Do you and your child already find mealtimes a challenge?
Are they a picky eater who has even more difficulty with the extra hustle and bustle, special guests, different timing or location of family meals during the holiday season?
Create a visual display about the meal, using text if appropriate to label foods or describe what will be happening. You will be taking away a good deal of the surprise and your child will like that they know ahead of time what they will be eating. Review this often ahead of time and display at the time of the meal.
1)Present pictures of all the foods that will be served-use photos, graphics, Google images, magazine cut outs.
2)Have your child choose the foods they will eat and stick them on a drawing of a plate or a real plate!
3)Divide the plate in 4 and have them choose 4 different foods to go on their plate. You decide ahead of time on the number and selection of foods.
4)Plan for a drink choice and a dessert choice too.
5)Think of other ways your child might be involved in helping with the meal if appropriate:
•Can they help you shop for the foods (take some pictures with you)
•Maybe they can help with some of the meal preparation
•If you had an illustration would they be able to set the table or assist with this task
•Could they put name cards (perhaps photos) on the table, so they know where people will be sitting
•Is it possible for them to help serve the meal
•With everyone finished the meal and out of the kitchen would they enjoy helping to clean up, listening to some favorite music perhaps
Can you add any other ideas to these lists? Sharing a tip that works for you may be just the solution another parent is looking for.