End the Mealtime Meltdown: Using the Table Talk Method To Free Your Family from Daily Struggles over Food and Picky Eating

New Harbinger. May 2022. 200p. ISBN 9781684039463. pap. $18.95. CHILD REARING
Meals with a child, especially a picky eater, can feel like a battleground, but Meyers (a registered dietitian nutritionist) argues that dialogue, or “table talk,” can be the key to solving many of parents’ and kids’ mealtime woes. She warns that the common communication strategies parents might currently be utilizing (repetitive instruction, begging, bribing, pleading) could contribute to meltdowns and tension for all family members. Similarly, she argues that other, newer mealtime strategies (veggie exposure; “no thank you bowls”; cutting food into fun shapes) deal with a behavior but don’t get to the heart of the attitudes surrounding dinnertime duels. Meyers instead suggests techniques like having parents model proper eating behavior, being fully present with a child at mealtime, actively engaging in storytelling around the topic of food, and asking questions rather than making demands or commentary. Her book includes journal prompts to help readers get reflective and examine some of their own mentalities around food and mealtime first, as well as exercises meant to encourage careful thought around how a child relates to food. Chock-full of journal prompts, conversation starters, meditation exercises, and sample questions, this book may just be a lifeline for parents facing mealtime drama.
VERDICT Highly recommended action-packed guide on a topic of interest to many parents.
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