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Old 06-02-2011, 09:47 AM
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jojosmommy jojosmommy is offline
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Default Family Style Meal Service

Anyone exclusively offer foods family style- bowls of choices at the table where kids can pick what they choose to eat?

I feel like I have wasted so much food the last 2 years by putting the required amount on each plate and serving it to them regardless of if they were going to eat it. My food program lady said being offered it means it is available on the table for kids to choose if they want it. She suggested tablespoons to let the kids serve from so they are able to take the required amount but won't be wasting a bunch of they decide they don't like something. I feel like I should have done this a LONG TIME AGO! I guess I was following what I thought the food program rules were to a T and in the process missed out on this great opportunity for kids to learn how to serve themselves, listen to their bodies, and cooperate. DUH!

Any tips on how to make this a success? Any pitfalls?
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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GretasLittleFriends GretasLittleFriends is offline
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Pitfalls would be the spilling and clean-up if you allow them to scoop it themselves. Of course if Ben eats all his food and wants seconds of something particular, but Johnny doesn't eat all his food, he could complain "it's not fair" but that would happen if you allow seconds anyway, no matter how you serve.

Another pitfall would be a child scooping too much of something onto their plate.

I serve family style and love it. The child can pick and choose what they want on their plate. My only rule is they have to try everything in order to have seconds of something.

For example the other day we had (home made) teriyaki chicken, brown rice, mixed veggies and a fruit salad. Each child is served a glass of milk, which I've never had an issue with. One child took rice and fruit. He wanted more fruit, but I told him he had to try two pieces of chicken (they were cut up boneless/skinless breats) and a small scoop (2 Tbsp) of veggies. He was reluctant. He took one bite of chicken and LOVED it. He ate the two small pieces I served him and his veggies then asked for more chicken instead of fruit.
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Last edited by GretasLittleFriends; 06-02-2011 at 10:02 AM. Reason: A second pitfall
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:23 AM
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I serve meals family style, just an updated and tweaked version of it.

I had to adjust my ways over the years as kids were more and more exposed to treat foods and only wanted the starches, YKWIM? (I do not fry foods in my home for anyone, family included)

Now, I have all the foods ready and in serving bowls. I pass out plates, and SLOWLY serve one thing at a time.

First I make my round with veggies (so only veggies on the plate when they are most hungry), then I move slow motion to the counter to put down the bowl and pick up the next. By the time I make it back to the table the veggies are gone....

Meats are next followed by starches, breads and milk. I use the same slow motion method with same result each round. I don't have a problem with them not eating balanced meals, now.

I keep making the rounds, in order, until they stop eating. I rarely have food on the floor.

Snacks are served the same except all snacks start with fruit instead of veggies and juice instead of milk. Easy.

I do have to say that if there is a child who really does not like something particular I will just make two options for that food group that day. I wont eat cooked carrots so on carrot day I make peas, too.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I serve meals family style, just an updated and tweaked version of it.

I had to adjust my ways over the years as kids were more and more exposed to treat foods and only wanted the starches, YKWIM? (I do not fry foods in my home for anyone, family included)

Now, I have all the foods ready and in serving bowls. I pass out plates, and SLOWLY serve one thing at a time.

First I make my round with veggies (so only veggies on the plate when they are most hungry), then I move slow motion to the counter to put down the bowl and pick up the next. By the time I make it back to the table the veggies are gone....

Meats are next followed by starches, breads and milk. I use the same slow motion method with same result each round. I don't have a problem with them not eating balanced meals, now.

I keep making the rounds, in order, until they stop eating.

Snacks are served the same except all snacks start with fruit instead of veggies and juice instead of milk. Easy.

I do have to say that if there is a child who really does not like something particular I will just make two options for that food group that day. I wont eat cooked carrots so on carrot day I make peas, too.
I want to eat at your house SO bad.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I want to eat at your house SO bad.
Come on it's grilled BBQ chicken, creamed silver queen corn, brussels sprouts and baked sweet potato day!!!

Oh, and we are having fresh black berry "dump" cake for snack....
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:11 PM
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I have divider plates and I put food on them and serve. Its very rare the kids don't eat something. But I also know how much each kid will eat. For veggies, I find I give them a tablespoon and thats what most will eat. I usually serve tablespoon serving because in my house you can always go back for more (I'm trying to teach my own kids this too) but I do have a rule that you must try what is on your plate. Its amazing what kids eat when they try it.
Like today, I made pizza's (on greek style pita bread-I really recommend it) this is an all time favorite among my group as i always put mushrooms, and ham and bacon on it. Today I had the 6 yr old say "I don't eat that pizzza" so I tell him him "oh well then you will be hungry" but because everyone else was eating it and saying how yummy it was, he ate the whole slice. He's a kid who only eats package frozen food, sorry I don't serve lunchables here. I also find that kids eat better when they sit with other kids too. The only thing is, is I don't serve milk. This was a big waste for me (remember in ontario we have NO food program so I can serve whatever, but I follow the canada food guidelines) I had kids who wouldn't drink it, kids who like to dump it, I was wasting it like crazy, so we have milk products with our meals instead, so I know that kids get their recommended milk but not by drinking it.

I just wouldn't allow kids to serve themselves, I have the 6 yr old who can't even eat properly without dumping his meal on the floor, omg can you imagine him serving himself, and I've tried to teach him but you can only do so much.
also I would have kids serve more of one thing than another and no one would want to try the yucky food.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:53 PM
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I attempted family style with 4 kids. My rule was they had to ask for more of what they wanted to get more since they were all under 4 at the time and could not reach to serve themselves. I stopped within a week because when one kid would finally ask for something every kid would echo the request. It was more frustrating to teach them how to ask for the food appropriately than it was to serve everything they need. I am able to enjoy eating at the same time they are when I just give them a full plate with no options of seconds. The two I have right now don't leave much on their plate any more because they have gotten used to eating what's in front of them.
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