The kids and I went on a “play date” (I hate that term) today with two other kids that are Sam’s age. The mom’s are good friends of mine and we have been getting together every couple of weeks since Sam was born. One of mom’s happens to be a pediatric speech and language pathologist and the other is a child development specialist. We each rely on each other for expert troubleshooting when it comes to our tots. Getting together with them regularly, has been a tremendous blessing in my life. They have been very encouraging and supportive of Your Kid’s Table, so thank you ladies! However, at lunch, today, I realized that they are a little nervous to feed their kids in front of me! They are concerned they might not be feeding their kid the best foods or the best way and don’t want me to judge them. Gasp! I don’t want anyone to feel like that, although I can understand how they would. Most of you won’t be having lunch with me, but they reminded me of an important point: RELAX. I know I have touched on this in various posts and around my blog, but I felt like it deserved its own post to get the attention it deserves.
We have so many emotions wrapped up in feeding our children. We know that they should eat a varied diet full of fruits and vegetables and with little sugar. We know that they need this to grow and be healthy. We worry that we are failing in some way when they don’t eat well, that it is our fault. It is hard work and life is crazy half the time. I wish I could say that I never break my own rules but I do, occasionally. The important thing is to be trying most of the time. You are going to have bad days and so is your kid. Other than having a roof over their head, feeding them is our chief responsibility. That can be a lot of pressure! If this is your line of thought, your kid/baby is picking up on some of your anxiety, which will only make their eating worse.
It is our job to feed our kids and we do play a large role in the foods they eat and are exposed to. But, if you are on this blog, reading this, you are doing something about it, so pat yourself on the back. It is hard work to raise a kid that eats well. Sometimes, despite our best efforts they still might not be the best eater. And, that is okay. It just doesn’t mean to throw in the towel.
My goal is to educate parents on the most successful and beneficial ways to feed children. I feel that there is a lack of information available to parents, well, information that thoroughly discusses the topic. I don’t want anyone to feel that they have to start implementing every suggestion I give immediately for meals to go perfectly, they certainly don’t in my house. I do hope you will try some or all of the strategies/tips, and try several times, if it doesn’t work the first time. Look at what small thing you can change today and when you have made some progress try and change something else. Ultimately, as your kid’s parent, you know what is best for them. Reflect on what works for you and your child. Be honest with yourself. Don’t set your expectations too high. Cut yourself some slack, you will make mistakes. Enjoy your meal!