Managing Meal and Snack Routines with More Time at Home

Managing Meal and Snack Routines with More Time at Home

I used to have routine but now the days seem to roll into one” parent

Acknowledge that things are different

Normal routines and usual activities like school and playdates have changed. Our eating routines may have changed too. More effort may be needed to keep to an eating schedule at home.

Routine and structure help children feel safe

In times of stress and change creating and supporting a regular routine helps children feel safe. This means regular meal and snack times, night time sleep habits and time for active play every day. This helps them feel less worried.

Focus on the how, not the what

At this time how you eat is more important than what you eat. Children are naturally tuned into their appetite signs. From what you offer, they will choose the foods they need to nourish themselves with. You may not be able to offer all the foods you normally do. Try to offer some basic foods like fruit, bread and milk to help satisfy hunger. If you are relying more on prepared foods  this is okay. Keeping to routines around eating helps protect natural hunger and fullness signs. This is most important in the longer term .

It does not have to be perfect

Expect some chaotic times and try to be flexible when needed Remember you may have experienced this before. This may have been during a family illness or a house move. Have compassion for yourself and others. Try to work towards getting into a routine that works for your family at this time.

Practical ideas that may help you

  • Write a daily or weekly schedule for the fridge of things you plan to do.
  • Write up a short list of meal ideas for the week ahead.
  • Keeping a shopping list can help manage shopping trips.
  • Prepare some extra meals to put in the freezer (for a night off cooking).
  • Make time for family dinners - this may mean clearing work stuff off the bench or table.
  • Make time for physical activity everyday – this could be a family walk.
  • Try and make some time for yourself.

Seek the help and support you need

Remind yourself and your family things have changed but lots of people are working together to help us all get to the other side of this. This could take a little time but if we work together as a family we can all play our role.

We know it is important to reach out and get the help you need, please do this. Sources of help:

Raising children’s Network

Beyond Blue

For all parenting advice contact the Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS) Parenting help line phone 1300 808 178

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