When you think of the family table, we all have the image of a happy family, eating and laughing together. Which may make you LOL it's so far from your dinnertime reality right now. I have 3 kids, so I get it (and our meals rarely look like this photo-shoot pic!).
You might have a hard time just getting food on the table, to start. Or avoiding fights, battles and tears because your kids won't eat. Or even just getting everyone together at the table, schedule-wise may be a challenge!
Today I'll touch a bit on how to end the dinnertime battles and providing some structure and routine. But I'm mostly going to chat about WHY it's worth this effort to get your family to the dinner table together.
First of all, to define "family meals," this includes eating together at least 5 times per week. At least one caregiver with the kids. If one parent is not present or you are a single parent, you STILL get these benefits by sitting down with your kids...
If you have a picky eater at home, you might be struggling to get your kids to try new foods. You've probably become a short order cook. And you may feel like you have to bribe, pressure or reward your child to try even take one bite of dinner.
All of this just leads to stress at the table for everyone. And often arguments and tears (on behalf of the kids and parents!). And we want dinner to be a nice place for everyone!
Wouldn't it be great to stop stressing about how much or what your kids eat at the table? Have more peaceful dinners, with no more tears or yelling at the dinner table? And for your kids to eat new foods without complaining about it!?
This is definitely possible. But one of the obstacles for us to getting to this point is the plethora of contradictory advice about how to deal with your picky eater! My doctor told me to give my daughter what she wanted....which I know is exactly the wrong advice.
To give you some understanding of the...
Are you struggling with a picky eater at home? If so, I'd imagine you're probably:
And I'm guessing you just want to stop stressing about how much your kid eats. You want your kid to expand their palate, try new foods without complaints. And you'd like to have more peaceful family dinners, to end all the yelling and the tears.
If that sounds good to you, read on or catch watch my video here.
I know that there's lots of conflicting advice out there on how to feed kids. From your doctor, f your mom, friends, blogs....And maybe you've tried some of these tactics and discovered that for most kids, the "one-bite rule" or "three-bite...
This post was sponsored by the California Dried Plum Board. All opinions are my own
Happy New Year! If you have resolutions this year to feed your family better, I encourage starting small. For example, one good area to start with could be daily snacks.
Snacks are a struggle for many of the moms I work with, when feeding their kids. One step to healthy snacking for kids is to offer set "snack" times, rather than allowing your child open access to the pantry. This will allow them to have an appetite come meal time.
As for what to offer for snacks, it doesn't have to be chocolate-dipped granola bars and fishy crackers. Keep it simple, and just think of offering 2 food groups. Here are a few simple ideas:
1) Peanut butter on whole grain crackers
2) Boiled egg and fruit
3) Berries and yogurt
4) Fruit smoothie
5) Veggies and hummus dip
6) Energy balls with nuts and fruit (see recipe below)
These prune energy balls taste...
"My baby is six months or older doesn't sit unsupported, so I'm not feeding him solids yet." I hear this over and over in my Babyled Weaning Facebook Group. There's seems to be this myth out there that baby needs to sit on his own independently for a minute, two minutes, maybe five minutes - before starting baby led weaning or self feeding. I'm not sure where this came from. Even Gill Rapley, the creator of the term "Baby led Weaning" has an article on her website and she explicitly states there's NO "60- second rule".
Two of my own babies didn't sit fully unsupported on their own for any length of time until they were eight, maybe closer to nine months. But certainly they were able to self feed before this age. I've also confirmed this with the Occupational Therapist that I work with: baby does not need to sit unsupported on their own before starting solids.
They do, however, need to be able to sit with support. Your baby does need to have enough strength in their trunk or body...
Welcome back-to-school again! Maybe you start the year gung-ho to make Pinterest-inspired, fancy home-made lunches all year long. And most of us are over that by oh….about day 3 of school!
Today I’m going to share some easy school lunches for kids of all ages. Homemade lunches, that still are healthy enough to provide them with the energy to feel and learn their best!
The Li’l Ones
It’s super important that the preschool/kindergarten aged crowd can get into their lunches! Practice at home, to make sure they can open the containers and packages.
They also need food that’s easy to hold and eat. Think finger-foods. Bento-style lunch boxes are fun and easy for kids of all ages.
In this lunch box, I’ve included finger-sized pumpkin seed butter & jam rolls and Avocado Blueberry Mini Muffins . Muffins are a great alternative to packaged granola bars. I make double-batches and keep a stock in the...
It seems like kids have sweets thrown at them from everywhere these days. Get a haircut? Have a lollypop! Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, a birthday at school….come home with a loot bag full of candy!
So how do you manage treats and desserts for your kids at home? There seem to be two options, without something in between:
But I’m not advocating for the free-for all approach either. Somewhere there must be...
What do you NEED to start your baby on solids? A high chair and food- that's it really! I do get questions about the best cup, bib, spoons etc for Babyled Weaning a lot though. So here are (affiliate) links to some of my favourites!
Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs are great, and pull right up to the table. You can get an infant attachment for a baby, and the chair can grow with your child. I have two, and adults frequently use them too (they hold up to 200 lbs).
Another similar option is the Keekaroo
For the budget-friendly high chair, try the Ikea Antilop for $20 (+$5 for a tray)
I used a standard Graco high chair. I like the large tray with a lip, making it slightly more difficult for your child to swipe food on the floor!
Under High-Chair Mess
Plastic Computer Mat for under the high chair. Easy to wipe off. You can also get these at an office supply store, like Staples.
Other options include a drop cloth or plastic table cloth, that you can shake outside...
Does your kid avoid anything green? All veggies? Picky eating is a struggle for many families and vegetables are definitely one of the most challenging foods for young kids to enjoy. They naturally tend to prefer sweet foods - or quick, easy energy sources. So it's common for children to enjoy fruit, but shun more bitter vegetables. The good news is that fruit and veggies contain many of the same nutrients! Your child can find folate, vitamin C and fibre in both fruit and vegetables, so you can relax a bit.
One common tactic I want to chat about is sneaking pureed vegetables into your children's food. I don't recommend this, as it does not allow your child to experience that particular food and learn to like (or dislike!) it on their own. And at some point, they will also probably figure you out - possibly leading to distrust, a stronger dislike of the offending food and power struggles.
It's also not aligned with the "Division of Responsibility" principles, which...
The new Dietitians of Canada cookbook, "Cook!" is out, in time for Nutrition Month! You can buy it on Amazon or Chapters. I have 4 recipes published in this book. This is one of my favorite muffin recipes, from my Great Aunt Joan. I often encourage clients to bake healthy muffins and cookies to have on had for snacks. This recipe is high in fibre and contains no white flour!
Apricot Oatmeal Bran Muffins
preheat oven to 375 degrees F
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup boiling water
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1) In a small bowl, stir together wheat bran and boiling water; set aside.
2) In a large bowl combine flour, oats, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.
3) In a med bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk and oil until blended. Pour over flour mixture, along with bran mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in apricots....