Of all the things we are inevitably going to get wrong as a parents, one high anxiety drama can be avoided or fixed by changing the way we think about eating with our children. We can drop our eating mindset and build a meals mindset instead.
Here’s a typical thought from an eating mindset:
For once I’d like to enjoy dinner without arguing over every flipping mouthful the kids eat 😩
And here’s how the meals mindset sees it:
It’s my job to make the food, it’s their job to decide how much they need and what they’re ready to try. Meanwhile I’m going to enjoy hanging with my tribe and eating my own damn dinner ❤️
If you can adopt the second thought instead of the first, I promise you the eating will follow.
I won’t pretend it’s easy to let go of all those urges inside you that are driving the eating mindset. I wrote a whole book about it after all!
But while it might not be easy, it can be achieved and in really simple stages.
Start with just one change
Begin with this one step: stop talking about anyone’s food but your own 😘
You’re going to learn a lot from that.
- how scarily often you find yourself pushing down the compulsion to comment/nag/bribe/blackmail. All those urges to say things like:
- “Aren’t you going to eat the rest of your chicken?”
- “How about three more beans, mister?”
- “No ice cream for kids who don’t eat their carrots!”
- “I worked really hard to make this yummy dinner”
- “Look, daddy loves his broccoli, yum yum!”
- how kids calm down and make better food choices, more often, when you aren’t constantly talking about their eating
- how you start to enjoy your own meal more
- how you start to enjoy your family’s company more – this is what a joyful mealtime means!
Sound crazy? Like it would never work with your kids?
Seriously, hon, I’m not making this up. I worked some of it out myself with my three typically fussy kids and then later found that there was a whole vast body of research from nutritionists, educators, sociologists and psychologists saying pretty much the same things over and over.
Feed their brains with your company, their hearts with your attention, and their bodies will follow.
Get the whole story in The Flawsome Family Mealbook, back it up with some brilliant starting-out advice from Ellyn Satter, and get the meals mindset that’s going to change your family forever and for good 😘