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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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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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Protein for kids

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own.

Are you worried that your child doesn’t get enough protein? If you’re the parent of a young child, this is a common concern. Especially if you have a selective eater with a small appetite (which is most toddlers & preschoolers!).

In this blog, I’ll discuss why your child needs protein, how much they need, where to get it and share a protein-rich breakfast recipe.

Why is protein important?

Protein is the building block of the entire body. Muscles, organs and the immune system all need protein.

It also helps to keep us feeling full, so it’s good to offer protein at each meal and snack.

How much protein does my child need?

To figure out how much protein your child needs, take their weight in pounds and divide by two. For example, a 40 pound child needs about 20 grams of protein per day.

For children of average weight, this works out to about...

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What to do when your child doesn't eat dinner

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own!

"What should I do if my child doesn't eat dinner?" As a dietitian working with young families, this is a very common question.

Should you be worried that your child isn't eating enough? Bribe him with dessert, so he finishes dinner? And should you still give her a bedtime snack if  she doesn't eat dinner? I'll answer all of those questions for you here!

Why don't kids eat dinner?

First of all, know that you're not alone if your child often doesn't eat dinner. Dinner is the most challenging meal of the day for most young children, for a few reasons:

  • They're tired by the end of the day.
  • Your child is excited to be home after daycare or school. Or because mom or dad are home from work!
  • Your child is not hungry, because they're full of snacks.
  • Or maybe they're not hungry because they have eaten enough during breakfast and lunch for their little body!

Appetite goes...

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