Children love to be helpful and asking them to contribute to tasks that benefit the whole family is a great way to engage and encourage this behaviour. While helping with the preparation of food is one way to get your kids hands-on, it’s not the only way to get them involved when it comes to meals.

If your child isn’t interested in helping with food preparation, or is looking for different ways to help, here’s some tips to get your child involved and excited about meal time:

  1. Ask them to set the table with plates and cutlery for the whole family. Trust them to carry the plates – one at a time if needed – and the knives and forks to the table and set a place for each person. This simple job will empower them to be proud of the table they have set and want to sit at it with the whole family to eat.
  2. Let them serve their own portion from the tray or bowl. Let them choose as much as they want and scoop it onto their plate themselves. This will give them some control over what they eat, making them more likely to eat it – a great tip if you have a fussy eater!
  3. Eat your meal together as a family with no distractions. While this tip isn’t about your child helping out, it is certainly a way to engage them in mealtimes without a focus on the food you’re eating. Have a conversation about your day, ask them questions and make meal times a bonding experience for your family. They may want this experience more often.

Enjoying a meal is about more than just the food you’re eating and involving your kids in other aspects of the meal preparation is a great way to teach this. Empower them with tasks that they can manage and that contribute to the whole family’s mealtime experience.


Are you in the Brisbane area and would like more tips and advice on how to engage your kids with food and mealtimes? Visit me in the city for a consultation.