I give my child dessert for dinner. Here’s why.

Today I did something that might shock you. I gave my toddler Pumpkin Cookies as part of her meal.  Yup, a Certified Nutritionist and health-nut mom willingly allows her child to have dessert  with her dinner. GASP! Even more surprising, this was a conscious and a strategic decision. Many children (especially “picky eaters”) seem to reject foods that are good for them and embrace foods that are not-so-good.  So it’s not surprising that when dealing with a selective eater, we are tempted to use treats to encourage them to eat the good stuff. Have you ever spoken these words? “If you eat your dinner then you can have a treat” “You can have a cookie if you go pee on the potty!” “You were a good boy today, so mommy is going to buy you some ice cream“. Put yourself in your little one’s shoes…if they can ONLY have a cookie after they do something they do not want to do, then that cookie must be good.  Really good.   If our child can only have a treat on special occasions then they interpret that as restriction and take advantage when it is available (possibly having more than one). As much as I would LOVE my daughters to gush over greens like kale everyday, that is not likely.  We are surrounded by unhealthy options every day and so are our children.  It’s clear that giving them free reign over eating sugar-laden foods is detrimental, yet the reality is that forbidding them will likely backfire as well. That’s why I give my child dessert with dinner (sometimes). We won’t always be there to tell our children what they can and can’t eat, so they will need to learn...
Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Halloween is around the corner and you’ll probably be carving pumpkins any day now.   Why not pick up an extra gourd and make some of these super moist pumpkin cookies! These healthy pumpkin cookies are nutrient-dense and perfect for little ones who are underweight or picky eaters.  They are equally fabulous for those who are growing and eating just fine.  That’s why they made it on my list of fabulous all-in-one snacks for families. Why I’m a fan of these healthy pumpkin cookies: Pumpkin puree - It’s pumpkin!  A cookie made primarily with a vegetable gets a thumbs up from a nutritionist like me.  It’s high in Vitamin A and C (both are great for immunity as the winter approaches) not to mention high in fiber (for constipation and general health). Coconut oil - Healthy fats are important for all little ones, and those who are underweight will reap additional benefits.  In underweight people and children coconut oil promotes weight gain- but not unhealthy fatty weight. Coconut flour – A great gluten-free option that does not spike insulin or blood sugar like other refined flours.  This one is important for children (and adults) who have insulin issues and need to keep their blood sugar stabilized (like my RSS daughter).  When using coconut flour, more eggs are required which automatically makes these cookies more nutrient-dense. Eggs - as you know from my FREE mini e-book (which includes the top 5 foods to help children thrive), eggs one of my favourite sources of protein for kids Cinnamon –  Not only does it help with digestion and combat nausea, cinnamon can also improve appetite.  For those with picky or limited eaters this must be...
5 Important Immune-Boosting Supplements for Kids

5 Important Immune-Boosting Supplements for Kids

Oh crap, it’s starting!   The temperature is dropping, and the snotty noses are starting.  That means it’s time to get out those immune-boosting supplements for our kids (and ourselves). Winter is on its way [insert tears here].  So are the colds, ear infections, and other bugs our kids bring home.  We may not be able to stop the snow from coming BUT we can try to keep illnesses at bay! Parents want to keep their kids healthy this winter (and all year long).  So I wanted to take a break (from placing orders for my Winter Essentials Kit for Kids) to share my 5 must-have immune-boosting supplements for kids.   Of course, kids get sick.   They are swarmed daily by other snotty kids at daycares and drop-ins, so the bugs are hard to avoid.  There is good news though: Kids don’t need to get sick that often and…   Kids don’t need to stay sick for that long. As you know, I work with a lot of picky eaters (and smaller children too).  The last thing these parents need is a sick child with NO appetite.  I personally know the damage that illness do: Dehydration Poor sleep (for everyone!) Irritability Limited eating Poor nutritional intake Inadequate weight gain (and even weight loss) There’s nothing pleasant about seeing your child get ill (other than maybe a few extra cuddles). Flashback:  I remember when Sienna was hit with the NASTY Norovirus at 9 months old.  We ended up at Sick Kids for a week where she hardly nursed and didn’t eat.  I almost crawled into a corner and cried when we realized she’d almost lost a pound of weight.  A pound is a LOT on a baby who was only 11 pounds to begin with! We worked so hard at...

How to choose natural baby care products

“Organic”. “Natural”. “Non-toxic”.” Naturally-derived ingredients”. When you are looking for natural baby care products, there is enough marketing lingo to make your head spin. Unfortunately, this marketing terminology is unregulated.  Therefore, it can be hard to determine whether these statements are true or part of a greenwashing campaign - unless you know how to read ingredient lists. But between chemical names and scientific names of botanicals, it can be quite daunting when you start paying attention to labels. To help get you started, here are some tips on what to look for in common baby care products. Before I dive in, I want to add this sanity check that I think is missing from most resources out there: While there are chemicals in baby care products that are potentially harmful, concentrations are very small and it is unlikely that any one product will contribute to serious health problems (barring any allergies, of course). However, our little ones are exposed to numerous chemicals on a daily basis, and the interactions between these chemicals are not well-studied. Also, new chemicals are being introduced to the market so quickly that we don’t yet know what the cumulative health impacts are over the long-term. I think it’s important to be aware of this, and what ingredients are in baby care products. But, if you find out that the products you’re already using are less than ideal, I don’t want you to panic or feel guilt (seriously, what parent needs another reason to feel guilty?). Instead, I’m hoping you feel empowered to either make a change, or know that you are comfortable with the...