Raising Kids Who Eat, Move and Grow Well: Useful Phrases for Toddler Food Challenges

This post is part one in a series about helping young kids learn to nourish themselves well. Today: Talking to toddlers about healthy eating and dealing with common toddler food challenges

Stay tuned for posts about building an active life and curious spirit!

Raising kids to have a positive relationship with food. Useful phrases to use for common toddler food issues and set the stage for lifelong nourishment.

What kind of mindset do you want your kids to have when it comes to healthy behaviors?

You probably want them to want to eat nutritious foods, to want to be active, to be curious and determined and enjoy learning.

Somehow though, in our culture kids so commonly grow up to prefer packaged foods and sweet treats, only eating vegetables when they are forced. They need to be pried away from screens and off the couch, and spend very limited time outdoors. True curiosity is replaced by “will I have to know this for the test?” and learning becomes something they’re forced to do at school. Continue reading “Raising Kids Who Eat, Move and Grow Well: Useful Phrases for Toddler Food Challenges”

Getting young kids outdoors

My 3 year old has started saying, “I’m going to take off my shoes to feel what the ground feels like.”  I think it’s great – when we’re playing in the yard. Less desirable when we’re in a public bathroom. At least I have some evidence of my efforts to include more natural movement in our days. This includes getting my kids outdoors much more. Barefoot when possible.

Young kids outdoors enjoying nature

A couple years ago, I came across this concept of natural movement, mainly through the work of Katy Bowman. Before that, I had given never thought much to why spending time outside is important. Extended amounts of time. Since then I’ve been fascinated by the topic. Being outside and moving  outside have so many benefits. Benefits beyond the fact that those little toddler tornadoes are not making a mess in the house while they are outside. Continue reading “Getting young kids outdoors”

Handling Halloween Treats for Toddlers – It’s Not So Scary!

Do you wonder how you should handle Halloween treats for toddlers or preschoolers?

Halloween treats for toddlers

Last year, at an innocent 2-½ years old, my son didn’t even really know what candy was. After getting his first handout at the zoo trick or treat, he promptly dumped his bag out onto the ground. He left the candy scattered about and filled the bag with leaves instead.

When our neighbor gave him a sucker (lollipop), he – logically! – flipped it upside down and tried to suck from the stem like a straw.

Of course once he realized the sweet goodness that candy is, he got more interested.

Now what?

Continue reading “Handling Halloween Treats for Toddlers – It’s Not So Scary!”

Keep Running As A Mom – Or Get Back To It!

It can be tough to fit in running as a mom of young kids.

You can keep running as a mom

The baby wakes up early and won’t leave Mama’s arms, so you don’t go.

The baby skips a night feeding. You’re sure he’ll wake up while you’re out because that’s just you’re luck. And you’re not sure if your sports bra can even contain your skipped-a-feeding boobs. So you don’t go.

The toddler sees you about to leave and wails “I want to go too!” Which means your pace requires an adjustment to accommodate those short little legs.

You’re about to step out the door when you smell it. And of course it’s a huge, mushy, impossibly sticky one on a wriggling acrobat baby, and your running time just got traded for an extra bath.

Have you bumped running or another favorite workout to the bottom of your priority list because you have sweet little munchkins running around, needing things 24/7?

Continue reading “Keep Running As A Mom – Or Get Back To It!”

Feeling lost in motherhood? You might be missing this one important thing!

Mamas, have you been there? Lost in motherhood? The place where you feel like you’re fading rather than growing? Feeling frustrated that you can’t find the time or energy to BE YOU?  Where the only side of you that does seem to be growing is the angry, irritable, bitter side? Where negativity gets in the way of you being the mom you want to be, and the person you want to be?

Find ways to grow when you feel lost in motherhood.

Continue reading “Feeling lost in motherhood? You might be missing this one important thing!”

How to handle birthday cakes for kids – Should you make a healthy cake?

  • Should babies have a healthy first birthday cake?

Have you debated whether to serve healthy cake or real cake at birthdays for your young ones? Do you want to balance a fun party with a healthy party? Do you just want permission to have real cake? (In that case, read no further, you have it! Birthdays are certainly a special occasion, and a perfect time for fun foods like cake and ice cream.)

I generally have a no-foods-are-off-limits view. I have no problem eating cake. But… when it comes to my kids, who are still really young, I struggle. Do they really NEED a super sweet cake to enjoy the day?

Continue reading “How to handle birthday cakes for kids – Should you make a healthy cake?”

Getting Started With Young Kids in the Kitchen – Without Adding Stress While You Cook!

Get young kids cooking with these tips for toddlersWant to get your kids cooking, but wondering how to start with your toddler or preschooler? Of course nurturing an interest in the kitchen has lifelong benefits for kids. If they’ve been preparing meals from a young age, they won’t need to rely on fast food and frozen pizza once they are out on their own. Plus there are future benefits for you, once they have some real skills to help with preparation. And it can be lots of fun. But it can also feel stressful. Cooking with young children requires tons of patience, which might be in short supply while you’re rushing to get a meal on the table.

Raising cooking-confident kids is an ongoing process, and you can start small. There are so many things to learn. When they are little, they can learn a lot from activities that don’t require them to be all up in the middle of what you are doing. In this post, I’ve compiled some ways to introduce cooking concepts to toddlers without slowing you down (much) while you’re preparing a meal. Some of these can be done outside of regular meal-prep time, and some can be done alongside you while you do the “real” preparation. Continue reading “Getting Started With Young Kids in the Kitchen – Without Adding Stress While You Cook!”

Staying Calm During Meals With A Toddler

Toddler meals are tough. Picky eating, power struggles. Here's how to cope.

Is feeding a toddler harder than you thought it would be? Picky eating, refusing foods, power struggles. Doesn’t your kiddo know you’re just trying to help him eat healthy food so he can grow?

I honestly thought feeding kids was going to be easy. Working as a dietitian before I had kids of my own, I certainly told enough parents the relatively simple guidelines. Don’t pressure them at the table, don’t have an agenda, just make a variety of healthy foods available then back off.

I really thought the problem was that these poor parents just hadn’t been told. Hadn’t been told how simple it is. That they didn’t have to micromanage, kids will naturally eat what they need, given the opportunity.

I firmly believe in this advice. But before I had my own independence-craving toddler, I didn’t know what it would look like. I didn’t know what resistance would feel like. I didn’t know that “this works” doesn’t mean “it works instantaneously every time.” That results are gradual; they might not be noticeable until months or later. I expected that a little. But what I DID NOT expect was my own emotional reactions to perfectly normal kid eating behavior. Irritation. Frustration. Exasperation. Anger, even. Continue reading “Staying Calm During Meals With A Toddler”

Coming soon!

If you stumbled onto this page somehow, hi! But you’re a little early. If you want a hint of what’s ahead, learn a little here. See you soon!

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