Sharing plates and why they make meal times easier

Since moving in to our new home I’ve made a conscious effort to provide meals (mainly our main meal at dinner/tea time) that can be shared. I had been serving the meal onto plates for each individual, often trying to work out how much they may or may not eat.

Now I will (mostly, if the dish lends itself to this) serve the food in one or two dishes and put them on the table for everyone to help themselves. You’d think the children would pile it on but they are actually very good at self regulating and determining how much they want of each thing.

The control they then have over the quantity and, to an extent, what they want to eat means they tend to eat well. We are lucky that, as a family, mealtimes are generally well received. We’ve always had a relaxed and calm atmosphere round the table, never any pressure to eat anything (even if I have spent a long time preparing and cooking a healthy meal!) and this has helped, I believe, to make meal times positive.

My children go in phases with what they will eat and then dislike. They will be ravenous one day then not eat the next so being able to choose the amount they want on their plate certainly helps with removing the frustration from myself and them.

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