I read a post over at Embiejo etc (doesn’t that name just roll off your tongue so nicely!) about their ‘dinner woes’. I left a comment with my ‘oh-so-wise-trying-not-to-sound-too-high-and-mighty’ advice to her dilemmas on how to make dinner time better in their house and it’s got me thinking. Thinking about meal times in this house, the good, the bad and ugly.
Meal times at our house are either crazy rushed – please someone eat this because we needed to leave five minutes ago – or, if we have no place to be, they are really quite pleasant. Mostly it is breakfast and lunch that are sometimes chaotic, dinner is almost always lovely and I really like that.
I am sure it helps that in general my kids like to eat, so battles over food don’t dominate meal times. They do get picky at times. Right now Izzy has decided she dislikes potato – unless it comes in the form of a chip! For a while she wouldn’t eat unless there was something pink on her plate. Zoe has ‘the gap’ issue and find some foods hard to manage without her front teeth – or so she would like us to believe. Muski will eat almost anything, until he decides not to then he chucks it as far as he can. I think this is all pretty normal when it comes to small children who are still developing their likes and dislikes so it doesn’t bother me too much.
I also have a pretty strong ideal that I do not want to make food into an issue. I mostly cook food that I know everyone will eat in some form (even if the girls choose plain pasta with no sauce) but I don’t make four different meals in an attempt to please everyone. I don’t force anyone to eat, and I try not to bribe or cajole anyone to eat. If they eat they eat, if they don’t they don’t. I also don’t withhold desert or a treat, or use it as a bargaining chip to make anyone eat. Our general rule of thumb is to provide healthy food, and the odd treat and trust that we all will all learn to make decent decisions about food in our own time. Well that is the theory anyway! LOL
Eileen over at Consumption Rebellion posted some great links to some very cool food websites a while back. She linked to several great sites but I have been really enjoying looking around this one –
Love Food Hate Waste
At the moment we are struggling to find the balance between not making food into a big deal or a battle with our kids but also trying to get them to understand about consumption, how much we have, and waste. Interestingly this web site has taught me a thing or two about waste! I thought we did pretty well with eating what we bought and wasting little but this site is full of great information about how to buy with less waste in mind, how to store food so there is less waste, menu planning for less waste as well as recipes to use up left overs. So much information, though I am still faltering when trying to explain the concept of waste to my girls in a way that is meaningful to them
Over the years we’ve engineered our daily rhythm so that we can all eat dinner together most nights. That means we usually don’t eat until 6:30pm, when The Baldy Boy is home from work, so sometimes it means a late afternoon tea to tide us over. Recently we’ve switched around a few things so that we can still eat dinner together and also get into bed at a decent time with a view to getting up at 7:30 for kinder…. it was a bit of trial and error at first and took a bit of getting used to but I feel it is important to eat as a family as often as we can.
Recently we’ve eaten a few meals with a friend and her girls and we’ve been entranced by the candle they light at their table and the song they sing before meals (a Steiner idea I think). It mesmerised the Twinadoes and they have commented often about how special it was. It has made me think about ways we can make our dinner times ‘special’. Thinking about some family traditions that we could create for dinner time… We’ve recently planted some flower seeds and I am hopeful that eventually we may be able to pick flowers for our dinner table. Does anyone else have some nice meal time traditions to share?
And while I am asking questions – Anyone got any quick and easy breakfast and lunch ideas?? These are our often rushed meals, and of course no one eats as well when they are rushed, nor is the meal very pleasant in general. I am hoping if I can organise myself a list of easy meals that at least the preparation side won’t be so rushed and maybe that will flow through to everything else!
In other news… Thanks so munch for all the messages of concern from yesterdays post. So far no trips to hospital! Yay! After a lot of lovely steroids and venotlin Twin 1 is much better and is at kinder this morning, Twin 2 is still not crash hot, but better than she was. I have my fingers and toes crossed she is well enough to manage the 30 minutes of ballet class this afternoon as she would be totally devastated to have to sit and watch. I have assigned the Baldy Boy the task of developing my ‘paediatric-sick-o-metre’ and will let you all know when it is done… freebies for all who commented on that post!