We know kids can be fussy. Do you worry about cooking your favourite meals in case they don’t like them? Or do you cook alternate meals just for them?
The other day I looked at the packet of polenta and thought, I can’t remember the last time I made a polenta stack. Mr Foost and I used to love that meal. It was one of our favourite pre-kid meals but it seems to have slipped through the cracks since having kids. What happened? Was it deemed not child-friendly? Has my cooking style changed? Whatever the reason, I want to bring it back. And I did tonight, but first I made a few small changes to avoid mealtime drama.
Here are three simple tips for turning your meals into fun family times:
Think about serving the kids’ meals in smaller compartments, separately. For example, I and my hubby love a polenta stack. We serve ours already assembled while the kids get the ingredients served separately and have polenta, veggies and a dipping sauce on their plates. Then they can mix them as they wish- everyone is happy! (read more about deconstructed meals here).
Our meal (pictured above)
Give kids the tongs:
Try having family meals where everyone serves themselves, rather than you plating up the dish. Not only do kids get to eat according to their hunger, they make their own choices about what goes on their plates. What’s not to love?
Be considerate but do not cater:
Make sure that with each meal, there is at least one element that is familiar and that your kids enjoy. This element is known as a “safe food”, something you know the child has already learned to like. It could be rice, or carrots, or chicken or bread. We don’t want to cater separate meals for our kids but we still need to consider their tastes. So they feel comfortable at the table with the meal.
Try these tips and turn mealtimes into family fun rather than family drama … as well as enjoying your old favourite meals again!
Any ideas to add to joy to mealtimes? Do share them with us.