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?
Want 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!”
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”