I use the term Family Meal often through my blog, facebook posts and my classes. This is a way of organising your meals so that the whole family can participate in them no matter where your children are at on their eating journey. A family meal doesn’t have to include everyone, yet it does at least have to have 2 people. Some of the pointers that we guide parents through during our lessons include the following:
- Ensure that children have appropriately set-up eating positions. They should sit with a 90o angle at the hips, knees and the ankles.
- Decide on the environmental cues that will help your child to eat and avoid cues that have been previously associated with negative feeding behaviours.
- Engage the child in some movement before the meal to help them organise or reset themselves.
- Family style meal serves where everyone takes something from each plate provided – they can put it on their plate or onto their learning plate. Do this instead of plating up for the child in advance.
- At every meal offer: a preferred food, a carbohydrate, a dairy, a fruit, a vegetable and a protein. (** Simone’s tip for busy carer’s is to work towards a balanced diet over the day**).
- After 15-20 minutes of eating, instigate “clean-up time”. (A great routine you learn at Play with Food lessons that transitions to the home environment)
Last Friday I had a huge win with my evening family meal, Korean Inspired Marinated Pork with Broccoli, Rice and a Salad of Carrot & Apple.
- The meal contained 4 food groups, grains, meat, fruit and vegetables
- It provided vocabulary extension opportunities with my 21mth old
- I was very proud of adapting a pork marinade recipe to suit our family (see below)
- The meal was all eaten
If the meal wasn’t all eaten, leftovers are safe to wrap from the family style serving plates as opposed to wasted if all food was preserved & mostly refused.
Korean Inspired Pork & Broccoli (makes enough to marinade 300g diced pork fillet):
For the Marinade:
- 1/2 apple cored, peeled & roughly chopped
- 1/3 onion peeled
- 20ml dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
You will also need:
- 300g Pork fillet cut into strips
- Peanut (or vegetable) oil
- 3 Shallots, chopped
- 1/2 head of broccoli, broken into bite size florets
Add all marinade ingredients to a food processer and blitz. Pour marinade over pork and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Stir-fry the shallots and broccoli in some oil and once cooked to your liking, transfer to a bowl. Drain the pork from the marinade (reserving the marinade for later). Stir fry the pork on its own in a little bit of oil (you may need to do this in batches so the pan is not overcrowded which results in boiling), once cooked through add the reserved marinade and the broccoli mix. Put into a family serving bowl for the table.