08 January 2013

Making Better Eating Habits

I really want to get this family back on track with our eating habits. Especially over the last month (between the travel for the holidays, the holidays themselves, general busy-ness, and everyone being sick ALL THE TIME) I have taken the easy way out and just fed us what we can. A lot of nights the boys got fed pasta or chicken while Chris and I just foraged for ourselves later (which usually meant a bowl of cereal or even nothing a lot of times). We were in survival mode, I guess.

But I think the worst is behind us and I want to get us back on track. I have lots I need to do, especially with Casper. He is a very picky eater, but I think that is more about control than anything. Typically if I prep him enough with my expectations for his behavior as well as prepping him to help with his expectations that helps in anything new with him. So I am going to start discussing with him what I expect of him at meals BEFORE WE EVEN GET TO THE DINNER TABLE.
  • He needs to try a bite of everything on his plate.
  • He can then eat what he wants from what I have offered.
  • If he eats everything on his plate he can have dessert.
I have read that exposure to new foods will eventually encourage a kid to eat (because it isn’t really new anymore) and hopefully like it. So I feel like as long as he tries something, I am not going to force it down his throat because every time we have that for dinner we’ll hopefully be one bite closer to him happily eating it (one day). If he actually doesn’t care for something, then fine, one bite and he’s done. No dessert but that will be his choice.

Another thing I am focusing on- less processed/packaged food. I really have come to rely on these “convenience products” too much since the boys started daycare/preschool in the last 6 months. We don’t even get home until dinnertime now, so it is hard to make a meal from scratch before everyone is just cranky and starving (parents included here). But I think if I carefully choose recipes that are simple but full of REAL FOOD that I can do the majority of the prep for on the weekend or even the night before we will all feel much better. After all, those “convenience products” from boxes or bags are just health hazards for all of us down the road. So, some examples of what I can do here:
  • Stirfry- cut up all veggies/meat the day or weekend before and marinade. Set rice cooker timer to cook rice before we get home.
  • Slow cooker meals
  • Freezer cooking
There is a link between the crap we’ve been eating and the number of days our family has been sick this winter, I know. I need to strengthen our bodies to make us healthy again.

Any tips or ideas to help out with this? Have any of you gone through the same thing? Any advice on how to deal with toddler and preschooler pickiness?