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TikTok Moms Swear That A “Dinner Candle” Is The Sorcery You Didn’t Know You Needed

BRB, trying to find the matches.

TikTok mom @porchthoughts explains the concept of the "dinner candle."

If you're the mom of a picky eater or kids who love to fight around the dinner table, your solution might just be the "dinner candle." The concept has begun popping up all over TikTok, and honestly, it might be the best mealtime hack I've seen in ages.

Sure, you can try all the other tips and tricks for dealing with picky eating. Yes, knowing how to use conflict resolution between your kids is brilliant. But wouldn't it be nice if that extra effort wasn't even necessary? Enter the dinner candle, which moms all over social media swear is the magical answer to all their dinnertime woes.

"Someone gave me the idea of the 'dinner candle,' and it works," captioned HomemakingWithThePotters over a serene candlelit dinner with kids. "If you have a picky eater or a child that doesn't like to stay in their seat, light a candle at the table and call it the 'dinner candle' or whatever works for you. Tell them they get to blow it out as soon as they finish eating."

Here's why this is brilliant: The dinner candle not only gives dinner a "specialness" about it, but it also gives your kiddo a goal. For grown-ups, dinner is the goal. We know we need to eat. We want to eat. And we enjoy the chance to sit down, right? For our kids, dinner is not the goal; it's the side quest. They want to get back to playing! Sitting still is boring.

Gentle parenting focuses a lot on how we speak to our children, and many people already know a big part of that is setting clear boundaries with "if/when, then" sentences. Whether you use it for rewards or consequences, the language and the outcome are clearly understood.

You already know the joy your kid gets from blowing out candles. You see it once a year on their birthdays. So, adding that special trick into the dinnertime routine with the promise of "when you finish your dinner, then you can blow out the candle" gives them the goal and the reward.

It's also just a really great distraction, which can help with picky eating.

Then there's the fact that it adds a bit of ambiance, which often seems to keep kids chill at restaurants. As a bonus, it offers just a smidge of romance when you're sitting across the table from your partner—even when you're surrounded by your kids.

Another TikTok mom tried the candle trick and found her kids eating food she never expected them to eat.

"Chicken tortilla soup!" whispers PorchThoughts. “I didn't think they would eat chicken tortilla soup until they were teenagers. That's how deep in the struggle bus canal we were. This was sorcery. There was no fighting. There were no questions. They just saw the candle and sat down."

They didn't push back; they ate it. She even shares video evidence.

Several commenters theorized why "candlelight dinners" work so well for kids.

"Is this like genetic instincts passed down, like deep down we're all hard-wired to eat by candlelight? 😅," wondered Queenofcoins22.

"I wonder if it's because we are all exposed to too much blue light & fluorescent light waves. The candle is soothing and a healing red-orange-yellow spectrum, yes? 🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️ love this ❤️," said RevZorena.

"In short, it turns it from a less visual heavy experience so they can focus on how it smells and tastes or even feels like over mainly focusing on what it looks like," explained Luvmesmtiktok.

Several others chimed in to say it works for them, and a few teachers confirmed the idea behind it is solid. "This why teachers buy lamps and turn off the classroom fluorescent lights," said Chrystal Ramirez.

But as with all parenting hacks on the internet, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

"Nope, candle on the table, both kept climbing on the table and fighting about who was blowing it out, age 2 and 3 😜," shared Staisha Walke.

"This is something I learned when my child was in a Waldorf school. Do I practice it? No. Bc my kid is a Taurus. Lol," added Samantha.

Overall, though, the consensus seems to be that the candle is pretty damn magical. Instead of being another mundane thing you make your kids do, dinner just feels fancier by candlelight — and kids love a good fancy moment.

Will it work forever, or will the novelty wear off? TBD, friends. But most mamas would be happy for a week-long break from the mealtime struggle.