Welcome to our our guest blogger and Family Week partner of the day, Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and Today Show contributor. Many of you have participated in some of Amy’s free parenting webinars with us before. We are thrilled to learn more from her below and in an upcoming webinar next week. Read on to learn more…
Throwing food, refusing to eat, slipping the broccoli to the family dog – kids will do just about anything to avoid eating their dinner. As a working mom with two growing sons, I’ve had a front-row seat to the worst of these mealtime fiascoes. As founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…, however, I’m able to provide parents across the country with tips and tricks to take the trouble out of breakfast, lunch, and supper. They worked at my dinner table, and I’m confident they’ll work for yours, too.
Just as eMeals helps you create hassle-free menus, these strategies will get even the pickiest eaters to dig in. Follow these directions for your own drama-free dining:
- Mix in the whole family. Like any good dish contains top ingredients, the best meals are kid inclusive – start to finish. Teach younger children to set the table and help clean up; older kids can prep by scrambling eggs or peeling veggies. Make the menu a team effort too by letting your kids add their favorites to the grocery list – peas or corn, chicken or fish. When your children are part of the process, they’re less likely to make a fuss during it.
- Measure what you can control – and that’s the pantry. You’ll never be able to force a stubborn child to eat, but you do have the power to make sure he’s not filling up on sugary junk food instead of his nutritious meals. Keep only healthy snacks on hand, and limit their availability. If kids leave most of their dinner on the plate, close the pantry (and fridge) at least an hour before mealtime.
- Chop out the discussion about what – or how much – she eats. Your job as a parent is to plan healthy meals, and you’ll do well to provide at least one healthy item you know your daughter will eat. After that, leave it alone. Even praising comments like “great job clearing your plate!” turns eating to a performance issue – which makes mealtime ripe for a power struggle.
- Serve dessert – or don’t – but don’t make it contingent on mealtime performance. Food, including the sweet stuff, shouldn’t be seen as a reward, but instead as a part of the meal that everyone gets to enjoy.
These tidbits of advice are sure to fuel healthy eating at your house—and not simply by the family dog. For other ways to simplify your mealtime, be sure to check out eMeals.com.
Craving more delicious bits of parenting advice? Join us for a FREE WEBINAR – Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling – from TODAY Show Parenting Contributor, Amy McCready. Wednesday, September 26 at 9 PM Eastern. Learn more and RSVP here.
In honor of Family Week, eMeals is giving away a scholarship to the acclaimed Positive Parenting Solutions Online course! Learn more and enter the giveaway contest by visiting eMeals on Facebook.
About the Author:
Parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. She is a frequent guest on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.