At the conference on Friday one of the clips shown was of mealtime support - a how not to, and how to support someone with a meal. It was interesting, but I would have used more distraction. OK, I'd probably JUST have used distraction.
I reflected on this some time ago when we spent some time with my mother-in-law. She makes a lot of small talk, spends a lot of time discussing the food, judging it, even occasionally talking TO it. It took some getting used to after our "don't mention the war" meals at home. But, unlike my own dear mother whose mealtime conversations can veer towards diets and how much weight so and so has gained/lost, there wasn't anything wrong with any of her talk.
Maybe I'm too avoidant, but we've used quite a bit of distraction and I'm particularly grateful to Charles Collingwood whose portrayal of Brian in The Archers has provided distraction to our family in difficult times for decades (my paranoid elderly aunt Marcella was much easier to deal with when obsessed about his affair with Caroline than with the imaginary affairs of real people).
I'm resolved to broaden the mealtime conversation but will still avoid weight and shape comments, and anything to do with Helen Archer.