Pancake Party

June 13, 2018

It is all too easy to get caught up in the every day hustle and bustle, we have all been there. Have you noticed that your child’s meltdowns come when you’re at your breaking point or the least prepared to handle a tantrum? This is no coincidence – kiddos feel that energy. So let’s say you’ve struggled through a terrible Tuesday and you put a movie on for your kiddo while you make dinner, just hoping they will give you 20 minutes to cook dinner without interruptions and you can decompress from your day. Then we quickly shut off the movie or worse try to get the kiddo to eat while the movie is still visible. I’d wager that they struggle to eat what you want them to eat or to focus on the food in front of them instead of the movie they’ve seen 15 times this month along. Insert the stressful pleading with toddlers to ‘clean their plate’ or ‘eat all their broccoli before they can have dessert’ … We have all said it, and in that moment we wonder when we became our parents and if it is always going to be this way.

Admittedly we are still in the throes of toddler days around here but after taking care of hundreds of children I can say it absolutely does get better. And even better, it doesn’t have to be a battle. It’s true! You can adopt small changes today that will make sure your family has a better mealtime experience and your child has a better relationship with food. After all parents and care givers set the expectations and rules around meal times.
I found our family in one of those terrible ruts recently — Charlie was fighting everything, we had the TV on during meals (personal pet peeve), we weren’t eating as many vegetables as I know is best for us, what I was making for meals felt blah and uninspired… So I immediately planned my reset – Charlie is a pancake fan so I knew this would be a sure-fire win. Once I decided on my game plan (breakfast for dinner, pajamas, stuffed animals, pancakes + bacon + fruit salad, etc) I started to sell Charlie on it. For several days prior to our fun pancake party, we talked about – how the dinner would taste, who was coming, which pajamas we would wear, what fruit we should have, etc. (Worth noting that during this build up period he was still being very picky and had minimal interest in the foods I was serving.) When the day came he knew to turn off our TV and we both got in the pajamas we had picked out. We turned on some music and started cooking and getting the table ready.

Our breakfast for dinner party was delicious and OH. SO. MUCH. FUN!!! It served as a total reboot for all of us. By focusing on the fun around the table and the company and the meal itself we recalibrated our family table. This doesn’t have to be a super fancy meal or over the top – but slow down and take away all the distractions. Really think about things from your child’s vantage point and have some fun! We used a pancake mix this night and just cooked up some bacon and a fruit salad of whatever I had in the house. The majority of our time went into setting a nice table and deciding which seats our stuffed animals would sit in and what pajamas we should wear for our pancake party.

Other Food Parties

If you’re looking to wipe the slate clean throw your own pancake party. Or maybe pancakes aren’t your thing, here are some other super fun and easy ideas to mix things up:

  • bruschetta – what kid doesn’t love toast?
  • fondue – if you’re in Phoenix in June/July I realize this is a crazy comment, save it for January
  • Book theme – Dragons Love Tacos on Taco Tuesday?? YESSSS arrange some dragon figurines around the table, lots of fun colored bowls for the toppings, margaritas for the parents, etc
  • hi gh tea – get some yummy sandwiches or spreads from the store, mini cupcakes, fancy outfits
  • cocktail party – finger foods, tooth picks and little appetizer forks for little hands, fancy outfits with no care for getting messy
  • pizza – grab some dough from the store and assembly line of different toppings

I would LOVE to hear all about your great ideas or if you throw a dinner reset party of your own. Either comment below or tag me on instagram!! @montessori.nutritionist
If you’re looking to get professional support for meal time stress or if you are worried about the quality of your child and family’s diet, please be sure to schedule an initial consult with Courtney.

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