You put down the seasonal fall-inspired place mats, set the table, fill the drinking (wine?!) glasses and prepare yourself for the onslaught of complaints, concerns and refusals that your lovingly home-cooked (or prepared) meal is about to receive.
Nothing in the world is more universal than the love of food. We use food to celebrate, show affection and remorse, and bring us all closer together. But does it feel that way when your meals are constantly inundated with cries of “I don’t like this!”, “This isn’t like [insert person] makes it!” and “Can I just have a sandwich instead?”
In honour of World Food Day on October 16th, we thought it was fitting to send a shout-out to all those mamas out there clinging to their love of cooking and clean eating in the face of testy toddlers and picky kiddos.
Wondering what you can do to overcome the meal-time struggle and bring some peace and harmony to your family table? Well, here at WeeSleepTM we are all about routines, routines, routines. When it comes to bedtime for sure, but also when it comes to meal times.
- Plan Your Meals: This makes it easier for busy on-the-go moms and dads to be prepared and organized, but it also gives you a chance to chat with your kidlets and get their input as to what they’d like to see on this week’s menu – when kids (especially toddlers) are involved in the decision-making process they are more likely to own those choices and clear their plates!
- The More the Merrier: This applies to glasses of wine and also helping hands in the kitchen. Some days it seems like we’re lucky just to slap down a plate of whatever and consider that a victory over a drive-through sack, but wee totally believe that the joy of cooking and connection to our meals is passed on to our kids by letting them share in the experience of preparing meals. While this might not be a reality every day, the mess and memories of your wee ones with a wooden spoon or plastic child-friendly utensils in their little hands are well worth it. They’ll be so proud! And you will be too.
- A Family-affair: The busier the family the more precious the dinner-time dish session becomes. Sitting around the table is the perfect time to hear your kids dish about their days, talk about upcoming plans for the weekend and touch base with your tribe. You know what else should be a family affair? Clean up. Even something as small as putting away the condiments can help your wee ones feel valued and needed, and contribute to their self-worth.
Healthy, nutritious meals fuel the bodies of our whole crew, even the littlest members. And full tummies combined with quality family-time and chit-chat make for a calm evening to seamlessly blend into your relaxing bed-time routine.
Lacking recipe inspo? Check out Cool Mom Eats for some tips, tricks and seasonal dishes!
Need some tips on establishing a bedtime routine? You know who to call…and it’s not ghostbusters 😉