Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog. My name is Abby and I have a passion for fitness, food and family. Mostly I’ve shared this via my personal IG an FB profiles. Since having many friends and family ask LOTS of questions about my meal planning/prepping or cooking with my son that I’ve started feeling the pull to write about it.
So here I am.
I hope to share my tips and tricks to both meal prepping with a 2 year old demanding attention AND cooking with him.
Today I wanted to start with explaining my opinion on feeding young children. I have formed these opinions between my studies in early childhood education/development courses, input from my child’s pediatrician, and a little reading (P.S. I LOVE Baby411 and Toddler411 when I need a little encouragement). Here goes. The culmination of my knowledge and experience on the topic so far:
1. My 1st rule is always – My child should eat what I eat.
This has multiple benefits! I eat less garbage because I don’t want my son to eat it. I cook one meal for my family instead of 2 (or 3 or 4 for some of you!). He gets exposed to a lot of different kinds of foods.
Some exceptions include dialing down the spice for him and not feeding him nuts (choking hazard). Pretty much ANYTHING else is fair game.
(mmmm, veggie curry)
2. It is my job as a parent to offer my kid a well rounded meal with options from every food group.
Go here https://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids to see what the US Dept of Agriculture says is well rounded.
Let’s be honest. I don’t NAIL it on every meal every day.
Sometimes a well rounded meal doesn’t look very glamorous. Sometimes, honestly, it looks awesome. Sometimes we have pizza. The one thing that is consistent is that I have NO control over what he actually eats. NONE. Which leads to…
3. Don’t require a clean plate.
This one is touchy for a lot of people and hearkens back to my childhood. If you clean your plate, you are praised, right?! I think we got dessert sometimes contingent upon eating everything we were served. It is my opinion (and a reminder – not JUST my opinion) that requiring a clean plate encourages overeating and an unhealthy relationship with food.
I DO think your kid should taste everything on his or her plate if you can get them to do so. I think it takes 17 (or is it 21?) tastes of something you don’t enjoy to MAYBE begin eating it. But you still can’t force it.
What does this look like? If you are having broccoli with your meal and you KNOW your child HATES it, serve him/her a little anyway. If they don’t eat it, ok. If they do, great! That’s it. That simple. Sometimes that looks like last Thursday when my child took apart the bread of his sandwich and ate it – leaving every single other morsel of food on his plate and declaring “all done.” And that, friends, leads to…
4. If your child “isn’t hungry”.
Sometimes your kiddo won’t be hungry when it’s time to eat. Here’s what we do. We all sit down to dinner. If the kiddo isn’t eating and wants down we let him. HOWEVER, he can’t go running to Daddy to sneak a bite or two of what he wants and continue playing in between. AND if he comes back 30 mins or an hour later, what do we do?! Well, luckily, I have kept his food nice and safe and to the side so that it’s ready to eat. I DO NOT grab him yogurt or a smoothie or whatever he’d actually rather have (Parent, this counts as preparing another meal – don’t do it!). If he’s hungry, he’ll eat his dinner.
5. Include your kid in the meal prep and planning.
Right now, my son is a little young (2) to help with the meal planning. He can, however, help with the meal prep – especially with some guidance. He is a MASTER at de-ribbing kale. and shredding any type of greens. He LOVES to stir things. He is a PRO at cleaning up. He can CUT cheese with a butter knife! He does an AMAZING job dumping pre-measured ingredients into a bowl. It may not sound life altering to you, but he eats it up (pun intended). He gets so excited about cooking, how can he not be excited about eating?!
So, those are my general thoughts on feeding your kiddo. I’m sure I have more. But when my friends ask me how I get my son to eat so well, these are my initial thoughts and comments. Also, he likes food. Rest assured he doesn’t like all food.
So, look to my next post. I will be doing my best to take pictures of a week of eating with my little man. I will be posting before and after of each meal I make/prepare for him for 5 days (weekends are often too crazy to remember a picture).