After a long day of work and chores, nothing is better than winding down and having dinner with your spouse. Eating dinner allows you to spend some much-needed downtime with the ones you love. Also, eating with can help counter any negativity you possibly encountered throughout the day. However, that quiet time of relaxation during meals might end when a baby enters the picture. May it be through bearing one or adopting one, one thing is for sure: mealtime won’t be like it used to, and you might get into some troubles along the way.
The Benefits of Eating Together for Children and Families
There is no need to fear. All the trouble does come with its benefits… As long as you are willing to adjust and roll with some of the punches. Eating together with your child will allow you to teach and help them develop proper and more sensible eating habits. You’ll get to learn your child’s palate, letting you know what meals would be the best and healthiest option for them. Eating together can also build better family dynamics since mealtime is one of the few times the whole family is together in a day. Adding to this, eating together with the family can also help keep everyone healthy since you can ensure that everyone is eating well.
How You Can Make Dinner Time More Manageable
Even if the benefits do seem rewarding, sometimes you can’t handle all the mealtime difficulties with your child. You would have to get them to settle down when eating, especially during the last meal of the day. With that being said, many parents are continually finding new ways to make family meals a little more manageable. Lucky for you, we have listed some of the best ways to make mealtimes not only more manageable but more enjoyable for everyone involved as well.
Invest in some baby dinnerware
It’s common knowledge you need dinnerware to eat, but the problem is your new child can’t just magically adjust to the sizing of regular dinnerware. You must invest in some dinnerware that is made for them. They will be able to eat properly and consume the right amount of food they should. Plus, they will also be able to use the dinnerware in the future as they begin to eat independently. You’ll need the basics such as spoons, forks, plates, bowls, and sippy cups. All these may be purchased at your local department store. But if you don’t want to go out, especially during the pandemic, there are online suppliers for baby dinnerware you can buy from to be safe.
Allow your child to make choices
Your child might not be old enough to speak yet, but they are old enough to let you know what food they do or do not like. They tend to make a fuss when the food isn’t to their taste. Fusses are unavoidable, especially with children’s unpredictability, but there are ways you can lessen the time they spend fussing. All you need to do is try giving them the food. If they gag, spit it out, or push away the spoon after, that’s a clear sign you should try feeding them something else. Remember, your child should not only eat the food but enjoy it, too.
Make things more fun
There’s nothing that gets a child to settle down more than a nap and some fun. They can’t eat while sleeping, so you should take advantage of the latter to help make mealtime more manageable. It is pretty straightforward since babies find fun in the most trivial things like colours and shapes. You can make a meal fun by adding those two things. Try mixing different fruits and vegetables or cutting them into various shapes and sizes. As long as it catches their attention, you’re in for a more manageable meal. Just make sure that the meal isn’t too fun—you wouldn’t want your child mistaking the food for a toy.
Be an example
Finally, the simplest yet most effective way to make mealtime more manageable is to set an example. Often, children mirror what their parents do. Studies show that it is easier for a child to learn something by copying than being told what to do. It is essential to observe proper manners during a meal, especially when a child is present. Eat your vegetables, practice proper manners, and follow a healthy eating routine. That way, your child can follow what you’re doing.
On that note, a child entering the family is already a fuss, to begin with, and things seem to escalate a bit during mealtime. But remember, there are always ways you can make things more manageable. All you need to do is adjust and get to know your child, as well as be open to other methods. That way, even though mealtime wasn’t as it was before, it can still be relaxing and fun, especially with a baby around.