Food has been the source of many battles and worries over the years! My daughters have sensory issues which resulted in them eating very limited things, mainly food like potato waffles with little colour, smell or “squishiness!” I was always trying to introduce new foods and many meltdowns resulted. Mealtimes were just something that had to be done because we had to be fed and I got into a habit of eating when the children were in bed because someone always needed something or there would be some kind of problem that I had to deal with and it was less stressful for me to just focus solely on them for food times.
A small comment
Fast forward many years of this being normal for us and without thinking too much, apart from the first few times when I celebrated new food, my girls slowly added to the variety of foods they ate. Its still limited and nowhere near what other children probably eat but we can go days now without a frozen potato variety. C is fantastic and will eat most things although ironically is not that fond of frozen potato items and J2 is very fussy but I have learnt to not let it bother me at all now (if only I could have learnt that about 12 years ago!!) Not that long ago and because it was Christmas we all sat down together to eat our meal and J1 said ” its like we are a proper family now” because we were sat together at the table actually enjoying food and a meal time! That small comment changed the way I viewed mealtimes.
Meal times now are a time that we all look forward to. Its a time when we enjoy each others company and have lots of chatter and laughs. Of course, we have occasional arguments and children wandering off but I would think my family had been replaced if that didn’t happen now and then. Its a time when we can all talk about our day or even any worries or things that are coming up. I think as they get older and do more things independently, the family mealtime will become even more important for me especially as the one time we are all together. And, although I don’t mention it, I notice as they are chatting and laughing (or bickering!!) they even might try something new to eat because the emphasis is on togetherness and not the eating.