Mindset at meals makes all the difference

Mindset at meals makes all the difference

It’s Monday!  Today’s Mommy Mantra is all about mindset at meals.   This morning neither Naomi or Sienna wanted to eat their breakfast, despite me whipping up some curried scrambled eggs that they both love. Yup, they love curry…well, they usually do.   So once it was clear they weren’t touching their breakfast, I packed it up for later and let them head out the door with the nanny.   . I let them leave with NO breakfast.   . It’s an uncomfortable feeling but I know they will be able to eat again shortly.  There’s a reason they wouldn’t touch their eggs and I have to be Ok with that.  Just as we have a good appetite some days, and then not at others - kids have an appetite that fluctuates big time (from meal to meal, and dad to day).     Previously, I would have danced around Sienna, or let her watch videos while sneaking a spoon into her mouth. Or maybe bribed her with dessert. She’s a tiny girl so I had her weight gain on my mind at ALL times. I would see her next to other kids and my anxiety would spike - she was so small and I made it my mission to get her to eat.   . . I had an agenda at every meal.  That was part of our struggle and the source of my stress. I’ve learned and studied a TON over the past few years as it relates to children’s eating/nutrition. Yet, in order to help our kids eat better and make meals enjoyable, one of the...
ezpz mats: a staple at our table

ezpz mats: a staple at our table

When you have a pickier eater at home you do whatever it takes to keep them interested at meals and interested in their food.  Sometimes that involves dancing and singing (been there, done that, and it’s exhausting).   Or you can make food fun using cheap & cheerful tools you already have lingering in your kitchen cupboards.  Or sometimes you find THAT product you know you’re kids are going to love - like the ezpz mats. A few months ago I discovered the ezpz mats and knew I needed to bring them home and into our mealtime.  Not just for my girls but also for other parents I work with. Meet ezpz.  The Happy Mat + The Mini Mat The girls are starting to declare their own everything these days, so I thought it would only be fair to grab one each mat for both of them.  That’s one less reason for a breakdown at the table. 🙂 So why am I so excited about these ezpz mats?  Let me tell you! The Happy Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate that captures kids’ messes. The Mini Mat is the perfect size for smaller spaces.  I tend to use this one more. Suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands to tip over.  Yah clean floors! Made from high-quality silicone (NOT plastic). FDA-approved, certified by CPSIA as non-toxic, PVC, BPA and phthalate free (so it’s safe for growing bodies). SUPER easy to clean. Dishwasher safe & microwave safe (although we don’t use one here). Can be filled with food and stacked to serve several kids at once.  One of the reasons we use them over at...
4 Cheap & Cheerful Tools for Picky Eaters (to try new foods)

4 Cheap & Cheerful Tools for Picky Eaters (to try new foods)

In one of my previous posts we talked about why helping our children eat better and getting picky eaters to try new foods isn’t just about WHAT we serve them. It’s also about HOW we serve those foods. Kids tend to gravitate to certain food groups (or shy away from them).  Some little ones avoid vegetables or anything green, whereas my daughter was anti-protein for a loooong time. As a Certified Nutritionist, I knew Sienna’s diet was lacking nutritionally, so the pressure was on to help her (my former picky eater) try new foods.  Especially foods that were superior sources of iron. It wasn’t until I dug into the research and earned Certifications in Picky Eating/Problem Feeding that I truly understood why she wasn’t eating well (what I was doing ‘wrong’ in some cases).  And what it would take to help her eat better (for a child who seemed to have NO appetite). That’s when meals changed for us. Heck, that’s when LIFE changed. She was eating happily.  I wasn’t stressed out.  And mealtimes were finally calm.  Dare I say…they were also enjoyable (and still are). A transition I never thought would happen.  Sienna was on the extreme side of picky eating and the light at the end of the tunnel was dim.  Yet, with the right approach, her picky eating started to dissolve.  Of course, she still has her days.  Don’t we all!   But as a whole, she is a different child. While some strategies worked better than others, changing up HOW I served food in the beginning was definitely part of the ‘picky eating’ puzzle. Let me just say that this blog post isn’t necessarily going to solve every mealtime challenge (there is game...
The hardest decision I’ve ever made

The hardest decision I’ve ever made

This weekend my littlest one Naomi turned a year old.  And what a glorious year it was. Today marks the beginning of her second year, and the end of my maternity leave. So at this very moment I should be packing my lunch and making my first drive back to my full-time job at Microsoft.   I should be jumping back into my Corporate Marketing shoes, ready to propel my career forward at one of the best companies in the world.   A place I’ve worked and loved for the past 7 years.  I should also be kissing my two girls goodbye, then saying hello again to my team at Microsoft Canada. But today I’m not doing any of those things I thought I would. While I was off this year raising my second daughter, Naomi, something unexpected happened.  I may have been sleep deprived and sick of diapers, but I met the happiest woman I’ve ever known. Not only did I have a baby who quite possibly was the happiest (and easiest) child ever born.   She was also the best sleeper. During those marathon naps, I had the chance to dabble in my other love, nutritional consulting.  Despite earning my Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) designation a few years ago, and my passion for helping people become healthier and happier, nutrition was merely a neglected passion project. It was also a tool that did wonders for my first daughter Sienna (who was underweight, developmentally delayed and a horrible eater).  It also did amazing things for myself (knowing that I had to take care of me in order to take care of Sienna). Three years ago, my first daughter Sienna was born.  She was (and still is of course) a...
The Ultimate Chicken Nuggets (gluten-free)

The Ultimate Chicken Nuggets (gluten-free)

I don’t typically post on weekends because I try to keep these two days focused on family.  I’m also usually in bed at this time (11:30pm on Saturday night).  But tonight there was some drama which is now keeping me awake. I’m visiting my parents in Ancaster.  We were just about to get into a movie when I heard a SCREECH and BANG.  My first thought was that it was an earthquake or intense thunderstorm.  My first instinct was to fly out of my seat, and look out the window.  That’s when I saw this: A car on it’s side directly across from my parent’s house.  I ran out to the vehicle in my bare feet and PJs completely freaked out about what I would see on the other side.  Thankfully there was an unscathed and oddly calm young girl who managed to get out effortlessly.  Miraculously nobody was injured. My father’s car on the other hand (which was parked on the street) had seen better days.  Somehow she hit the side of it so hard that it pushed his vehicle about 10 feet and flipped her own. My heart is still racing thinking about that sound and how quickly that girl’s night changed.  She may have glanced at her phone for a moment (which was laying on the road after the crash) and then…well you know the rest of the story. I needed something to take my mind off the event and get into a happier place. Writing about my new favourite recipe came to mind.  Bizarre, but I’m going with it. So I’m changing gears and moving the conversation from car crashes to chicken nuggets.     Two caveats first:...

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