Does your child resist coming to the dinner table? Ask them to ring a dinner bell to signify the start of the meal – it can make all the difference! 


A few weeks ago in our Feeding Littles Clients Only Facebook Group, one of our longtime clients and followers asked for some help with her 2-year-old: “As soon as we all sit down to dinner my two-year-old starts screaming at me so much that I can’t eat my food. She gets so hysterical that then she won’t eat. I’ve tried many different things for weeks and haven’t figured it out. It’s not an issue at restaurants or if we have a floor picnic but I need to be able for us to have regular family dinners.”

Judy’s response? “Can you get her to be a part of the routine of the meal by setting the napkins, forks or spoons at the table? Then have her be in charge of ringing the dinner bell. Give her more responsibility and see if this helps. There may be a power struggle, and the more control we give her over the process the happier she will become.”

Guess what? From mama: “SAVED BY THE BELL! The only change we did was adding the dinner bell and magically she’s fine now.”

Sometimes just giving your child a job in the process – one that feels important like ringing the beloved “dinner bell” (any bell will do) – is a wonderful pre-meal ritual that sets the stage for a more positive experience for all.

Try it at home yourself! We put some bells in our Amazon Shop under the Dinner Bell category – my family owns two (the set that’s silver and copper) because it helps having two with two kids.

This is just one of the many ideas and philosophies we share in our Toddler & Kid Course, which has been used by thousands of families worldwide to help #takebackmealtime. It guides you step by step through a simple plan to prevent or manage picky eating and mealtime stress. 


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