A few years ago, I shared a video about Food and Foster Care and since then, I’ve been asked by many of you to do another video along that theme. So today, I shared a new video that continues where that video left off!
In this video, I’m giving you an idea of how I handle feeding a new child in my home. Those first 24 hours are so vital for helping children feel safe and setting a positive primacy bias.
I hope the tips I share here are helpful!
Here are the main takeaways:
- Start with cookies and milk. When a new child arrives, I try to have a plate of cookies fresh from the oven on the table. I keep break and bake cookie dough in my freezer so I can whip up a freshly baked batch on very short notice.
- At the beginning of a new placement, it’s all about keeping things as familiar as possible. Stick with foods kids would be likely to have at school—it may not be their favorite, but it will at least be familiar!
- Don’t hesitate to ask a child what they like! “What foods to you love? What tastes like home to you? What do you like to have for breakfast?” Then keep their requests on hand.
- Offer limited choices. As I have shared in previous videos, children crave feeling empowered, and for a child new to foster care, they feel anything but. Choices can be a great way to give a child a sense of empowerment. However, too many choices can feel overwhelming! I recommend giving two or three choices at the most.
- Let them have junk food, but limit it. If a child has been used to eating as many Doritos as he wants, let him have Doritps—just stick with the small, single portion bags and don’t make a lot of junk food readily available.
- Walk the line between helping a child feel comfortable and, later on, helping cultivate healthy dietary habits. If you saw my ACEs video, you will recall that high instances of childhood trauma are linked with many long-term health issues—some of which correlate with diet (i.e. diabetes, obesity). Part of the long-term goal of foster parenting is to help prepare children to thrive in adulthood—and that includes learning healthy food habits.
Here is my first Food and Foster Care Video:
I hope you find these resources helpful!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with food and foster care. Please share in the comments below!
Food and Foster Care: The First 24 Hours photo via Canva
Food and Foster Care photo via Canva