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Thread: Toddler Mealtimes? What do you do?

  1. #1

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    Default Toddler Mealtimes? What do you do?

    Can I ask you all, at what age do you reckon is best to start a toddler eating proper meals at the table with Mum & Dad, in comparison to them having separate meals at the high chair?

    What problems do you encounter with 2 year olds at mealtimes?



    What age do you get shot of the high chair?

    I would love to hear others experiences.....the good the bad and the ugly!!

    (The reason I ask is we have just started having dinner with Olivia, all of us together, at about 6pm (instead of her having tea in her high chair at about 5.30pm. She will happily sit there at the table and eat full meals and drink from a cup and have a chat, for about 30 mins with us. She eats well and we are all very very happy with the arrangement. It has transformed mealtimes from a battleground to a really lovely family experience.

    BUT, my mother thinks it is appalling and that we are trying to make Olivia "grow up too fast" ?? We will obviously continue what we have started as we all love it, & it feels right for us, regardless of my Mothers comments. BUT it did make me wonder: what does everyone else do??)

  2. #2
    Melinda Guest

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    Just wondering......is Olivia in some kind of booster seat thing so she can sit at the table for her meals?

    I have been thinking about making this transition with Jacob too, as meal times have become rather stressful. The only thing is he's not at the stage of being able to feed himself everything just yet (but he certainly tries which I think is half our problem LOL) but he would definitely need to be raised up/propped up somehow as the seat would be too low for him at this stage.

    We always have dinner at 5.30 pm (and that's all of us) but Jacob just has his in the highchair next to the table, where we are sitting. I do think he wants to be at the table though like us, or at least it's something we're prepared to try to see if that may solve a few of the mealtime battles!!

    I actually think it's a lovely thing - for families to share mealtime like that. It's a special time for everyone to chat and enjoy a nice meal together and I think they are things that they will always remember (I know that I do!).

  3. #3

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    I must be strange. Paris ate with us from the time she had finger food LOL! Even if it was just to be *at* the table. We would give her something to play with if she wasn't eating, just so that she would get used to the time spent sitting at the table. I have never been a big fan of two eating times, unless of course its baby food But I think the earlier you start the easier it is to transition into eating dinner when they are toddlers. Dinnertime shouldn't be a battle field and even if they aren't eating with you (due to those ups and downs with their appetite), they can still socialise with the adults and interact with them as a family. Which I think is really important, and also helps to prevent the idea of dinner time being a chore about food iykwim?

    I say as a family we should spend mealtime together regardless of who's eating and who's not as it really does pave the way for the future, and it continues to show that this is not just a time for food but a time for family and communication too.

    Just my thoughts...

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #4

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    Yeah Mel,
    some kind of booster seat thing
    .....an old pillow! It works great.......

  5. #5

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    Kameron and Lachlan have always ate at the same time with us right since they started solids, even before. I quite often was giving bottles (specially to lach) at the same time as eating my tea.

    I am pretty sure we made the transition from high chair to proper chair at the table just before Kam's 2nd birthday. It was put away for quite a while (the high chair) before Lachlan was born, and we have quite alot of video of Kam falling asleep at the dinner table 8-[ We actually had a small booster seat, so he sat on that to give him height.

    Love

  6. #6

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    Jasmine has always sat at the table with us. Probably moved to a booster seat on a chair at about 18 months I think. She was always a great eater until she hit 3 and now she has her favorites and that is it. DH can talk her into eating, much better than I can. As Cailin says, it can become a chore to supervise their eating if they eat at a separate time. At least if their are 2 adults at the table you can eat and chat and supervise at the same time.

  7. #7

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    At the moment Yasin sits next to the table in his highchair and once he's old enough for a booster he can eat at the table. His chair is at the corner of the table so when DH is home he is between us.
    I've moved our dinner time forward a bit so we can all eat together because my father (who is quite selfish) refused to compromise on his mealtime so for years my mother made two meals every night and I swore I would never do the same.

  8. #8

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    We have a high chair which the tray comes off and you can adjust it so the arms of the highchair rest on the table while sliding the frame which the chair is still clipped on to under the table. We have just started having stacey at the dinner table with us as we were later eaters like 7.30-8pm and she is well and truely crashed out by then.I like having a family dinner so I have bought our dinner forward to 5.30pm so she can sit with us. I give her her bowl and let her go for it while I eat my dinner and give her spoon fulls in between. I have noticed that she has been happier to sit with us and eat and yes it has definately made meal times more enjoyable.

  9. #9

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    my mother made two meals every night
    ......ahhh, Chloe, I think I have realised the reason for my Mothers reaction.......!

    She make "tea" for me and my little brother for about 5.30, then dinner for my elder brothers and sisters at about 7.30pm, and then dinner for her and my Dad at about 9pm. (He always worked v.late). Thinking about it, she was always kind of a martyr to this type of arrangement, and I think she is now taking it out of me LOL!!

  10. #10

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    Well, we never ut much thought into this, it just seemed to happen naturally. Lindsay was eating with us at the table from about 18mths and did quite well. Erin was a bit younger, around 16months cause she was so determined to do it and not be in the highchair. Paige has been eating with us since about 14 months as she took to feeding herself really early. It is a really nice family time especially as DH is out of the house all day most days.

    As for growing up too fast, if they can't eat at the table properly and feed themselves, how can you expect to take them to restaurants? Our kids all behave excellently when we go out and quite often get comments about this. I think you just do what works best - theres no point to fighting over highchairs etc with your toddler, cause they just wont eat, we'll stress and nobody's happy.

  11. #11

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    Benjamin has sat at the table with us (in highchair) nearly the whole time he could sit in a highchair - while he had to be fed by us we sometimes did this before we ate (or if daddy was going to be late) and then while we were eating he'd chew on some finger food or the spoon. We are generally early eaters so this has always suited us.

    We bought him a little table and chairs for doing stuff at which ended up beside our table and for a fair while (since before 2) he's sat at that to eat his meal, ditched the highchair, while we eat ours at the bigger table directly beside him. He now wants to sit at our table and generally can although a booster would probably help him out a bit more and prevent a little less mess. Since he started feeing himself he's not the tidiest eater the plastic table and chairs were easy to clean especially with things like weetbix and pasta sauce.

  12. #12
    angelfish Guest

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    We've had ds at the table since he was about 2 and 5 months (when we started putting dd in the highchair). We try to have breakfast all together - me dh and ds actually at the table and dd in her highchair pulled up near the table. Occasionally, at the weekend or if dh comes home early, we'll have dinner together as well. But usually ds has to eat earlier as he's pretty much too tired to eat much later than 6.

  13. #13
    Cass Guest

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    As long as Rinn has been able to sit in the highchair and was awake when we ate - she has sat at the table with us. I couldnt tell you how old she was when we started it. We have one of those Stokke highchairs - and it has been the best investment.

    We eat after I finish work - unless she is having a bad day and dinner needs to be earlier - and that is understandable.
    She enjoys this time as much as we do!

    I dont understand where your mother is coming from "making her grow up"
    Blah!

  14. #14

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    We have recently started having dinner together as a family at the table 3 nights a week (the other nights I'm either not organised for adult dinner and Matilda is hungry so I take out some frozen food from the dinner before or something like that...) Her high chair is actually a booster seat with a tray which we take off & bring her to the table with us. She eats REALLY well, but often insists on not eating her food but ours. I don't let her but she usually eats half of DH's dinner & gives her portion to the dogs...LOL

    She eats so much better when it is a social thing. Often if we are going out to tea we will feed her a small dinner at home first and then let her have some of ours & that works well too.

  15. #15

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    We had Angus at the table not long after he turned 2 because he would twist and wriggle himself around so much he got out of his straps to stand up. So I thought the table was a safer option.

    We have some mischeif sometimes. Climbing on the table half way through his meal or running off. He is learning though to stay at the table and eat, finally.

  16. #16

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    Gabriella has dinner at the same time as us most nights but she is still in her highchair next to the table. She seems to enjoy being up higher then us and it certainly doesn't restrict her at all. SHe is quite a tall girl so I think soon I will make the transition to a normal chair but won't worry about buying a booster seat, maybe just use a pillow.

  17. #17
    cazoraz Guest

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    Lucy (2.5yr) insists on eating dinner with us at teh big table. Luckily our table is quite low and she can sit on a normal chair and reach her dinner pretty well with no booster. It is the only way to make sure she eats really cos otherwise she will just play with her food if she is there alone.

    She hasnt sat in a high chair since she was about 14mo and started to try to climb out of it, so we bought a little table & chairs that she also uses for breakfast and she can have her babies (dolls) sitting with her to eat and watch TV.

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