Eat up! Feed your kids well right before they go to visit your ex.
It’s not uncommon for one parent to feed the children better than the other. When custody is divided between two households, the kids tend to eat better, and more nutritionally, at one home than the other. In the best of all worlds, both parents would be healthy eaters who would pass on wholesome, low-fat, nutritional habits to their children – but we don’t live in the best of all worlds.
For better or worse, there will be a clear disparity in the quality of the children’s diet in most cases. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to feed your children a good meal right before they go to visit your ex (the other parent). This may seem like contrary logic to some parents: Some folks think it’s smarter to send the kids to the other parent hungry and force the other parent to bear the cost or the effort of preparing the meal. Petty spitefulness aside, this approach means that you’re passing up an opportunity to improve your status with your own kids.
The better approach – both for the benefit of your kids and for your strategic advantage – is to sit the children down for a great meal directly before they leave for the other parent’s household. Not only will you lock in your position as the primary caregiver for the kids, but you’ll also prompt them, quite quickly, to associate wholesome eating with your house. Indeed, they may associate all eating with your house, and may prefer to be at your home during every mealtime.
Developing good eating habits and reliable timetables is part of good parenting. Taking the initiative in this area will have both short-term and long-term benefits for your children, and will provide you with important ammunition in a child custody or visitation case in the Family Court.