The festive season is all about celebration and - let’s face it - eating and drinking far too much!
For little ones it’s the season of brightly wrapped presents, sugar and sensory overload. Below, we share 5 top tips for enjoyable festive mealtimes. We want to help you make the festivities a memorable experience. And an opportunity for kids to join in and learn good eating habits.
1. Get them involved:
Christmas can be a busy time in the kitchen, so make use of your in-house sous chefs. The key is preparation, make sure you have everything ready to just mix/cook. Toddlers can use their doddl children's knife for cutting up ingredients. And even the littlest hands can help with decorating cupcakes or desserts. Involving them in the process is a great opportunity to spend time together with a fun activity. It's also a chance to learn important life skills as well as meaning they’re more invested in the result. They might be eager to show off their handiwork and more likely to munch the results!
2. Give them independence:
If you’ve spent hours slaving over a hot stove, it's understandable you want your little ones to eat up every bite. However, giving them some independence over their food choices is great for their development. Putting food in the center of the table and encouraging them to help themselves will help them learn to manage portion control better. They will get to know what feeling full feels like by themselves, rather than being dictated to by their adults. And an added bonus is, you get to enjoy your own meal without having to constantly supervise your children. You just have to learn to embrace the mess as they find their way.
3. Let them take charge:
Allow your kids to take charge of just one thing on the day to give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. Why not let them take charge of decorating and laying out silverware on the table - doddl utensils for them, boring adult stuff for everyone else! Or passing round the snacks, or encouraging younger kids to try different foods.
4. Encourage experimentation:
A special occasion can be a good time to encourage your little ones to try new flavors, particularly those we associate with the holiday season such as cranberry or stuffing. In a social setting with people to cheer them on/impress they may be more confident about trying something new.
5. Enjoy being together:
Very often, the more social your mealtime is, the more your child will want to eat. Being with the “adults” can be a fun and inspiring setting for kids to feel a part of a special experience. It’s important to talk and interact with them at the table so that they associate mealtimes with pleasure and really feel part of the proceedings. There's a chance to involve everyone, even if you can't be together on the day. Why not ask family members to share simple festive recipes that the kids can help you make. You could design place-mats you can send to each other to use on the big day. Or maybe do it all on Facetime and share the chaos and fun! Are you travelling to see friends or family during the holiday season? If you are, you'll definitely want some brilliant hints and tips for de-stressing Christmas travel with kids. And don't forget to take your doddl with you for easier mealtimes!
At doddl, we make clever kids’ products that are especially designed to make mealtimes easier and more enjoyable. Our ergonomic kids utensils are perfectly shaped to build your child’s skills and confidence, turning mealtimes into adventures by helping hungry minds discover the world around them.