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December 20, 2007

Party kids


With many festive meals approaching...here's a kid-food-hint; relax. To start, why not have them help prepare the meals rather than rush them out of the kitchen. OK - infants and toddlers are excused from servitude this year. However, preschoolers and school aged kids can certainly lend a hand - and really, don't they love having jobs and feeling important?!

From placing napkins on the table to peeling carrots (with a safe peeler and parental supervision), then from putting pretzels (one-by-one) into a bowl to taking drink orders with pencil and pen; there are lots of kid jobs at a party.

During the dinner (whether at home or elsewhere) I am completely guilty of being a eating coach rather than an active eater.

Just try it. Two bites. Sit down. You won't get anything else. It's healthy. Yes, (child B) you like potatoes. No, I know (child A) you hate potatoes. Draw a line on your plate and eat half. Sit down. I challenge you to try that...hey, everyone there's a challenge at the table! Clear your plates please. Yogurt or fruit for dessert. No pudding. Please sit down.

Here's a tip...for this one party night - give yourself permission to let the kids eat what they will eat. If they eat raw carrots, bread and dessert - while behaving a the table -- it's fine. If you need to serve them a hearty bowl of cheerios an hour before dinner -- it's fine. If they need to run around because they are too excited to sit -- it's fine. I strongly believe in formal dining and best behaviour but I can excuse flexibility when oodles of just opened presents are waiting to be played.

I think parents can enjoy festive meals more when they are not stressed about kids. Let them be kids....if just for this one day.

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1 Comments:

At December 21, 2007 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Karen said...

This is excellent advice...there is no need to ruin everyones festive mood by trying too hard to get your kids to do things they would likely need lots of managing to do on a regular day let alone on a super special present filled day!

Another idea is to let the kids help choose what should be included in the meal...if they have had a chance to pick something to have at the party it is more likely they will eat it...my 5 year old son has asked his Nanna to make sushi rolls for christmas eve dinner because he "loves" them (??? maybe because Yoko eats the on Timothy goes to school ???), if he eats a few pieces of just one roll he will get some rice, some egg or crab meat, some cuccumbers and maybe even some carrots into him...and everyone else also really likes them as an appetizer so it is a win win to get some healthy food into my son and have an appetizer for everyone else as well!!

The 3 year old will likely just eat turbos but hey they have protein so bring out the bowl and spoon and keep the food crankies away!!

Happy Holiday everyone!!!!!

 

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