- Gaiam Blog - http://blog.gaiam.com -
Servin’ It Up Family Style
Posted By Bevin Wallace On March 15, 2011 @ 3:35 pm In Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
I think it’s safe to say that one of the things we modern-day moms do a bit more than our moms did is baby our kids, especially when it comes to what they eat . Some of this is good, of course. Regulating intake of sugar  and processed foods is probably not something best left up to people whose idea of a balanced meal is beef jerky and fruit snacks. But at some point, kids need to learn to make their own good choices, right? When and how we do that is each family’s decision, but for me the food thing was getting ridiculous.
Honestly, I’m not sure I ever fully graduated from the solid food stage, even though my kids are well out of high chairs and Pull-ups. When making dinner, I have always micro-managed their plates, usually giving them some sliced veggies from the salad we’re having plus kid-sized portions of whatever else.
I do this because I want them to eat balanced, healthy meals  at home, and I rationalize it with thoughts of the foods they have access to when they’re away from me, at school , soccer practice and birthday parties. But the kids don’t always want everything in the proportions I give them. Shocker, I know, but sometimes they want more grilled steak than asparagus risotto. And it recently occurred to me that, since they can do long division, maybe my kids are actually capable of feeding themselves.
So I’ve stopped assembling their perfectly portioned plates and started serving most meals family-style. Not only is this much less work for me, it’s empowering for the kids and pretty fun, too. The kids get to make some (albeit minor) decisions for themselves, and I can relax a little about counting the red pepper slices on their plates. It’s a win-win situation, if you ask me.
Family-style dining works with almost any meal, and if you have pots that can go from stove or oven to table (get some trivets), it doesn’t create a pile of extra dishes to wash . Most important, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what my kids serve themselves , and subsequently eat. I had assumed my daughter would eat nothing but pasta and my son would pick at a few tomato wedges, but they both eat a decent variety. Plus, they’re pretty darn proud of themselves, which has got to be good for their self-esteem. I like that — and the lack of dinner-table battles is very nice, too.
Here are some basic tips for going self-serve at family dinners. Enjoy!
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/servin-it-up-family-style/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/FamilyDinner.jpg
 what they eat: http://life.gaiam.com/video/getting-kids-eat-right
 intake of sugar: http://life.gaiam.com/article/sweet-addiction-could-sugar-be-sabotaging-your-diet
 balanced, healthy meals: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-get-kids-eat-healthier
 school: http://life.gaiam.com/article/schools-offering-healthier-lunches
 extra dishes to wash: http://life.gaiam.com/article/wash-dishes-all-your-heart-how-live-moment
 what my kids serve themselves: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/how-to-raise-an-un-picky-eater/
 some basic ground rules: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/create-your-own-family-food-code/
 wasting food: http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-can-america-solve-its-food-waste-problems
 recipe: http://bevinwallace.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/164/
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/IMG_1193.jpg
 pitcher of water: http://www.gaiam.com/product/waterwise+distiller.do?SID=WG117SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 empowering kids’ decision making: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/gourmet-is-a-good-thing/
Copyright © 2007 Gaiam Community Blog. All rights reserved.