Making Mealtimes Fun: 6 simple tips

Making Mealtimes Fun: 6 simple tips

Keeping mealtimes fun with little people can be easier said than done. Watching the food you lovingly prepared be turned into a Picasso-style painting on the wonderful canvas of your floor (or their head), doesn't make for easy, relaxed eating.

However, we also know that making food and mealtimes a positive experience for your little people will help them build positive relationships with food. And may help them develop more adventurous and healthier eating habits, too. 

Here are our top tips for making mealtimes fun with your family:  

  • Eat together as often as possible. Engaging with your child while they are eating will help to keep them calm, and make the experience positive. You could talk about what is on their plate: the colour, texture or taste of different foods - to help peak their curiosity and engage with food.

  • Embrace the mess (or at least try to be ok with it). Little ones love to experiment and play with their food. In fact, playing with food, especially unfamiliar food, helps children learn about food and may mean they’re more likely to try and taste these new foods in future.

  • Let children explore food naturally. Avoid asking your children to eat specific parts of their meal and introduce new foods alongside some of their favourite foods.

  • Try a central serving plate, and let your child serve themselves. Of course, they may not choose exactly what you'd like them to, but they'll appreciate the independence and over time may become more adventurous. 

  • Include your little one's favourite toy at mealtimes. Sitting 'bunny' at the table with a pretend plate of food may seem silly to you, but if it helps keep mealtimes fun it's worth a try. Sometimes, your little one may also adopt the role of 'parent' to the toy, showing them how to eat their meal (a win-win in our books!)

  • Discuss your strategy with your partner or other family members, so you can provide a consistent approach at home. Discussing this in advance can also help to avoid dinner-table conflict, which isn't healthy for anyone. 

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