Stephanie Meyers joins me to discuss the language parents use around the table – or table talk.
Stephanie Meyers is a dietitian, a graduate nutrition program instructor, a nutrition coordinator, a sought-after public speaker on nutrition, and the founder of Families Eating Well. Her upcoming book, End the Mealtime Meltdown, delves into using the table talk method to free families from frequent food and picky eating struggles.
What is Table Talk?
Table talk is what we say, and the language we use, when around the table. Stephanie shares how she got interested in ‘table talk’ and coined it as a concept stemming from her experiences as a new parent and instructor. She organized eight different categories of things parents say to their children based on her in-depth research.
She explains that her mission in unpacking this concept is to support parents and not make them feel worse about parenting. Instead, she states that her purpose is to help parents genuinely engage their children with food using fresh ways without applying pressure, bribes, and begging.
One of the unintended consequences of rewarding or punishing with food is it creates a hierarchy of food, which can pose problems later on and could be hard to undo. Stephanie shares and demonstrates tips on using proper language and strategies when talking to kids at the table.
She also emphasizes the importance of learning new strategies with family meals as they have increased due to the pandemic and the shift to remote learning. She shares that parents need to allow their children a little wiggle room to exercise their autonomy as an eater.
Asking open-ended questions during mealtime is a good way for parents to strengthen their children’s self-trust, self-compassion, and autonomy, leading them to become healthy eaters.
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What You’ll Learn About Table Talk – How to Engage Kids at the Table:
- Stephanie Meyers’ work and research
- An overview of some of the different types of table talk
- How to engage better with your children around food
- Consequences of having negative table talk
- The importance of asking simple and open-ended questions
- Why eating is a life skill
- How to give your children autonomy
- Advantages of positive talk in the long run
- How to be connected and curious with your children
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