Serena Caner, registered dietician

Column: Reducing mealtime stress for parents

Dear Ayla,

The other night when you said dinner looked yucky and threw it on the floor, you hurt my feelings. You see, I work hard every evening to cook you healthy meals that will make your body strong and protect you against chronic disease. I try my best to make them appealing and tasty, but they will not always be your favourite. Next time, please eat it politely and keep your thoughts to yourself.

Thank you.

Mommy

Feeding children can be a demoralizing experience. Especially between the ages of two and four. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: children do learn to eat and mealtimes do get easier. Here are some strategies for survival:

Be Prepared: Getting home at six o’clock to children who needed to eat half an hour ago is not the night you decide to introduce a new recipe with brown rice.

It also doesn’t have to mean fast food. This is a good night to have planned left-overs, assembly meals (you’ve pre-cut all the ingredients, and now just have to throw them together), or eggs and toast.

Yes, I am recommending that you make a meal plan for your week, that reflects the time you have each day to cook.

Make sure your kids are hungry. Hungry kids are always better eaters. Sometimes poor behaviour at supper results from too much snacking after school.

Overtired children?: Today’s world was not created with children’s best interests at heart. Are you trying to fit too many activities into your day?

Children (and parents) eat better when they are relaxed and rested. Consider making your life less scheduled.

Check-in with yourself: Stressed parents usually result in stressed children. If patience is gone by dinner time, find a strategy for self-regulation. This could mean enjoying a glass of wine, allowing yourself some space from your children while you cook dinner, or, worst-case scenario, locking yourself in the bathroom for five minutes of meditation!

Choose one or two meal time rules and stick to them. Consistency is a very important aspect of parenting. What dinnertime behaviours are important to you?

-Serena Caner is a registered dietitian who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Just Posted

Video: Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet skiers take to the Larch Hills trails

Annual ski race in Salmon Arm enters its 35th year

Letters: Trudeau should rethink approach to foreign policy

As most people know, Justin Trudeau used to teach drama. As prime… Continue reading

Letters: Gasoline isn’t the only high-priced item in town

Writer expresses concern with discrepency in pharmaceutical pricing

Boomer the homing pigeon finds home

After taking up summer residence in Silver Creek, pigeon joins a flock in Kamloops

Opinion: High gas prices send shoppers out of town

Nothing new to gas price disparity faced by Salmon Arm and Sicamous residents

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Salmon Arm Silverbacks take 6-3 loss against Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Bulldogs make a three-point push in the third to cap off the game

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read