A lot of you reach out to me and tell me that you do all this work at the table to help keep the pressure low and get your kid interested in their plate for it all to be ruined when your partner comes in and says something like “you need to eat your broccoli so we can have ice cream tonight” or something along those lines. And oohhhh mama do I feel you on this!
I love my husband and he is an INCREDIBLE father to our babies….but he doesn’t put a lot of thought into what he says to them around the table. Yes even my husband totally does this. It’s actually a big reason why I started my podcast, was for him to listen and not to have to have a ‘discussion’ about it everyday hahaha!
So today I’m going to share a few tips with you on how to get your partner on board with your feeding strategy. And really this is all about finding common ground and making a plan TOGETHER. And this framework can be applied to any area of parenting really.
Step 1: DON’T talk about this in front of the kids. Yes even when he says something you perceive as harmful don’t stop him right there, take note and bring it up later. It is SO important to be a united front in the home!
Step 2: Find time (not around the kids) to talk. Schedule it out and come to it open minded and calm.
Step 3: Chat about how you were both raised around the table. This helps incredibly with some insight into why they may do or say or expect certain things that you’ve never thought of. Were they forced to finish their plate, did they have free access to the kitchen all day?
Step 4: Find common ground and build a common goal. Talk about what kind of kids you want to raise, inside and outside of the kitchen. Do you want them to be self-sufficient in cooking and meal planning, do you want them to be adventurous with new foods, do you want them to listen to their body and know when to eat more or less? Write these down.
Step 5: How do you get there? Write out steps on how to get to that end goal. If you want to raise them to listen to their bodies then you need to agree to let them decide when they’re done with their plate. If family meals are important to you, then you make a plan to always be home for dinner and set expectations around how long to sit at the table. Etc etc.
Step 6. Role play. This one I always get weird looks about but the darnedest things come out of our little’s mouths! We need to be prepared situationally. Come up with a few scenarios and then act it out or at least talk through it so you both have a plan on how you’ll respond. ie what do to if your little asks for a third helping of pears but hasn’t touched their main dish yet.
Ok I hope this guide was helpful for you! If you’d like more check out my podcast episode all about this by clicking here! Also check out my free printable that walks you through these steps and gives you some good ideas as well!
Until next time mamas!
Alyssa, your mama and me RD