When you’re a parent, anything to do with eating can become a task in and of itself. This is something that many people who don’t have kids are oblivious to. Gone are the days of picking up a series of quick snacks rather than sitting down for a proper meal. You can’t divulge in one too many takeaways anymore while you experience busy or hectic periods of your life. Now you have responsibilities and others’ health and wellbeing to take into mind with every single meal. Now, most articles out there about kids and meals tend to focus on one thing: what goes onto their plate. Sure, this is massively important. Children need a healthy, balanced diet in order to develop properly. This means loading their meals with piles of greens to supply them with all of their necessary vitamins and minerals, plenty of carbs to fuel them in their play, and the right kind of treats to satiate their sweet tooth. However, have you ever considered how the environment that they eat in and the timetable they stick to in regards to meals can come into play when we take a look at their overall wellbeing? Well, if not, it’s time to start thinking about it. Here are a few different ways that eating arrangements can affect your little one’s development.
Back in the day, families would generally sit down together for meals. This went for as many meals during the day as possible. However, over time, more and more families have ditched the traditional table and chairs in favour of eating from their laps in front of the television or eating alone in their rooms. Avoid this! Here are a couple of reasons to invest in a dining room table and chairs and eat together.
Eating can be a great socializing and bonding experience. So, ditch the television and actually engage with one another. This will forge closer relations, building trust and understanding between you and your children. You will also have a more in-depth understanding of them as individuals.
Listening to your kids talk about what they enjoy means that you can actively expand their interests. Perhaps you’ll pick up that they’ve particularly enjoyed a certain activity at school or have an avid interest in a particular area of education. This small insight from passing conversation could see you helping them to engage with what stirs them. Maybe you could sign them up for a sports team they’ve express interest in, purchase a book on a particular subject that has caught their imagination, or set them up with music lessons so they can be just like their favourite artist or star.
Flowing conversation can also help you to understand things that are bothering your little ones. Perhaps they’re struggling with a certain subject. You could find them a tutor! Maybe they’ve been experiencing issues with another student. You can then confront it with their teachers or other authority figures.
Sure, you may not be able to have lunch together all of the time. The kids might be at school, or you might be at work. But wherever possible, try to have a sit-down breakfast and dinner together. Encourage your little ones to take a seat once their meal has finished cooking. You can then dish up and bring their plates to the table for them. The anticipation will see them devour everything on their plate! Eating may be a basic human need, but the experience of eating together can make the activity so much more than that!