A recent study calling family dinners 'elitist' and 'unrealistic' has ruffled some feathers. I don't think family dinners or home cooking for one or more is elitist and unrealistic, but I do think that we have to temper our expectations of ourselves down to what is doable under the circumstances of our lives.
My kids are the worst eaters. Really. Some people say this, and mean that their kids don't eat raw sushi, or whole wheat pasta, or offal. That's not what I mean. I mean that in my house, bacon is a food group. I mean that my kids don't eat pasta, period. I mean that they only accept pepperoni pizza from one delivery joint. It's serious.
Technology has invaded our dinner space with television, tablets, and of course the constant use of smartphones, with email and texting. Eliminate the distractions and start talking. Mom and dad need to be the role models for this behaviour, so put away the phone before you sit down at the table, and make it a family rule.
This is the tale of a persnickety young boy who seemingly detests the beautiful, seasonal vegetables his mother places before him each night at dinner. One day his brilliant mother decides that instead of fighting with him, she's going to turn each of the ground-grown foods he bellyaches about into a pureed soup.
It is imperative that you dress appropriately for turkey dinner. I don't know about your bunch, but the people in my family literally salivate in anticipation of turkey, and unless you're prepared with an elasticized or drawstring waistband on your pants, the price tag for the ensuing gluttony can be serious discomfort.
While I'm against force-feeding, I am a firm believer in the one-bite rule. Two or three would be preferable, but one will suffice. In my experience, what starts off as one usually ends up as three or four or even 10, eventually. And the less fuss I make about these bites, the more likely they are to be taken.