How to start EVERY meal with kids

How to start EVERY meal with kids

As you may have noticed, children function much better with routines and consistency.   In the book “Helping your child with Extreme Picky Eating” they put it perfectly. Children understand what is expected of them when they know what to expect” Hence the importance of regular schedules.  Kids do not like being surprised, unless perhaps it’s their birthday and involves opening presents. Just as you have a bedtime routine that starts with a bath, followed by a book, and ends with singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, every meal should have certain elements repeated with diligence - essentially a beginning, middle, and end. Beginning (the routine before the meal actually starts) Middle (what happens when you’re at the table and having a meal) End (the routine to follow as a meal is ending) These steps are covered in detail in the 6 week online program – Picky Eater Protocol – but I do want to hone in on something here. Specifically, on one aspect of what the beginning of a meal should look like. If you can get the first part down then you’re setting yourself up for a more enjoyable battle-free meal.  This routine is also a sanity saver for parents because you can run on auto-drive at every meal knowing what comes next (and you don’t have to overthink your steps, as many parents do with picky eaters). Taking our little one away from their toys, the TV, or any other activity with no forewarning, is asking for trouble - and starting your meal off on the wrong foot.   Hollering “it’s time to eat” without a heads up prior will likely result in some kicking and screaming.   They get their back up before the meal even...

Wondering how to get your child to eat? Read this.

There’s a lot of “picky eating” talk happening over here and I’m not quite sure how this blog post is only coming out now!   It’s probably one of the most important things a parent should know, yet I’ve neglected to share it.   We’ll chalk it up to mommy brain, how about that? 🙂   Parents with “picky eaters” are asking the wrong question.   Myself included!  When I first chat with moms like you (and the old me), 90% of the time their question is “how do I get my child to eat [insert food here]“?    It’s an expected question, because our goal as parents is to nourish our children, and we do that with good food.  So when our little one’s diet consists of plain pasta, crackers and cheese as staples, it’s natural that we worry.      However, asking the question “how do I get my child to eat X?” triggers a host of reactions from parents that could fuel the fire at mealtimes.  For instance, if we want our toddler to eat more greens we may sneak them into sauces, muffins, smoothies, etc.  For some children who are less adventurous at meals, if they see a speckle of spinach in their meatballs it’s game over.  He will push the plate away and potentially lose trust.  The next time we make meatballs, chances are he will be looking for a speck of green or not want them at all.   Heck, I wish someone told ME this a few years ago when I was the stressed out mom on the other side of the table.    Our goal should not be...

A temper tantrum? Or is it your child’s blood sugar?

  Temper tantrums.  I could live without them! Unfortunately they come with the terrible twos (threes and fours it seems too).   They are often just your little one’s way of communicating, albeit poorly, that they are dissatisfied with something. While temper tantrums ARE part of a development phase, they ARE ALSO a sign of something less obvious. Could your child be HUNGRY?  Or should I say HANGRY (and have low blood sugar). For a moment, think about what you’re like when you haven’t had something to eat for a while and start to get agitated, light headed, etc.   If you were two years old and lacked emotional control, you would likely be throwing toys around the room too. The next time you see a temper looming, speak to your little one calmly to understand what is pushing him/her over the edge.  My husband often says in an over-exaggerated calm voice, “Sienna honey, are you crying because we won’t let you watch Caillou all day?”.   She will nod her head in agreement as we explain that we understand her frustration. Usually that diffuses the situation nicely. Then there are other times when she’s maddened because I gave her a yellow spoon vs. a blue spoon….or something ridiculous and I know she needs to eat. It’s worth mentioning that my daughter is also more likely to go into hypoglycemic episodes (common with her Russell Silver Syndrome genetic diagnosis).   So she MUST eat sufficient amounts every 2-3 hours or we will have a temper tantrum on our hands. Hypoglycemia:  also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels.  This may result in a variety of  symptoms including...
Feeding Tip:  Get little ones involved

Feeding Tip: Get little ones involved

  Parenting a child who is picky at the table can be frustrating.  It’s no surprise that we overthink and overcomplicate meals in an effort to fix  their “picky eating”.    We spend extra time preparing a different meal for the kiddos or pureeing green veggies into muffins.  Exhausting. Does it really require that much work?  Nope!  At least not for the average picky eater.   The solutions can actually be REALLY simple.   For the most part, there aren’t any ‘special’ tricks you need to implement with your little one.   Just the same ol’ strategies you would use with the child who isn’t fussy. Last night I practiced what I preach.    Rice Paper Wraps were on the menu, which is one of my favourite go-to meals.  One of the meals I resort to when I want to use up odds and ends in my fridge.   I could tell Sienna was getting bored and needed some entertainment (sorry, why do we have so many toys ??) so I asked her to join me in the filling and rolling of the wraps.    Side note:  we invested in this contraption called the FunPod last year for this very reason – to get my girls involved in the cooking process when they were older.  Up to this point it’s been used for handwashing but now that Sienna is older, we are finally reaping the benefits.  The FunPod is essentially a wooden box with an adjustable platform inside for kids to stand on.  Here’s a look at it:.  P.S.  No idea why she needed to wear a backpack that’s bigger than her for this process.     Sienna has never been interested in trying the Rice Paper Wraps, but there’s...

FREE WEBINAR: 4 Mealtime Mistakes

  Watching our little one’s pick at their food and beg for Goldfish or other nutrient-lacking foods is frustrating.   You’re doing everything you *think* is right to help them eat well and thrive HOWEVER… Most parents unintentionally fuel picky eating by doing (or saying) a few of the wrong things at mealtimes.   Some of these mistakes happen before a child even sits at the table.  Hey, knowing is half the battle!  Join me for ~30 minutes and we’ll uncover what those mistakes are, plus how to improve your little one’s eating and ultimately their health & growth. To access this FREE Webinar, CLICK HERE. What you’ll learn/get out of this FREE webinar: 4 of the biggest mistakes causing little ones to eat LESS The #1 thing you need to STOP doing (to increase appetite) The #1 thing you should START doing (to improve variety) What your child’s plate should look like at every meal 4 actionable & effective tips you can implement at home A BIG bonus (ooh the suspense!)  Can’t join live on Sunday? NO PROBLEM! You can access the recorded version afterwards.   P.S. Feel free to follow (or “like”) the Facebook Page for any updates and other nutrition/feeding tips. P.S.S. If you’re looking for more hands-on help with your little one’s eating and nutrition, check out the Picky Eater Protocol.  ...