It's like clockwork- every evening when I start preparing dinner, my kids run into the kitchen hungry and whiny. Requests for snacks are rampant and there are little fingers dabbling in dinner ingredients all over the place. Not only does this make it harder for me to prepare dinner, but it is also a patience tester (big time!).
We've been struggling with mealtime boredom at my house when it comes to dinner - it seems that my go-to list of healthy but easy dinner options has reached its expiry we need some new fun meals. My kids are great eaters, but they too need variety and fun. And I've been feeling the same way.
I've had two completely different experiences with my first two babies. Ben, my eldest, was born in a frenzied panic, with 15+ people in the delivery room, serious talk of an emergency c-section and then ultimately, a vacuum delivery that left me with injuries that took over a year to heal from. Luckily, he was the easiest, most laid back baby, who slept through the night by eight weeks and smiled, laughed, and cooed through his first year.
Feeding from six to 24 months is often referred to as “the honeymoon stage of feeding” because babies and toddlers tend to accept foods well, experimenting with and tasting anything parents put on their trays, or offer by spoon. This is why picky eating rarely occurs during this stage and surfaces in the older-toddler or preschool years instead.
We have oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast. I either make from scratch, reheat leftovers, or eat it chilled with some Greek yogurt (I usually make a big batch at the beginning of the week). To avoid boredom, I add lots of variety: apple cinnamon oatmeal, baked oatmeal with berries, these delicious oatmeal muffins, or peanut butter and banana oatmeal (a kids favourite).
School's out and lunch box packing is on hold for the summer. Phewf! Although home lunches may seem easier than packing school lunches, there are only so many peanut butter and jam sandwiches that your kids will eat (I say this, because this is often the lunch option that I often fall back on when I'm stumped for ideas).
Nutrition labels in Canada may be changing, according to an announcement made on Friday by Canada's Minister of Health, in an effort to make reading food labels (ingredients lists and nutrition facts tables) easier for Canadians and encourage them to make healthier food choices.
It's hard to stay hydrated and drink enough water throughout the day. We try to make sure our kids are hydrated by having cups of water nearby and reminding them to take sips, but we often forget to drink enough ourselves. Sometimes, it's not until we feel a headache coming on, or when we are super thirsty that we reach for a drink, which is often too late - we're already dehydrated. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink, you're likely falling behind - thirst is a sign that you're already dehydrated.
We always have a stack of whole grain tortillas in our freezer because they are so versatile and have saved me from the dreaded last minute "what am I going to make for supper?!" panic more than a few times. Tortillas are great for throwing together a turkey, veggie and cheese wrap at the last minute, or for making easy burritos, thin-crust pizza or healthy quesadillas.
With so much nutrition information out there, it's hard to know who and what to trust. When it comes to feeding kids and picky eating issues, you want to make sure you're reading evidence-based information from credible sources. Because kids nutrition can be confusing and dealing with fussy feeders and picky eaters can be overwhelming (I know this first hand!), I've come up with a list of blogs, books, and Facebook pages that I personally follow, from experts that I admire and trust. Enjoy!
When it comes to desserts, I'm a picky eater. And I think you should be too. This, coming from the Dietitian who helps parents prevent and manage picky eating with their kids - go figure! Although you should allow yourself to indulge in something sweet regularly - even daily - it's important to be selective in which treats you choose so that you can really make your indulgence count and enjoy every bite.
There's no reason pregnant women should have to miss out on the fun of drinking a yummy beverage in a fancy glass during happy hour, at a dinner party, or at a summer BBQ. Although these non-alcoholic alternatives aren't quite as fun as their alcoholic counter-parts, they are equally as delicious and provide an exciting alternative to water or my go-to: soda water and cranberry juice, which gets boring after a while.
When I went over to a friend's house for brunch a while ago, I was thoroughly impressed with the spread she put on, but was especially astounded by the beautiful pull-apart cinnamon buns (which disappeared the quickest). I had never seen or tasted anything more delicious and have made it several times since - it's always a hit.
It seems that moms and dads are constantly reaching into their purses, bags, strollers, and pockets for portable snacks to hand to their squirmy tots in malls, indoor playgrounds, on walks, and just about anywhere else. And trust me, I am guilty of it too. I rarely leave the house without a bag full of snacks just in case we are out for longer than planned.
When it comes to nutrition, people can become emotionally invested in what they believe to be true, whether it's that gluten is terrible or that dairy isn't fit for human consumption. It can be a touchy subject, especially if changes in diet have coincided with improved energy levels, weight loss, or decreased digestive symptoms. And when someone becomes passionate about changes in their own nutrition, they often don't hesitate to spread the message.