With many families sitting down to holiday dinners this weekend, I can already hear the food battles.
“You have to eat some of your turkey before you get dessert”
“3 more bites and you’re done”
“That’s all you’re eating, get back here!”
The holidays can be particularly hard because there’s so much going on. There’s more snacking. More distractions. And many kids simply don’t want to eat the meal adults spent so much time preparing (and that bugs us).
Big A, my 4-year-old has never eaten much at dinner, especially when we eat at my mother-in-laws or it’s a special occasion, like the holidays. Since she’s gotten older, we follow the advice by Ellyn Satter and ask her to sit with us whether or not she chooses to eat.
This has caused some tension which can make mealtimes away from home less pleasant, which is exactly what I don’t want. So I reached out to Dr. Katja Rowell from Family Feeding Dynamics for advice. And she revealed the secret to success.
Find out the why?
Make it about family time, not the food
If it doesn’t happen that frequently — relax!
I do think the issue is different when it comes to the weekly dinner with Grammy or a Holiday party with all the excitement and snacking. Kids can deal with and make up for that, versus it happening every day in the home. Holidays are a special time, and kids get that. Relax, let them snack and savor the excitement of the season rather than spoil a special day with fights about food.
Have a great holiday!