstruction of most meals which can feel safer to a picky eater.
Include at least one food you know your child will eat.
- Having something familiar can help your child relax and be willing to try something new.
Instead of demanding, ask.
- If you have picky eaters in your family, you already know the signs when they dislike a meal: a blank stare, a turned up nose, the plate being pushed away. Instead of demanding a certain amount of food is eaten, instead ask, “How can I make that better for you?”
- This question may seem simple, but it can open up the lines of communication between you and your child. It can give your kids a sense of control to make the meal more enjoyable. So instead of a negative question like, “Why don’t you like it?” a positive question allows for constructive problem solving and innovative solutions as you work together as a team.
- Note: This is not permission for your child to make you a short order cook. But what you can do is #7