Get it together
Parenting expert Karen Doherty reveals her tips and advice on getting your family to eat as one
Control afternoon snacking
Children are often very hungry after school and really need to eat. Stop them from filling up too much by preparing some healthy snacks such as crudités and dips and leaving them out for your children to help themselves.
Make evening mealtimes later
This gives children the chance to get hungry if they have had afterschool snacks. It also gives everyone else time to get home in the evening.
Give breakfast a go
If it’s not possible to get everyone together in the evening, then try first thing in the morning. It’s very satisfying knowing you’ve sent your children off to school with the energy and nutrition they’ll need to sustain them through their morning lessons.
Make mealtimes fun
If you aim for a pleasant atmosphere at mealtimes, your children will make more of an effort to be part of them. Don’t use them as a time to criticise their messy bedroom. Instead, complement any good behavior and get them to talk about the things they love.
Be flexible with food
People like having control over what they eat no matter how old they are. Serving up ‘sharing’ or ‘help yourself’ food can make mealtimes feel less daunting for children in particular. If you only serve food you’re happy for them to eat, you won’t mind what or how much they take.
Lay on some ground-rules
A few simple rules will make mealtimes more enjoyable experience for everyone. These are mine:
- No toys or phones at the table
- No toilet-talk at the table
- No insults at the table
For free advice from Karen on how to get your children to eat better or on any other parenting problem, take a look at KarenDoherty.com.
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