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What to do if my child doesn't eat enough food

Do you have a small child and you feel that they should weigh more? Maybe your child is on the bottom of the growth chart, so you're worried they're not getting enough food.

Or if your kid eats like a bird, you're probably worried they're not getting enough calories or nutrients. Or maybe just worried in the short term that they'll wake up hungry in the middle of the night if they don't eat dinner!

Or it's easy to get stuck comparing kids. Maybe you have an older child that always was a big eater. Or your friends kids eat way more than yours, which makes you worried!

And I know that this concern can lead to....

  • Spoon-feeding a child that's perfectly capable of feeding themselves.
  • Bribing your child with dessert, to finish dinner.
  • Other pressure tactics, like forcing them to eat 3 bites.
  • Short-order-cook syndrome: if they don't want dinner, you bring out a backup food or a favourite you're sure they will eat. Or get stuck making 2 meals...

So instead of all of...

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5 Reasons why you should be having family meals

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...

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Why is my child a Picky Eater? And what to do about it!


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...

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3 Reasons Why the "3-Bite Rule" Sucks

Are you struggling with a picky eater at home? If so, I'd imagine you're probably:

  • worried that your child is not getting enough food, or enough nutrients to meet their growth and potential.
  •  frustrated that your kid doesn't try new foods.
  • stuck as a short-order cook, bringing out those backup foods or making a second meal. Just so your kid will eat something!
  • your dinner table is probably full of pressure, bribes and tears.

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...

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Healthy Snacking for the New Year: Prune Energy Ball Recipe

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:

Balanced Snack 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)

California Prune Energy Balls

These prune energy balls taste...

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When can I start solids with Babyled Weaning?

"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...

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School lunches for kids of all ages

Check out the global interview here.

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...

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How to manage kids & sweets

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:

  1. Free-for-all. Your child will likely fill up on cookies and candy all day and have no room for the healthy dinner you slaved over! They’ll likely be missing out on import ant nutrients. Plus, have a mouth-full of cavities!
  2. Total sweet restriction. Attempt to have a “sugar-free” child, and it’s very possible that they will be the school-aged kid who eats 5 slices of birthday cake. And may horde chocolate bars under their bed. It’s similar to putting yourself on a diet. Total restriction = cravings = binges.

But I’m not advocating for the free-for all approach either. Somewhere there must be...

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Best Tools for Babyled Weaning

babyled weaning blw Oct 12, 2018

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...

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How Do I Get My Picky Eater to Eat Vegetables?

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...

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