How to make meal time with your kids less stressful - Malta Baby & Kids

How to make meal time with your kids less stressful

How to make meal time with your kids less stressful!

With the exhaustion at  the end of the day, mealtime can sometimes become a time of conflict within families… so we've decided to share our best tips for enjoying stress-free and peaceful meals with children!

Step 1 –  Taking care of table setting

When you have young children, it's important to invest in children's tableware that is both attractive and practical: a large, flat plate, a slightly grippy bowl, a transparent cup for clear visibility, and small, age-appropriate cutlery.

As they become more dexterous, you can offer them a grown-up plate, explaining carefully that it's a fragile object that can break. And if it does break, it's not a big deal, accidents happen!

Step 2 – Helping with meal preparation

Children love to lend a hand in meal preparation. Your child will take more pleasure in eating what they've helped prepare.

From the age of two, they can, for example:

Spread cream cheese on small pieces of bread, cut fruits with a butter knife, mix a sauce or stir pancake batter, grease a cake tin, and so on.

Step 3 – Establish a consistent mealtime schedule

Children, benefit from having routines, including fixed mealtime schedules.

Setting specific times for meals helps children become accustomed to when they'll receive their main meals. If you're seeking advice on how to simplify feeding a toddler, this is arguably one of the most crucial strategies.

Step 4 – Managing appetite independently

From birth, babies instinctively regulate their hunger. We now understand that there's no point in feeding a child who isn't hungry, and it's important to respect their pace.

So, we continue to follow and respect the child's appetite, even if it doesn't always align with the schedules we had planned. Craving a snack at 6 p.m.? A little piece of bread and cheese, an apple, or a carrot… that's perfect, and it's okay if they eat a little less at dinner!

And when they're no longer hungry, we don't force them to finish their plate; they'll eat better at the next meal or the one after that!

Additionally, if you're concerned about them not eating, a handy tip is to include one or two items you know they'll definitely enjoy. This ensures they won't go hungry if they're reluctant to try anything else.

Step 5 – Good table manners

At the table, there are certain etiquette rules that you can teach your children based on your values. These rules ensure that meals remain enjoyable for everyone.

For instance, you might explain that it's acceptable to explore food with their fingers, but it's not acceptable to spit food onto their plates or the floor. Encourage them to request permission to leave the table if they want to talk or create a enjoyable experience with your family until everyone has finished eating.

Parenting young children is always challenging. However, the suggestions above should provide you with some inspiration to make mealtimes with them less stressful and even enjoyable for everyone involved.

You can also take your children to the activities we suggest on our event page!

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