Here is the thing about motherhood. It doesn’t come with a manual, and that means that no matter how many books we read, gurus we listen to – as moms there is SO much that we don’t know.
In working with hundreds of families to reduce their mealtime stress and reduce the mental burden of mealtime on parents there are 3 things I wish every mother knew about feeding their kids (spoiler alert: they’re NOT which nutrients your kids need).
- You can be (and are!) a good mother even if your kids don’t eat their vegetables. So many mothers I work with feel downright awful at the end of the day when mealtime isn’t as successful as they would like. So mama hear me loud and clear on this one! You are a good mother even if your child is picky, or doesn’t eat every vegetable, or refuses most of the food offered to them.
- The benefits of a family meal are so much more than the foods you put on the table: Eating together as a family has so many important roles. From teaching our kids important utensil skills, to learning social behaviour, to seeing new foods to hearing about your children’s lives outside of your home so many goals can be achieved no matter what is served for dinner. Yet so many families are waiting to eat together until they can enjoy a home cooked meal. If ordering the take out, or picking up the rotisserie chicken (or whatever makes your life easier) means that you can enjoy dinner together more often I will call the take out place for you!! It’s not worth sacrificing all of the amazing things a family meal can provide just because it isn’t doable for it to be homemade.
- Mealtimes don’t have to be stressful (even if they are right now!): Let’s call it like it is- there are lots of elements of parenting that are stressful…but mealtime isn’t one of them. If you rate your stress out of 10 and you’re anywhere 5 and over it’s time to make a change. Not only that, but it is super doable to improve your mealtime- NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE STARTING FROM. Start by creating small manageable changes to your mealtime, and remember- you didn’t get to this mealtime overnight so it won’t change overnight. Focus instead on what you want your mealtime to look like six months or a year from now and what you can do today to support you in getting there.
If you remember one thing, I want it to be that your worth as a mama is not defined by the number of brussel sprouts your kid ate at dinner tonight. Keep rocking it mama 🙂
Ahuva is a mom of almost three year old twins, a registered dietitian with a pediatric based practice in Toronto and an online course creator. She works with families to address picky eating, reduce mealtime stress and reduce the mental load moms face at mealtime. Ahuva believes in the immense power of a successful family meal and that as busy moms giving our family the nourishing meal they deserve can only take so much out of us! You can find Ahuva in her free Facebook community “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Feeding your Family” or on instagram @AhuvaRD
Access Ahuva’s helpful picky eating cheat sheet HERE!