Many parents take interest in feeding their kids well and strive to raise healthy eaters. There are often bumps along the road as we sort through scores of nutrition advice and information. We’ve heard all sorts of questions from parents, so in our new series, we’ll dive deeper into five key elements that pave the way for successful feeding. This series is adapted from talks Samantha conducts as a registered dietitian.
Part II – Prioritize Family Goals
If the first key involves turning inward, the second key looks outward at our family and the goals we wish to create for the group as a whole. If we’re more familiar with our personal history related to food and eating, we can better consider the important values for our family. Perhaps we are looking to forge a new path from how we were raised, or improve upon values that were passed down. In either case, determining what’s important for the family will impact how our children eat and form their values about food and eating.
Consider the following questions:
– What are the three most important food values for me and my family?
– What are steps I can take to improve family meal times?
– Do I need resources to assist me in this process?
– In an ideal world, what do I want my child’s eating to be like?
– Are my family goals realistic?
The above questions can move us along the path to not only investigate what’s important and why, but into action and taking steps to make changes. Discuss these questions with your spouse, loved ones and other family members. Search online and visit the library for some excellent resources on ideas for improving family meal time, menu planning, and organizing your kitchen.
Work on one goal at a time rather than trying to overhaul your system with sweeping changes. If your goal is to have more family meals together, don’t forget about breakfast and weekend meals. Dinners together are wonderful, but often a challenge due to busy schedules. With a menu planning goal, make a plan for a certain number of meals cooked at home per week and build from there. For those accustomed to eating out, cooking at home can feel overwhelming, especially when we’re tired. If you’d like your child/children to try more new foods, get creative with your variety as well as how the foods are served. It’s the repeat exposure that’s most important in the long run.
Stay tuned for Part III!
What are your goals for you and your family?