Home / Features / How To Enjoy Your Food in Peace With Your Kids Around – Temi Olajide

How To Enjoy Your Food in Peace With Your Kids Around – Temi Olajide


Mums, how many times have you deliberately locked yourself up in a room to enjoy your shawarma or roasted fish? (At the end of the day, do you really enjoy eating it? Probably not, because they keep knocking and shouting, Mummy are you there?)

The struggle can be real for some of us mums. Many times, we have to wait until the kids have gone to bed to enjoy our dinner, which just leads to binge eating and extra pounds due to late night eating.

Mums, how many times have you deliberately locked yourself up in a room to enjoy your shawarma or roasted fish? (At the end of the day, do you really enjoy eating it? Probably not, because they keep knocking and shouting, Mummy are you there?)

The funny thing is, I hardly see kids do this to their dads. But mums have to deal with this all the time. If you are a mummy on this table, I am happy to tell you, you can definitely start to enjoy your food in peace.

Want to enjoy your food as a mum, try these tips:

Avoid giving your kids food while you’re eating, from a young age
While it is very common to feed our kids when we are eating, it is wrong. How so, you may ask? Well, first, you’re indirectly teaching your kids that they can take food from you and everyone else who is eating.

It may get to a point that you have to shout or spank your child from taking food from family or friends, because they just stand in front of the guest while they are eating. So, the earlier you start training them, the better for everyone.

Teach them discipline and self control
If you’re sure your child is not hungry, and they still go ahead to ask for your food while you’re eating, make it clear to them that they have had theirs. You can say to them: “This is mummy’s food, you have had your own.” It will teach them to take their eyes off others’s foods. It also teaches them self control and discipline. You will agree with me that some adults simply can’t take their eyes off other people’s food because they have zero self control when it comes to food.

I once had a colleague who always wanted to eat out of everyone’s lunch. She was probably used to eating with her mum and self control was never taught. All we could do was pray she wasn’t close by during lunch. Imagine adding this to your prayer request as you set out for work each day.

Stop eating their food without their permission
This has nothing to do with leftovers. Mums are fond of saying they provided the food. Errr, no mummy! In addition, saying please doesn’t count. Your kids obviously can’t say no because of the love and respect they have for you.

Likewise, what do you expect when you always eat out of their food? If you can share theirs with them, then they can share yours with you. Have you ever bought ice cream for yourself and your child, and then as soon as you ask to taste from your child’s own, your child also asks to taste yours too. Saying no after you have had theirs is unfair, so if you are not willing to share yours, then leave your child to eat theirs in peace.

Tell them that it’s not every time mummy is eating she has to share. Mummy needs to enjoy her meal too. As much as sharing your food might be some type of bonding with your child, it is your duty to teach your child where to draw the boundary.

Make sure you feed your children
If your child is not properly fed, he/she may lurk around while you’re eating. This may then force you to share your meal. Instead, you can eat your meals at the same time (in different plates) with your child, though this can be sometimes impracticable.

If you’re sure your child is well fed, but still cries because you won’t let him or her have some of your food, do your best to communicate with the child (no matter their age). Let them know this is mummy’s food – mummy isn’t sharing! Do not give in to the cries, because the instant you give in, you are teaching your child that it is okay to cry for other people’s food.

Another way of discouraging your children from crying is telling them, if you cry, the more reason mummy won’t even share, because you wouldn’t get your way by crying.

Let sharing be at your discretion, and not because your child is hounding you to share your food. To really foster bonding time, it is advisable you eat together as a family if it works with your reality.

In summary, if you want you to eat in peace, allow your children eat in peace as well. Children do as they see, not as you say many times. When they see you practice what you preach, then it’s easier to teach and guide them.

I welcome you to another level of enjoyment as you begin to enjoy your food in peace.

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