Grease and tighten: How to Get Kids to the Dinner Table

Nov 2, 2009 by

It’s one thing to cook dinner regularly and sit down to it together at the table daily from the start of your life as a family. It’s another to come under the conviction that it’s something you should have been doing all along, when the children are five, ten or 15 years old.

How can we get kids used to sitting down and eating regular meals at the table when they’ve become accustomed to doing things altogether otherwise? Where do we begin?

There’s a Spanish expression, “engrasa y aprieta,” meaning “to grease and tighten,” that describes the proper attitude for the parent undertaking such a major family overhaul. While you restrict and require, you also make it enjoyable. Both parts are needed.

It’s similar to the way logic and emotion work…

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Top 8 things to cut expenses on so you can spend more on quality groceries

Oct 23, 2009 by

  1. Restaurant meals
  2. Soda
  3. Junky snacks
  4. Cable TV
  5. Movies in the theater
  6. Electronic gadgets and video games
  7. New cars
  8. New clothes

Related post: “Reaching the Promised Land: Home Style or Restaurant” Style? http://www.sacredappetite.com/2009/09/28/reaching-the-promised-land-home-style-or-restaurant-style/

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Taking a Detour: One good way to neutralize a kid’s food resistance

Oct 11, 2009 by

ConklinbookDSC_8156 “Yuck! I don’t want any of that!” your little one says when she gets to the table and sees the healthy dish you’ve lovingly prepared. You feel pretty strongly about her eating it. So what comes next?

Which is closest to your reaction?

a) “You have to eat one bite.”

b) “If you eat it all, you can have some dessert.”

c) “If you don’t…

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To Melissa G., the Recessionary Grocery Shopper: The Official Kid-Will-Eat-It Guidelines

Oct 1, 2009 by

Dear Melissa G.,

Congratulations! You have been named “ground zero for the new austerity” by one of our food industry giants, according to an article I just read in Advertising Age.  Industrial edibles manufacturers, scrambling to keep their profits up while consumers like you look for ways to spend less, are taking a hard look at you, the average grocery shopper, and how you think and behave.  Melissa, you represent today’s Every Mom:  the very picture of the grocery-shopping parent. You are the bull’s eye of the target for processed food manufacturers in this economic downturn.

It’s quite an honor, and a responsibility, a sacred destiny even, Every Mom. The wellbeing of the American child is in your hands.

While Campbell Soup was analyzing your habits and attitudes…

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The Golden Rule and Helicopter Parents at the Dinner Table

Sep 2, 2009 by

1097863_stock helicopter

I’ve just started hearing about “helicopter parents.”  A new term, maybe, but certainly not a new phenomenon. The tendency of modern parents to hover is especially manifested at feeding time.

Driven by fear, overbearing, over involved, fussy, these anxious parents worry out loud and take on responsibilities that don’t belong to them in attempting to make things perfect in their children’s lives, from eating to education.

“Feeding is a metaphor for the parent-child relationship overall,” writes Ellyn Satter, author of How to Get Your Kid to Eat… But Not Too Much.  “Parents will probably treat a child in other areas the way they learn to treat her in feeding.”

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