Happy Friday morning, all! We had a great time at Healthy Habits Kitchen last night - thanks to Sue for hosting us (and for providing tasty treats!) and to Liz Ward for giving us all great advice on how to make nutrition a family affair. I think we all came away with some great ideas for how to feed our families (and ourselves) a little bit better.
Liz's advice was balanced and practical - and comes from a place of inclusion rather than exclusion of specific foods. This anti-deprivation message works well for us and for our kids: Instead of thinking of all the foods you "can't" have (i.e., chips, cookies, Goldfish, Cheetos, etc.), think of all the nutrient rich-foods you can have (whole fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat milk, lean sources of beef, fish, chicken, nuts, etc. etc.). These whole foods add value to your diet. At our house, we call them "grow foods," as distinguished from "treats," which taste great and are fun to eat, but which we eat occasionally, not regularly. We let L. pick, choose, and eat as many "grow foods" as she likes, while we seek to limit (and have her self-limit) her intake of treats.
My #1 revelatory idea from the night was that it's not a great idea to try to introduce new foods to your child when s/he is tired, overstimulated, etc. This was a lightbulb moment for me because I realized that we most often try to get L. to try new things at dinnertime - a time of, well, bonkers behavior most nights. So I'm going to try more during a weekend lunch, the afternoons or mornings on weekends, etc.
Another important take-away for parents is to try to manage your own anxiety about your child's eating habits . . . let your desire for them to eat a balanced diet come from a place of love and interest, rather than a place of fear . . . because as Liz said, when fear takes over, all you-know-what can break loose. Or, as I say, kids can smell fear - and boy, do they capitalize on it!
I hope you all have a great, healthy weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday!