With the limitations of living in lockdown, and parents trying to juggle childcare, teaching, and work – family mealtimes can be even more challenging at this time.
With Covid 19 changing our daily routines, many parents are now spending more time than ever with their children.
This is all great, of course, but with it come natural daily battles. Like mealtimes and fussy eaters.
That tricky age
Between the ages of 18 months and four years old, children discover their independence and personality. With this comes a desire to explore the world around them, as they develop fine motor and thinking skills. But, this can be particularly challenging at mealtimes if toddlers and pre-schoolers refuse to sit still.
So what can you do during Covid 19 to frankly stay sane!? Here's a few ideas....
1. PLAY WITH FOOD!
It can be hard when you're in the same environment all the time. However, the best way to get kids to the table and keep them there, is to make it a fun place to be.
If your little one won't sit still, then try bringing their favourite toys to them. For young kids especially, role play can help with social development and may be just what you need to create a positive association around mealtimes.
So, go ahead - play games, experiment with foods and play 'here comes the Choo-Choo plate, whatever it takes to make them feel happy and settled.
2- INVOLVE THEM AT MEALTIMES
If your child is made to feel involved in the process, from choosing their dinner, through to choosing their tableware, they’re far likelier to develop a healthy approach to eating and food in general.
Offering a choice of fruit for instance, gives them some autonomy and helps them feel in control. A great way to get little ones excited about mealtimes, is to kit them out with new tableware.
Much like a new toy - a new plate or a new cup is very exciting for a young child. Go for fun designs, with themes your child is interested in. That way, they'll want to use them time and again. And don't be afraid to take these out with you to restaurants when they reopen up after Covid 19.
3- BREAKFAST CLUB
Yes, we know it's exhasuting when you're trying to take a work call and you've got a fussy eater to feed. Families that dine together, tend to have better eating habits, such as consuming more vegetables.
However, right now in the middle of a global pandemic, it can be hard to allocate the time to sit together for breakfast, lunch and dinner for family mealtimes.
So why not make a rule - the start of the day? This is the one of the best times that families can dine together, even if it means getting up a little earlier than usual. Make it part of your daily ritual, and you should soon start to see some positive results.
Munchy Play kids' plates are now available on Amazon and here at munchyplay.com