Let go of the guilt and shame and celebrate what you do right…in the kitchen.

Lee-Anne still shot, branded

By: Kristen Yarker

As a dietitian whose passion is nutrition for little ones, from introducing solid foods through the picky eating years, I’ve had countless stressed-out, guilt-ridden Moms (and the occasional Dad) confess to me that they weren’t achieving the delicious, home-made, healthy, Pinterest-worthy, un-rushed family meal.

Let go of the guilt and the shame

It breaks my heart when I see the looks of guilt, worry, and shame on their faces as they whisper this dirty secret with me because they expect that I’m going to judge them for their failure.

The last thing that I’m doing is passing judgment on their parenting skills! In fact, quite the opposite, I know that perfect ideal is a myth! And I know how much courage it took to admit that things aren’t going well and seek help.

I’m a big fan of Brené Brown’s work on perfectionism and shame (check out her books, blog, etc at www.brenebrown.com). What really hit home for me when reading her books is how perfectionism and shame actually get in the way of success. We spend so much energy beating ourselves up that it becomes a barrier to action.

My dream is to bust the myth of the perfect family meal so that you’re free from the weight of not living up to this perfect ideal and feel good about feeding your kids.

Kids are a blessing and joy. And, food is pleasure.

Yet the experience of the parents whom I speak with is about as far from joy and pleasure as you can get.

I wanted to create a way to highlight and celebrate all the ways that parents are doing things “right”. To recognize all the many combinations of people that make up a family. To acknowledge the great job that busy Moms and Dads do to feed their kids approximately six times a day, every single day.

Celebrate what you do right in the kitchen: Have Fun too!

And so I created Kitchen Conversations. Real Parents. Real Meals. I interview parents to find out how they make meals happen for their family. They’re raw videos, in real kitchens (yes, with toys and dirty dishes), with no make-up artists or wardrobe stylists. Moms (and hopefully soon Dads too) share the reality of feeding their kids, some great tips, and delicious recipes that their kids actually eat. And we enjoy a laugh at the craziness of it all!

For example, Lee-Anne, Modern Mama Vancouver West Community Director and mother of one son, shared how she uses storytelling and her son’s love of superheroes to engage him in mealtime.

Check out the videos at: www.vitaminkconsulting.com/kitchen-conversations

I hope that the videos will help you to let go of the weight of striving for the myth of the perfect family meal.

I hope that you get some practical tips and delicious recipes.

I hope that you can join us in laughing at the perfect imperfection that is family life!

Kristen is a child feeding expert often referred to as The Dietitian who Transforms Picky Eaters into Food-Confident Kids. She shows families evidence-based strategies to gets kids to try new foods on their own (without negotiations, deception, or being sneaky) to start them along a path to a life-long LOVE of healthy eating.

When she’s not gardening, shopping at a farmers’ markets, cooking or entertaining Kristen’s balancing all her food related interests by taking her surfboard down off the wall (where’s it’s been collecting dust for almost 10 years) and is getting back in the water. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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