- We give the children small plates with small portions. (We almost always serve them rather than letting them serve themselves.)
- If it is a normal meal (not a large feast like Thanksgiving dinner, a potluck or leftover buffet) everybody is required to take everything being served whether it is a favorite or not.
- No complaining about food is allowed. If it happens the complainer forfeits any possible dessert or snack before the next meal.
- All food must be eaten. If for some reason they feel they just cannot finish then they can put it in a container and put it in the fridge and save it for when they are hungry again. So before they can eat a snack or another meal they need to eat that food. This makes sure they don't get conveniently full just because they don't like something, it is also helping to make sure our children are not that picky and it prevents food waste. There are times we do forget about the food for a meal or two (though actually often the kids will remind us!) so then we end up pulling it out then and having them eat it for that meal instead. Also sometimes the kids will have not wanted to eat because they were actually getting sick -in that case often their meal will get thrown out.
This method might sound strict but it really works very well for us. We have pretty much no arguing over eating your veggies or whatever kids might not like. The kids know the routine and except it. There have been things that they didn't like for a while (for instance Mara with mushrooms) but since they have to eat it anyway (we don't allow pulling items off or out of a dish) they have often learned to like it or at least not mind it. We have very fun mealtime conversations and really enjoy that time together as a family.
That works for me! I am interested to here how you deal with feeding your kids.
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