Eating together, staying together
The festive season is all about celebrating, and eating together as a family. Doddl* share their top tips for making the festivities a memorable experience and an opportunity for kids to join in and learn good eating habits.
Get them involved
Christmas can be a busy time in the kitchen, so make use of your in-house sous chefs. Being involved in the process is not only a great opportunity to spend time together and a chance to learn important life skills, but also means they’re more invested in the result. They’ll be eager to show off their handiwork and more likely to tuck into the results!
Give them independence
If you’ve spent hours slaving over a hot stove, it's understandable you want your little ones to eat up every bite. But giving them some independence over their food choices is good for their development. Putting food in the centre of the table and encouraging them to help themselves will teach them to manage portion control. They will get to know what being full feels like by themselves, rather than being dictated to by grown-ups. An added bonus is that you get to enjoy your own meal without having to supervise your children constantly. You just have to learn to embrace the mess as they find their way!
Let them take charge
Allow your kids to take charge of just one thing on the big day, to give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. Why not let them take charge of decorating and laying out cutlery on the table? Or passing round snacks, or perhaps encouraging younger brothers and sisters to try different foods?
A busy family occasion can be a good time to encourage your little ones to try new flavours, particularly those we associate with the holiday season – such as cranberry, stuffing or even brussel sprouts! In a larger social setting, with the wider family to cheer them on/impress, they may be more confident about trying something new.
Enjoy being together
Very often, the more social your mealtime is, the more your child will want to eat. And Christmas is certainly a time when your table is busier than usual. Being with the grown-ups can be an inspiring setting for kids to feel a part of a special experience. It’s important to talk and interact with them at the table so that they associate mealtimes with pleasure and really feel part of the proceedings. And if a second lockdown means that Christmas has to be on a smaller scale this year there are still loads of ways to make it a special one. Why not ask family members to share simple festive recipes that the kids can help you make, or design placemats you can send to each other to use on the big day?
Doddl create innovative and functional products that help children eat independently. An award-winning British company, it’s endorsed by child healthcare experts including Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists and Child Development Specialists.