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Monday, 31 August 2015

How strict are you when it comes to making your kids eat their dinner??

Hi everyone, I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog since MAY!! I plan to change that with 2-3 posts per week. This is my personal blog and creative space where I pretty much just going to type how I feel - no agenda, no worrying about page views or stats, just me and a place to write.

So, I see September as kind of a new year and time for new beginnings. This year even more so as it marks a huge change for me. Jack starts full time school so I am going to have 6 whole hours through the day to myself (or with hubby) Mon-Fri. We have decided to implement a few changes and one of those is going to be around meal times.

I am ashamed to say that I can probably count on one hand how many times we've eaten around our table together this Summer. I know we've travelled a lot on the days Steve has been off but I'm not using that as an excuse. I think it's really important that we all sit around the table to eat as often as we can.



Towards the end of last term is when things started to slip and I would end up cooking the kids some sort of crappy freezer food at around 4:30pm and me and Steve would eat something different at about 7:30pm. I think I slipped into this routine as it was easier and less hassle. I knew the kids would eat fish fingers and chips with minimal moaning and were likely to turn their nose up at anything I suggested we eat together as a family.

Well yesterday I put my foot down. I want my children to grow up healthy and happy and this means proper home cooked meals and eating together whenever we can (we physically can't eat together on Steve's work days as he doesn't get home until 8:30pm). Yesterday we had slow cooked lamb wraps and sweet potato wedges - there was a little bit of moaning from the older two (not Jack - he will eat anything) but we were firm and made sure they ate it all before they could leave the table.

Tonight, we had roast chicken and vegetables. There was a little bit of a fuss and signs of them being picky and they tried to pull the 'I'm full' tactic. Well it didn't work, we stuck to our guns and made sure they finished every last piece of broccoli.

It has been lovely sitting together as a family to eat again and the children are keen to learn about eating healthily. Our new rule is that we aren't having puddings anymore (I don't know how many times I've let the children leave some of their dinner but then given them pudding! Not good) and they have to sit at the table and finish everything on their plate. Always and with no excuses. I don't know if this is being too strict but I can't stand the way my eldest has started picking pieces off his food and not eating them as they're 'too crispy' or whatever.

I'm also really going to cut out snacks - they can have a glass of milk and yoghurt/fruit/biscuit after school when they are doing their homework but that is it. Hopefully that will leave them hungry enough to always want to finish their dinner.

What are your rules at dinner time? I'd love to hear from you and if you think I'm being too strict. We haven't had any tears yet but we are having mince on Wednesday which I just know isn't going to go down well!
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12 comments

  1. My Mum always chuckles at the idea of kids being fussy and not eating things - apparently all 3 of us were very greedy, to the point where she'd actually be encouraging us to leave things and not eat everything in sight .. we were obviously rather odd kids!

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  2. Tea is tea and there are no other options. We are lucky and eat together most nights which I think helps as my daughter is very good on the whole. If I cook something new or that I know she previously hasnt liked she knows the rule is that she must try it before refusing it. Sometimes she surprises herself and us by eating something new or different but I won't force her to eat something she really hates. There's always a dessert of sorts but mostly this is fruit or yoghurt and as a treat...cake, sweets or ice cream. Only if tea was all eaten. I do limit snacks in the day as she's a good eater and doesn't always need the extra.

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    1. Sounds like you're doing things the right way - eating together really does make a difference I think.

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  4. Firstly just wanted to say I love the background on your blog! And I'm sure it's lovely to have a space to write whatever is on your mind too. As for dinner we do try to eat together most evenings but with my long commute at the moment it's not always possible, but they both always have pretty much the same as me, I just sometimes eat later! Our usual routine is just to encourage both of mine to try everything. I don't worry about them finishing everything as they're both really little (1 and 3) and I can't always gauge their appetites! If they dislike something they can leave it so long as they've tried it (but it won't stop me giving it to them again!) I'm perhaps a little too relaxed as I'm lucky they both enjoy most foods (it might easily change as they get older!) we have puddings as a treat but fruit or yoghurt most nights. (Fruit is always allowed even if not much dinner eaten). Goodness that sounds as if we have loads of rules; I'd never really thought about it until now. A great thought provoking post. Thank you!

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    1. Glad you like my background :D It doesn't seem like you have too many rules to me - your routine sounds similar to how ours used to be before I let things slip too much. We did used to let fruit at anytime but my children love banana's and if you have two banana's before dinner you aren't going to be hungry. Instead, it is fruit/yoghurt straight after school and then dinner at around 5pm. Fingers crossed our new routine works!

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  5. Love the new look Sam gorgeous background!

    We have a rule 'it's fine if you don't want it but that's what's on offer and I won't be making anything else' I never put food out that I know they hate but I won't pander when I know they eat stuff at school they claim to hate at home!

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    1. Thanks Karen - I thought it was more 'me'. Good idea not forcing them to eat things I know they hate......it is just frustrating at times isn't it x

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  6. Feeding kids is such a minefield... but one of my best tips is that I try not to give them too much on their plate and over-face them... I'll then have more of everything in the middle of the table in dishes so they can help themselves to more of what they like. They have to finish everything or they can't have any dessert...

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    1. LOVE the tip of not putting too much on their plate and putting more in the middle of the table. Going to try that out thanks x

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  7. I used to do the same and eat separately but for a long time now we have all eaten together at 5/5.30. Mostly it's me and the kids as my husband works away.
    I used to have the 'finish everything on your plate rule' until I heard someone make a throw away comment one day that really stuck with me. She said I don't force my daughter to finish everything as I don't know when to stop and struggle with my weight and I want her to learn when she is full instead of just eating it all because it's there. It hit home with me that it wasn't right to insist, once my son ( and my daughter now too) had eaten 2 thirds of his meal,that he stuff in the rest just to clear his plate. So my rule ( and I don't tell the kids this) is that if they've eaten 2 thirds of what I've given them then that'll do as it's feasible that they are full.
    We always have loads of veg so 2 thirds has to incorporate plenty of that.
    We rarely have puddings, only fruit. X

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