So, I have made a lot of progress on my goal of finding food sources that are more localized. This is largely due to using Reasor’s for the food I can’t buy directly from the farmer’s market or butcher. Reasor’s sells a lot of my favorite steals that are Oklahoma products, including bread made from wheat grown in state.
With that said, we’ve been refocusing our food in our home. Healthier? Not really, we do a pretty good job of that normally.
What we have been doing is making mealtimes family time. No meal takes place away from the table unless it’s a special occasion. No electronics are allowed whatsoever. We try to eat in courses as often as possible to enjoy the food as well as teach Little Bird how to enjoy food and patiently anticipate the next course.
Little Bird now sets the napkins and plates on the table. She will be working on getting silverware set this week.
She also gets her own drink.
We have one rule: Everyone must try everything.
This rule applies to Little Bird AND Doc.
I’ve been having fun in the kitchen trying new things like Jalepeno Jelly, cooking a whole chicken, stuffed mushrooms, even mini cakes.
We only eat at specific times throughout the day. Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner. All take place at the table. Drinks are allowed whenever anyone wants one. Drinks being Juice, Water, Milk, Tea, and Coffee.
Doc works a lot this month, so having a meal together at dinner has been priceless. Little Bird’s conversation skills have skyrocketed. She is learning summary skills when she tries to relay her day’s happenings to her dad. She is learning courtesy and how to show interest in other’s stories while we talk at the table too.
Little Bird helps me cook most days. She is really great at pouring in pre-measured items, stirring, and tasting. She is much more likely to eat things that she helped prepare.
We also “plate”. You can make anything look thirty times more tasty if you arrange it nicely on a plate.
This shift back to our old habits has been highly therapeutic. It’s nice to know that even if the day is hard, we’ll have a nice dinner at the end of it.
COMING SOON: …what to do when dinner goes badly and you have no time to get something together because today was THAT bad.
WARNING: If your kid struggles to eat anything other than cheese or bread or fruit snacks, adopting this way of eating, cooking, etc. takes a few weeks for them to adjust to. Enforce the “try it” rule. They may act like they are going to starve themselves, but eventually most kiddos come around when they figure out what to expect.