Our Mealtime Rules

My beautiful Children

This is not a restaurant.

You don’t get to pick and choose.

Picking and choosing is for when we go to restaurants. It’s then you may order what you want.

I don’t prepare different meals to suit different tastes. We all eat the same thing. Sometimes that will be something that you love and other times it will be something someone else loves.

You don’t have to like it but you do have to TRY it. That is the rule. We try food by putting in in our mouth not with our eyes.

It’s THIS or Nothing. There are no alternatives. It is your choice to go hungry if that is what you choose.

You are in control of your body. If you choose not to eat you are still required to sit at the table while we do.

It’s Mum and Dad’s job to provide nourishing foods to help you grow into the best version of yourself and it’s your job to eat it and make great choices to build the army inside your body. Your army needs a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day to keep you well.

Feeding your army is only something you can do. Your army inside your body is your responsibility.

Food is this home is to be received gratefully with ‘thank you’ and ‘please’

Food has feelings so we don’t talk badly about any food in front of food.

We are a family who tries new things and is grateful for the beautiful food in our home.

You are awesome kids and I love you.

Love Mum. xx

If you are struggling with meal times it may be worth revisiting the rules you have put in place. I have revisited our rules after my kids have been becoming increasingly demanding and at times rude about food. We all have a set of rules whether it’s unspoken or not.

If your rule is ‘you can complain and reject my food and you will be given an alternative’ – it may be time to reconsider and revisit both for your kids and yourself. If your current rules aren’t working it may be worth creating some new ones with and for your kids.
These are the new ones that will be sitting on my fridge from today.

Remember it takes 20 exposures of a food for kids to know if they like that food or not. So saying they don’t like something is actually not an option until they have been exposed to that food on multiple occasions in multiple ways. Plus taste buds are constantly changing so what is true for a child’s taste today may not be true tomorrow.

Remember to speak positively about food. If your child says ‘I hate capsicum’ rephrase with ‘You are still learning to appreciate capsicum. It’s okay if it’s not to your taste just yet but you need to try it again to check’

Your kids will watch you – if you are eating it then they are far more likely to try it.

You have far more chance at getting kids interested in food if the TV is off and you are sitting around a table. Mindful eating is a skill that will equip children for life. You may get more into them while they are watching TV but what is this really teaching them?

I don’t have it all figured out by a long shot. It’s a journey…. and we are all on it! Alisa xx

One thought on “Our Mealtime Rules

  1. Rosie says:

    This is almost word for word what happens at our place! Except we use a “pitstop” analogy instead of “building your inner army” one – our boys are obsessed with racing so food as fuel / energy works for us. I love your choice of words about their responsibility for their bodies. Our rule of thumb is “you don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it”, which usually means eating at least half the meal. It’s exhausting sometimes coaching them thru it and being firm, but its paid huge dividends. So good to hear a similar approach 🙂

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