The Christmas holidays are filled with cozy nights, twinkly lights, cuddles by the fireplace, pumpkin spice and lots of family and friends.
But if you have kids, you know it can also mean a lot of planning stress, kids completely overstimulated by all the excitement and people, and you still need to put out a nice dinner and look like you’re not having a nervous breakdown!
So here a few things that will make your life as a parent a bit easier with kids at the Christmas dinner table!

1. Make it yourself easier. 
I know, we as healthy parents want to put a fresh-made dinner on the table for not only the adults…also our little ones.
My advice!? Make sure you have a ready-made biological baby meal ready. Like this one from Kruitvat home brand available in Holland and Belgium. With all the excitement of the Holliday season, you may find your kids eating nothing so well at the Christmas dinner table. There is just too much happening (and just maybe there was a little too much candy before sitting down at the table.) So if your little one refuses to eat the fancy stuff you made for them you will be happy to know that you have something healthy they will eat for sure!
We are one of those Ripley parents who will cook dinner for the whole family and the baby just eats along with everyone but if there is cooked in a whine or if there is raw meat or fish Involved (which is often the case with festive dinners) I rather have my baby eat a healthy ready-made-dinner. We just like to heat it up and scoop it into a fancy cup because treat should be presented in style! And as a Ripley baby, she will eat it herself. With her little spoon, or little hands.
This way you won’t have to stress about it. For us, it always has been a lifesaver especially when being invited to dinner at friends or family, a ready meal in your bag saves you a lot of stress if they don’t have anything baby-proof on the table.

2. O’h no! What a mess
Relax! Kids will be kids! And you know those little outfits can be washed, so no stressing about it! For the dinner table mess on the little faces and hands (and diaper changes as well) make sure you have 99% water baby wipes standing by. These amazing wipes from Kruitvat (available in Holland and Belgium) have minimal ingredients and 0%pafum and 0% alcohol. We just love to use these natural wipes for all quick kid-messes cleaning purposes. The fabric is super think, soft and they are really affordable! These wipes are making our lives just a bit easier.  At home we always have them standing by close to the dinner table and whenever we go somewhere, a pack of these is always coming with us.

3. Talk to them!
Wouldn’t you get bored if you get ignored the whole evening? Include your 6+-year-old kid in the table conversation sometimes.
For the littlest ones, break free from the grown-up conversation and give them some quality attention for a good 10 minutes.
If there are some other kind family members who would do the same sometimes it will make all the difference!

4. NO don’t touch that!!!
Put some Christmas decorations on the table they are allowed to play with. Like snowglobes or little Christmas trees. Instead of yelling “no don’t touch that” the whole evening you can create an inspiring playfully setting around the kids where they can be distracted.

Blog post continues under these 3 photos:

5. I’m bored!
Please don’t put them behind a screen and turn them into zombies the minute they get bored. Make little goody bags with an activity pack that they can have when they have enough of eating. You could for example put in a little puzzle, some coloring materials a little toy, disposable camera, a little pot of play-doh, activity book, you name it. (just don’t put in bubbles. bubbles will end up in the food and the soap will be emptied on their clothes or on the couch. trust me, I’ve been there)
By the time they are tired and done with the activities, there will be dessert! And then after dessert while everyone is having drinks they will be so tired you maybe can let them reload a bit with a holiday movie on the tablet in a cozy corner with some pillows and lemonade.

6. It’s taking sooo looonggggg
If you are sitting down longer than one hour (which is often the case with us) and they are done eating or playing sitting down, they will get restless. They are kids, their bodies and brains are not designed to sit still this long. Let them off the hook so they can go and (quietly) play away from the dinner table.

7. Ready for bed
If you were invited to dinner somewhere else, your kids will be exhausted once you get in the car, and they probably will crash there.
Take pajamas and toothbrushes with you, so you’ll be able to quietly transfer them sleeping from car to bed. You’ll have them all brushed, cleaned and in their pj’s ready to sleep through the night right before getting in the car.

8. Expectations.
You will all be sitting there at the perfectly set up table with their perfectly styled outfit and the kids will play, and the grownups will all be taking and launching and everyone will be smiling and it will all be just a picture of perfection.
Wake up. This is real life, not your Instagram feed. Somewhere along the evening something will burn, someone will have a tantrum, something will spill, someone will say something awkward, someone will smear some food on some furniture, someone will wipe his or her nose on your arm (moms, this happens to every one of you right!? It’s not just me!?)  and someone will say “mom, I’m bored”. But you know what… You will enjoy it anyway! Because you are together with the people you love most, you have lots of delicious food and everything is perfect just the way is.
Real life perfect.

These where my 8 kid-proof Christmas dinner lifesavers to get through these holiday dinner parties with a smile!
Did I miss something that should really really really be in here!?
Please let me know your best advice in the comments so we can all advantage from them.

Have a lovely holiday dinner!
x Jolanda

Thanks to Kruidvat for being our partner on this post. As usual, all thoughts & opinions are our own.  –

Blog post by Jolanda Marti
Photography: Wild & Boho

Photo’s of our first Christmas dinner this year: 

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