6 Tips for Fighting Toddler Mealtime Mutiny

baby chick, cheyenne, toddler mealtime, innobaby

6 Tips for Fighting Toddler Mealtime Mutiny

Ah, the family dinner. Picture it: mom and dad sitting down with little Janie and Johnnie to a nice, hot, nutritious meal. Everyone is smiling and happy to be eating such a delicious feast together. Pleasant conversation ensues and all is well with the world. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

I’m sure every mom envisions some semblance of that happy family mealtime picture when she has kids. I know I did. It doesn’t take long, however, for that idyllic image to be shattered once you have an actual meal with a toddler for the first time. Not only is the real-life toddler meal experience precisely nothing like that pretty little description, it is likely to be more similar to a seventh circle of hell. Sounds fun, right?

All joking aside, mealtime with toddlers can be challenging, to say the least. Refusal to eat a certain food, or anything at all, playing with food, throwing food, crying when the food is the wrong color, texture, smell, taste, etc., running around the table, exercising rude sounds…you name it, your toddler probably has done it at dinner time. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Fortunately, there are some simple, but effective, steps you can take (the sooner the better!) to encourage a more peaceful and enjoyable toddler mealtime experience.

1. Set Mealtime Rules and Routine Early

Kids thrive on rules and routine. Setting down some firm mealtime rules, and establishing and sticking to a dinner routine early on, will make a huge impact on how your toddler acts at the table. Rules such as no playing at the table, no eating anywhere but at the table, and no getting up from the table until you’re finished made some good, solid guidelines for a peaceful meal. Granted, these rules can be hard to enforce, but it’s important to stay firm. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent my son to bed with a half-full belly because he refused to stay at the table. He learned after about three or four unfinished dinners that mommy was serious. He now sits and finishes his meal before he’s excused from the table and he’s only two.

As for a routine, having your meal prepared and ready to eat around the same time every evening is key. I know some nights a later dinner can’t be helped, but if you’re keeping dinner time to about the same time every night, it will help keep your kids behavior in check. When they know what to expect, when to expect it, and about how long it will last, they’re more likely to be able to keep their crazies in check for that time.

2. Be a Good Example

From the moment our daughter was old enough to eat with us at our dinner table, my husband and I had to have a “come to Jesus” moment about our eating habits. We knew that if we wanted our kids to eat good, healthy food, and try a variety of it, we needed to lead by example. That meant my husband would have to eat more than lettuce and carrots as his only source of vegetables and we would both have to curb our enthusiasm for ice cream on a regular basis. If we wanted to teach our kids good eating habits, we had to model them.

We also knew this same concept was true for table manners. While neither my husband nor I had bad manners, we knew we’d probably need to start self-enforcing some key behaviors, such as staying seated until everyone was finished with the meal. If you want your kids to exhibit good manners at the dinner table, brush up on some etiquette and start practicing as early as possible.

3. Offer a Variety of Healthy Options

Teach your children from an early age to choose healthy options by offering them a variety of good, wholesome food from the beginning. Try to offer a variety of shapes, tastes, colors, and textures with the food you prepare for them and be sure to prepare the food in bite sized pieces so that little fingers can easily grab them.

Innobaby, baby chick, toddler, mealtime

innobaby, mealtime, baby chick, toddler

One way to offer a variety of healthy, bite-sized bits for your toddler is to use specially divided plates, like the Din-Din Smart Bus Platters by Innobaby. These awesome stainless steel platters offer five separate compartments that are perfect for introducing your little one to several different foods. This plate is also great for picky eaters who don’t want their food to mix or touch. It even comes with a sectional lid so that you can save any food your tot didn’t finish.

4. Praise Often

It may seem tedious, but praising your child for even the smallest of good behaviors during a meal will make a huge difference in their overall mealtime behavior. When they try a new food, even if they spit it out, give them praise for having the courage to try something new. When they use a fork correctly for the first time, make a big deal of their accomplishment.

I know a lot of moms have a hard time keeping their kids seated at the dinner table through a meal. If your son has a problem sitting still for 10 minutes straight, encourage him to sit still and eat for two minutes. When he accomplishes that, praise him highly and then don’t make a big deal if he runs around the table for the rest of the meal. Start small and work your way to longer periods of time.

When you make a practice of praising the small accomplishments, your child will inherently want to do more to earn your accolades. Little by little, dinner time will get easier when you make it an opportunity for your kids to earn your praise.

5. Get Them Involved

As soon as they are able, let your kids start helping you out in the kitchen, even if it’s in a small way. Buy a small stool and keep it within reach so that your tot can climb up and either help or watch you prepare the meals. My daughter loves to help mix and stir and my son simply loves to watch the action. It’s a great way to help them understand all the work that goes into making a meal and you also get to teach them about all the different ingredients and the process of making a meal.

innobaby, glass, food storage, mealtime, baby chick

After dinner, enlist your toddler to help you clean up and put things away. I love to get my daughter to help me put any extra food into our favorite Smart Glass Tot Food Cubes. We switched from plastic storage containers to all glass containers several years ago and we love them! These glass food cubes are durable and versatile and my daughter loves to help me put the lids on and carry the cubes to the fridge. It makes after dinner clean up a breeze when you let your little ones help in any way they can!

6. Unplug During Meals

This should really go without saying, but electronics should not be a guest at your dinner table. Turn off the T.V., silence your phone, put away the tablets, and for 30 minutes focus on your family without the distraction of the digital world. You will be amazed at how much you will learn about your family members and how much you will be able to connect on a deeper level simply by having a conversation at dinner. Engage your children, no matter how young, to practice meaningful dinner conversation by asking them to tell you about the favorite part of their day or what story they’re looking forward to reading at bedtime. The earlier you start this practice, the easier it will be to encourage open dialogue with your kids when they’re pre-teens and teenagers.

Practicing these 6 steps will work wonders in moving your family meal times from a chaotic and frustrating experience to a more enjoyable time that you will actually look forward to. Start using these tips early, be consistent, and be firm in your rules and routines. And don’t forget to practice patience and grace; after all, toddlers are wired to push their boundaries and test your limits! Keep working with your tots on their manners, praising their accomplishments and engaging them before, during and after mealtimes and soon you will see a big difference in their behavior.

About the Author /

Cheyenne is an attorney, writer, speaker and blogger with a slight obsession for home decor, red wine, and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in San Marcos, Texas with her two children, Aislin and Hawkins.

#FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
By throwing everything in the closet or under the By throwing everything in the closet or under the bed does not mean "cleaned" your room. 🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @playdatesoffridays
#stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtog #stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtogotothepotty #NO⁠
⁠
What are yours??
Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
- Pay a housekeeping service to come over and clean her house⁠
- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
There is so much you can do! And every little bit helps. What else would you add to the list? 💕
Any mamas feel me? Pass the coffee. 😑☕☕☕⁠
📷: @momandburied
This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: unknown
Keeping Track of Baby Milestones: 0-3 Months Old⁠ 👶⁠
.⁠
Typically, the first three months of your child’s development will be marked by key developments including control and lifting of their head, a first smile and even a laugh, and making eye contact. 👀 It’s an exciting time when bonding is important and your baby is changing rapidly before your eyes. 😍 Pediatricians will go through developmental milestone checklists with patients, asking parents about their child’s sensory, communication, and movement changes, keeping an eye out for any red flags. 🚩 Generally, it’s not concerning if a baby isn’t hitting one or two milestones on time. Be sure to adjust for prematurity or stress factors. If your newborn is missing multiple abilities or you feel concerned, check in with your child’s pediatrician. 👩‍⚕️ Here are the different milestones to look out for each month from 0-3 months. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @ana_styles
😑😒⁠ 📷: @parentnormal 😑😒⁠
📷: @parentnormal
Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Ea Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Early bedtime tonight. Night night. 👋😘😂⁠
(quote via @mimosaswithmom)
Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠ .⁠ So you Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠
.⁠
So you’re about to have a baby girl and you’re looking for a cool name for her, right? You want a name that captures the essence of who she is and the girl and woman that you envision her becoming. A name that sets her apart and celebrates her unique gifts. A name you can imagine being written on her cubby at preschool, her college entrance essay, her first novel.⁠
⁠
You want your precious daughter to have a name that will convey all the qualities and values that you hope she will embody: you need a name fit for a queen, an astronaut, a good friend, a doctor, a professional athlete, a spiritual leader, a wonderful mother, a nurse, an activist, a scholar, a student, a leader, a follower, a good person—any of the things you imagine she can and will become in her lifetime.⁠
⁠
Finding a cool baby girl name may seem like a daunting task. There are so many options! Research shows that names for baby girls are currently trending towards representations of nature, gemstones, and food. Also growing in popularity for girls’ names are names that are not common girls names at all—such as names that have been traditionally used for boys, or last names. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @mochi.sucre
Major reasons why you can never spoil a newborn. ❤️⁠
📷: @renee.barendregt & @gentleparenting_memes
When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? 🤰⁠
.⁠
Every woman is different when she begins showing in pregnancy. I remember clearly the day I finally saw my beloved baby bump. It was a Monday and I was at work. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror and smiled broadly at my suddenly noticeable bump. Glowing, I rubbed my little tummy as I checked out my new, different-looking profile in the mirror. My office friends had noticed that morning as well and had complimented me and my little bump. Naturally, I took a selfie. I was so excited to see that I was finally showing. I couldn’t stop smiling all day! 😊 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
⁠📷: @matfelipe
"It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddle "It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddler, or a teenager. These are the things our children need to feel from those around them. The same things that you and I even as adults want to feel from those around us. We want to feel seen. We want to be soothed when we are hurt. We want to feel safe when we are with people. We want to feel secure in our relationships with others. We don't outgrow the need to feel those things. In a crazy world, let your children feel those things. Let them know 'Hey, I see you. I see you're sad or mad. I am here with a hug when you're ready and if you need it. You are safe to feel how you feel and be who you are. You don't have to worry about my love for you. Be secure in that. Bad times or good times, I am here for you and I love you.' Because how good does it feel when we feel that way from those around us?"⁠
.⁠
Words & 📷: @thebuonamama
We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Ack We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, and once you know better, do better. ❤️⁠
(quote via Karen Kleiman from "This Isn't What I Expected")
What Color Eyes Will Your Baby Have? 👁️⁠
.⁠
Expecting parents often wonder what their baby will look like once he's born. 🤔 Will she have light or dark hair? Will she inherit your freckles? What color eyes will your baby have? When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I had fun wondering these same things. Would he have a round face? Would he have my nose? My husband’s cheeks? The only thing we knew for sure was that he would have deep brown eyes and dark brown hair, just like his mom and dad. Or so we thought.⁠ 😮 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenault⁠
⁠📷: @amymelissaphoto
My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
.⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @thetuckertribe5⁠
Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath sa Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath salts, a face scrub, and some cucumber slices can make your day. 😍⁠
📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
(quote via @beyonce)
You Can't Spoil a Baby, Here's Why 👶💕⁠
.⁠
The battle of opinions regarding whether or not you can spoil a baby has been raging for decades, especially among grandparents and those born during the time of little affection. Our children's great-grandparents were most likely raised with the idea that love and affection and responding to a baby's cries will spoil them and make them even fussier. While that idea might seem ludicrous to us, there's a reason such an approach was widely believed. Here's what parenting has looked like over the decades and how present-day science says you cannot spoil a baby. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for o They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for others and for yourself. ❤️⁠
📷: @fleurdelisspeaks⁠
Her stuff is great. Check out her page!
What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother? 🧠❤️⁠
.⁠
Most women who have had children are fully aware of the hormonal and emotional changes that they experience. However, science is only just starting to understand how these changes occur in human mothers’ brains. While mothers know what it feels like to experience these changes, most of us don't know exactly what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother. Turns out, a lot is happening! 😲 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more about it!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @emfillerup
You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Potty Training⁠ 🚽⁠
.⁠
Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @reesetriplets
How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠ .⁠ In the Uni How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠
.⁠
In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @lizbrownfitness
She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit short with her replies back? Don't be hard on her. It more than likely has nothing to do with you. You never how many times her kids got her up last night. 😴 #bekindalways
🖌: @growupbrite
You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ 💕⁠
.⁠
When I had my first baby, everyone told me to enjoy the newborn stage because it goes fast, and I would miss it. But I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I didn’t believe them. 😴 While I was living through it, it felt like it took forever!⁠
⁠
If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
⁠
So, while you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and your mental state together, here are a few things to try to savor while your baby is still a newborn. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Guez⁠
📷: unknown
Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
⁠
I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
⁠
1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
⁠
2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
⁠
3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
⁠
4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
⁠
5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
...⁠
Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
.⁠
The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
⁠
Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
📷: @kristyndingman
🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 What are some st 🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜
What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's mag It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's magic.⁠ ✨🤩
📷: @realtoughdad