As parents, we are always trying to weigh up what they want to eat, with the confidence that we’re giving them a well-balanced meal with lots of variety.
I’m Danielle, local mum of three and founder of Around The Table. I know how fussy kids can be and serving up dinner every night that everyone is excited to eat (and doesn’t involve you cooking like an al a carte restaurant) is no easy feat.
Here are my top tips to get your kids eating a variety of foods at dinner.
1. Make it Fun
Making dinner time fun, will not instantly have your fussy child reaching for the Brussel sprouts or Rogan Josh, but it could be the welcome distraction from what is on their plate, that helps them try a few more things.
A favourite activity in my family from our Around The Table Activity Card set is If you could be a superhero, what would your power be. What’s your superhero name?
2. Eat the same meal
A great way to encourage children to eat a variety of foods, is for them to see you eating the same things. Sitting down to a family meal more nights than not, reinforces to your children how much you value a balanced meal. It’s an opportunity to talk about how you love a certain vegetable or share a funny story of how Grandma used to make you eat Sausage Casserole.
They won?t admit it, but children role model your behaviour, eating the same meal together will encourage them to try a little more of this, and that.
3. Pair favourites with new flavours
Although as parents we hate getting caught in the food reward trap ‘Just one sixteenth of a bite of pumpkin and you can have ice cream’, we can use clever pairings to leverage favourites with a few more foods from the column we most value.
When I developed the Around The Table Family Meals, I carefully paired the hero dish with sides that I knew other parents would approve. For example, I know your kids will love our Chicken Parmigiana, so it comes with a generous serving of Roasted Vegetables and Steamed Greens that you can encourage they eat, seeing they love the Parmi so much!
4. Get their input
Our smallest people also relish the opportunity to feel in control of their choices. Sitting down once a week and planning out your dinners is a great way to help you get organised, as well as get early buy in on what will be served up each night. This also allows some sibling bartering to make sure everyone gets their favourite at least one night.
Looking at family schedule will also identify the nights you’re going to be low on time, and by pre-planning you?re less likely to grab a take-away that you feel bad about later. Need inspo? I think we’ve ticked almost every family favourite right here.
At Around The Table, we remove the hassle so that families can connect over this important nightly ritual. We do so by saving you time and energy by delivering premium fresh family meals that are pre-made and ready in minutes. We also support family fun and engagement by including 5 of our unique Activity Cards, written by experts, to spark open conversation and fun. Making dinner time easier and more enjoyable for everyone! I am so excited to share Around The Table with other Northern Beaches families!