Making Family Mealtime A Priority & A Pleasure!
The reality is, children are picky eaters! Rarely is their a mealtime where everybody in your family comes together and is happy to eat the food in front of them. Before the meal even begins, you are dealing with negative attitudes setting the table for poor communication and "family time". To create a happier meal time you have to involve your child in as many aspects of meal prep as possible. From helping out at the grocery store or local farmers market to identify age-appropriate tasks that your child can help with when preparing the meal. . . for example, putting salad in bowls or washing veggies. Kids will be proud of their hard work and may be more likely to eat the fruit and vegetables of their labor.
Cooking for the whole family can be challenging and to provide a single dish that is kid-friendly (and not Mac n Cheese again) will gain a buy-in to trying other adult healthy choices.
Sitting down at the same time each night is challenging, however, it's important to gathering as a family unit. This provides your children with a mindset that time with them is important to you. Remove distractions and enjoy a meal that celebrates each other’s company.
It may get frustrating if your child chooses not to eat the healthy food right away. The more times you expose a child to, insert fruit or vegetable here, the better chances they will eat it. Trying one bite each time may gain a taste for the new food. Present healthy, nourishing options at meal time and let your child select a portion size rather than you forcing it on them. This gives your child control of the situation and empowers them to "make the right choice" in clearing their plate. Share your experiences as a child empathizing with them and providing a "I've been there" framework.