Wednesday, January 27, 2010

no more struggles at dinnertime

The kids arent really old enough to care what their dinner is going to be ahead of time.
Which is good for me because then I get to make whatever I want!

They eat the typical kid dogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and anything Jeff and I are having that I think they'll dig. (people still say dig, right?)
They eat pork chops, meatloaf, spaghetti (a house favorite) and they have a love of tacos as well.

Most nights our struggle with the kids during dinner seem endless.

Carah likes to take an hour or more to eat.
Seriously an hour.


She is 6 and she is good at it.
She talks.


She is 6.

I shutter to think of her phone usage when she gets older.

And Brady is excellent at being 2 1/2.
In fact I believe he is testing the very definition of 2 1/2 currently.

Some days he eats in 15 minutes...some days over an hour.
Depending on his mood of course.
He has a recent tendency to store food in his cheeks during dinner.
After 6 or so bites he resembles this:

And while it is adorable we constantly have to push the food back onto the other side of his teeth so he can chew and swallow!

Then they drop their food, knock the milk over, elbow in the ketchup, sneeze in their sandwich...its never ending.

Where does the easy, no struggle part come in?

The one time that Jeff and I have found where the kids eat willingly, without prodding and hour long meals and act like angels is when we have our special family picnic nights.

In November we started having family picnics every other week.
Yes, we still live in Ohio.
Where it is 19 degrees out currently.
And snowing.

So we lay down a blanket in the family room, we all get in our pajamas and we eat our dinner as a picnic.
Only inside.

We generally put on a kids television show as a special treat (the kids dont watch much tv at our house) and we all have a great time laughing at that crazy Lily on Hannah Montana or dancing to the Mickey House Clubhouse song 'Hot Diggity Dog'.

It may not be the structured meal that we typically enforce but it also lets the kids know that Dad and Amanda can let the rules slip every now and then for some family picnic time.
Plus we try and use paper plates which makes it easier on me come dishes time!
This is what works for me...see what works for everyone else here!


Jennifer said...

Sometimes when my kids get extra chatty at dinner I impose a "quiet contest" Suddenly there is silence and the winner gets a mint or small piece of chocolate as a treat. Sometimes we have 4 winners and that is fine too.

solstice letters said...

It's amazing how just switching things up a bit can be so refreshing.