The secrets to making a kid-friendly salad

The secrets to making a kid-friendly salad

I cried a lot in those first few years of motherhood. Virtually every day, and at every meal.  It was hard trying to feed a little girl who was tiny (not on the growth chart kind of “tiny”) yet wouldn’t eat. There were many sad tears shed when she would hold food in her mouth for-e-ver. Or when I would make something I KNEW she would like, only to have her push it away. Or when I had to chase her around with a spoon. But any parent with a “picky eater” knows there are happy tears too! There are three distinct moments when I can recall wanting to cry, and shed tears of joy (for a change!).  (1) When Sienna ate meat (sausage) - a whole one - after struggling to get her to take a bite for ages. That was a few years ago, and now she eats and loves all meat.  Even the gamier ones like lamb. I’m still shocked. (2) When Sienna told me she was hungry.  Our daughter had NEVER told us she was hungry, and didn’t have much of an appetite.  I know now that much of that was a result of the negative associations she had with mealtimes/food (because anxiety –> leads to increased adrenaline –> which leads to a decrease in appetite). The day she asked for food and said those four magical words “I am hung-y mommy” was probably one of the happiest moments of my life.  Keith was home and we both looked at each other in utter disbelief. That’s when I knew we were doing all the right...
LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

  Geesh. Being a Nutritionist comes with some guilt. I know I should be feeding my family super nutrient-dense foods like bone broth, organ meats, fermented veggies, etc.  However, I seem to stumble back to my safe place with our favourite foods. Don’t get me wrong, we eat really well (lots of veg, quality proteins, and very few packaged foods) but if I were being judged by fellow Holistic Nutritionists I might get a B+. If I know what I should be offering, why am I not doing it?  For lots of bad reasons… Mainly I’m unwilling to venture to the unknown.  I’m aware of the risk that organ meats and fermented veggies may not get eaten. My girls are adventurous however, these nutrient dense foods come with powerful flavours. But hold on!  My girls love olives, pickles, kombucha, and spicy sushi, which aren’t exactly mild tasting foods.  I told you my reasons were poor.  Naomi proved me wrong - here she is eating another piece of liver meatloaf (see below) with salad.  Mackenzie looks intrigued. Then the universe spoke to me… Not only was beef liver on sale at our local butcher Rowe Farms.  But I also stumbled on an article about organ meats.  Both in the same day. Whoa universe…I get the message! It was time to walk the “picky eating expert” talk.  Just as I ask other parents, I had to ask myself: how can kids learn to like {insert new food} if they don’t see or try them? It was time to add a few more things to our list of nutrient-dense foods - starting with good...
7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

Prepping meals can be a royal pain in the ‘you-know-what’ when you have a family.  So I try to simplify for my own sanity when hunger strikes.  One of my sanity saving strategies is to always have a few key healthy kitchen staples on my grocery list, and in my cupboard or fridge. I can easily throw these foods into some of my favourite recipes when our selection is running slim, and I can’t make it to the grocery store.  It helps that these healthy kitchen staples also have a long shelf-life, so there’s no food waste. A win win! When the food supply is running thin for families, that’s when they are more likely to get convenience foods, like a frozen pizza, french fries, or takeout.  But because these staples are also nutrient-rich, you can throw most of them together and have a healthy meal. Even as a last resort, we are still getting a dose of vitamins, minerals, etc… everything you need to ensure you have the energy to go grocery shopping tomorrow! Without further adieu, meet my must-have family foods… My 6 healthy kitchen staples:   Tahini and sunflower seed butter (other butters) Because we use ‘butters’ almost daily on our rice cakes/crackers, in smoothies as an alternative to protein powder, in energy balls (a perfect grab-and-go snack that can also be school-safe), baked goods (mmm….paleo pumpkin cookies), and even some of my favourite meals (like this noodle-free pad thai)…I try rotate my nuts/seeds to avoid intolerances/gut issues. There are 3 reasons I love sunflower and sesame seed butters (tahini) in particular: Great alternative as I...