Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

So my techy husband set up our television at home to function as a digital photo album when the screen is idle (i.e. when my girls aren’t watching Calliou or Frozen for the 20th time).   He’s also a photographer so I have the luxury of seeing beautiful family photos cycle through – photos that bring back mostly pleasant early parenthood memories. Although, the other day I caught a photo that didn’t spark those fond memories in the slightest.  It was a picture of Sienna looking unhappy at the table.  What you can’t see is her anxious mother (me) sitting nearby and wanting so desperately for her to eat more. Those were not my happier days. That photo sucked me in and brought me back to ‘those times’…when I shed tears at the table and truthfully was fearful of mealtimes.  I was a foodie and loved to cook/eat but living with a picky eater took the joy out of eating. It saddens me to think that I spent the better part of time together consumed with getting Sienna to eat better and worried about her nutrition (being a Nutritionist, I knew what she needed).  I worked so darn hard trying to expand her appetite and food favourites, but with no real plan…and no real results. While our wonderful pediatricians were telling us everything was “fine”, my mommy instinct was telling it was not ‘fine’. Sienna was far from fine (she was so unhappy at meals and not interested in food). I was far from fine (I was worried and emotionally exhausted from the constant food battles). I see and speak with so many parents who are in ‘my old shoes’ and I so...
10 Last Minute Gifts for Moms

10 Last Minute Gifts for Moms

Let me introduce you to the World’s Worst Procrastinator when it comes to gifting. ME. However, this year I am trying (emphasis on the word “trying“) to turn a new leaf and get all my Christmas shopping done a week in advance.  I’m setting the bar LOW.   Unfortunately, Christmas shopping falls to the bottom of the list when balancing clients, kids, and the other craziness life throws you.  If anyone else is falling behind and needs some Christmas gift inspiration for the mothers in their life - you’ll love these “Last Minute Gifts for Moms“. My hope is that this list will get into the hands of the wonderful partners and Kris Kringles in our lives, so they can gift us with things we will actually USE and WANT as health-minded moms.  And take some of the stress out of shopping. What I love most about this list is that it is supports mom entrepreneurs - mostly local moms who have been busting their butts to turn their passion projects into successful businesses.   Businesses I trust and am proud to support. So while you are gifting that special mom in your life, or yourself, know that you are also gifting a hardworking, health-minded mom (just like you). Last Minute Gifts for Moms – Products My Spice Box For the “Culinary Mom” These are the businesses I trust and am proud to support.We may only use a few sprinkles of spices in our cooking, but quality still matters.  Spices may not be on the “Dirty Dozen” but they should be! Unfortunately, conventional spice mixes can contain harmful preservatives and additives like artificial colours, MSG, wheat/gluten and salt. Even whole or freshly ground spices are...
Beautiful chaos of mealtimes (and family photos)

Beautiful chaos of mealtimes (and family photos)

This weekend was a little nutty.  We had scheduled a photoshoot for the recent launch of one of the best kid’s menus in Toronto.  Scratch that!  I think it’s THE BEST menu for kid’s in this city (and outside of it). [Full discloser:  I’m a little biased because I am the Nutritionist who helped design that healthy, yet delicious, menu for Piano Piano the Restaurant.  However I’m not the first or the only mom to rave about this new joint or the food.  Just sayin’.  You’ll have to check it out yourself!] Since we wanted to snap a few photos for the menu, we decided to dedicate Saturday afternoon for a family photoshoot. And honestly, it was mayhem.       My kids were being kids - and they were out of control at times. If they weren’t throwing food, they were sitting on it, or shoving it in any place but their mouths.  If you look closely, Naomi has avocado smeared on her dress and broccoli in her hair. Sienna was clean, but insisted on staying in the sink during the entire shoot, while singing “Jingle Bells” into the water facet.  I was sweating trying to keep them composed. All we wanted was that perfect family shot.   Everyone smiling (with clean faces and dresses) and actually looking at the camera.  Ha!  That was the hardest task.   I adore my photographer Nikki McKean for many reasons.  But I particularly love her for reminding me that all the madness happening that afternoon actually WAS the perfect shot.  Because THIS is what life is life with kids. Unpredictable, messy, exhausting…and chaotic. What’s so perfect about parenthood is the imperfection. So I embraced the moment...
Birthday parties for kids: 4 ways I keep it simple

Birthday parties for kids: 4 ways I keep it simple

Kid’s birthday parties can get complicated quickly.  This year I decided to simplify the party planning and save my sanity. After all, I have absolutely no recollection of what it was like to be one year old.   I don’t remember my cake, whether there were balloons or a theme for my first birthday…nor the second or third.  It dawned on me that my girls won’t likely remember a thing either (no matter how much fish oil I give them to boost their brain power).  🙂 Two years ago, I went a little nutty trying to throw my sweet Sienna a memorable first birthday. I ordered a super cute pennant banner from Etsy…   I had a chalkboard memory sign designed, and a custom-made yellow tutu.                                             Plus I spent a few hours trying to master paleo cupcakes that guests would actually eat (then ended up hiring someone to make them look pretty).   And in the end, her “You are my sunshine” themed party came to life.   Time to do it all over again! My second sweet daughter, Naomi, turns one next week and we just celebrated with Keith’s family this weekend.  I realized that pulling together an Instagram-worthy party wasn’t going be so easy with two kiddos vying for my attention.  So I decided to try something different this year and KISS (keep it simple silly). Here are 4 ways I simplified birthday party planning for my kids: Two birthday girls. One party. Sienna and Naomi have birthdays within 6 weeks of each other.  So, instead of throwing 4 separate parties...

My Birth Story

Some of you know that my love for nutrition and food came to life with my first blog called Me, Myself, and Food.   Every now and again I get the urge to go back and read one of my old posts.   Yesterday was one of those days, except there was nothing but an error message for me to read. The hosting company explained that my site renewal had expired (somehow I missed the email warnings) and ALL of my content was gone. I balled my eyes out as the guy on the other end of the line stayed awkwardly silent.  I didn’t care – my blog wasn’t just a blog.  It was my baby before having real little humans to love.  It was my journal and creative outlet for my love of food and nutrition.  It was where I spent my weeknights for 3+ years, writing hundreds of posts, along with many others from my guest writers (naturopath, chiropractor, and yogi).  This blog was where I shared the finer details of my life story including my engagement, wedding, pregnancy, and birth to my first daughter.   Yet I never thought to back it up. My husband must have heard me whimpering while watching the Super Bowl and came to the rescue. He told me about a website called Wayback Machine that takes snapshots of webpages over time.  I wanted to kiss him (and I did) as a page of my old site emerged.  I will be going into hibernation this week as I capture any salvaged content, but there’s some relief having saved a few important posts like this one… I wrote this back in 2012, nine weeks after having my...