How to respond when others challenge your mealtime approach?

real food hero Apr 30, 2021

๐ŸŒฑHow you feed your kids seems to be something everybody else has an opinion about. They think you feed them too much, too little, maybe you should be stricter and make them eat what you serve? Or maybe you should be less strict and allow them to have more sweets?

๐ŸŒฑFriends and extended family can sometimes have a hard time not interfering when we feed our kids. The question is: how can we handle it? And should we?

๐ŸŒฑThe first thing you want to consider is if it’s worth it. If it’s someone you see only rarely, you might want to let it slide. But if it’s family or friends that you see often and who make comments when your child is there, too, you might want to interfere.

๐ŸŒฑBefore you interfere, try to think through what message you want to convey and consider having the conversation when your child is not there.

These are my tips:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Explain your feeding approach and how they can support it specifically (ask them not to comment, bribe, pressure, etc.).
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Let them see you “in action” at mealtimes so they can pick up on your practical approach (saying “we are teaching our daughter to listen to her body” might not be tangible enough)
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Try not to point fingers at them and their approach. Instead, stay in your own lane, talk about what works for you and how you would love if they can support you.
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Get them on board with your common goal: To establish a good relationship with food and underscore that it’ll make it easier on your child if you all have a consistent approach.
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Share helpful resources to underscore that this is not just something you’ve come up with overnight, but that it’s evidence based.

๐ŸŒฑIf you sense that having this conversation will result in anger and conflict, you might want to consider if it’s worth it. Maybe you want to reduce the amount of times you eat together and find other ways to be together.

๐ŸŒฑIf on the other hand, you end up having the conversation and they are still not on board with your approach, you might want to ask them to not make comments while your child is there. Ask them to take their concerns up with you.


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