4 Tips for Setting Limits on Meal (and Snack) Time While Stuck at Home

4 Tips for Setting Limits on Meal (and Snack) Time While Stuck at Home

When stuck at home, day in and day out, it can seem like the any time is the right time for food. Boredom, indecision, and actual hunger combined with being in close proximity to the kitchen at all times drives kids (and adults) toward constant grazing turning breakfast, lunch, and dinner into a 24-hour buffet. 

Not only can this be stressful for parents - who feel like their spend all their time preparing food and then cleaning up from it - but free-range grazing is often associated with overeating. 

Setting limits on meal and snack time while stuck at home can help. Here are some ideas for how.

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5 Ways to Model Healthy Eating at Family Meals

5 Ways to Model Healthy Eating at Family Meals

Family mealtime is important for many reasons, not the least of which is because it gives you a chance to model healthy eating habits. Like it or not, and especially when your kids are young, you remain the strongest influence on their mealtime behaviors and their relationship with food. So anything YOU do to modeling healthy eating is sure to have an impact on them too.  

But being a good role model does not mean being a perfect role model. Here are 5 concrete actions you can take to help be a good (not perfect) role model for healthy family mealtimes.

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Three strategies to tackle picky eating in older kids

Three strategies to tackle picky eating in older kids

Your kids are not going to like everything you make for dinner (as much as I would like to believe otherwise), but "I don't like it" doesn't have to be an acceptable reason that your little ones don't eat the meal that you've lovingly prepared.

Being selective about food choice is actually a normal part of a child's development. They are creatures of habit, have developing tastebuds - which are differentially sensitive to flavors than mature tastebuds are - and are pre-wired to avoid certain flavors, like bitter vegetables. 

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5 Tips for A Healthy Breakfast on Busy Mornings

5 Tips for A Healthy Breakfast on Busy Mornings

Slow-to-wake kids, the desire to hit snooze at least once (maybe, ehem, twice), and the myriad tasks required to be ready for school and work can often mean breakfast is rushed, relegated to pop tarts or grab-n-go bars. (Not that there is anything wrong with those once in a while.) But it doesn't have to be. Here are a few time-saving tips we use to ensure that breakfast isn't just an after thought, but also fits into our hurried mornings.

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What to do when you hear: "I don't like that"

What to do when you hear: "I don't like that"

It is well established in the field of nutrition research that parent’s mealtime(feeding) behaviors influence their children’s eating behaviors; parenting style, modeling of eating behavior, meal frequency, and food exposure (trying new foods) are all associated with child’s mealtime behaviors including fruit and vegetable intake. 

But a recent study wanted to examine the role that parent’s mealtime goals (their desired mealtime outcomes) might play in influencing their feeding behaviors. Why ask this question? Because parents’ mealtime goals – and any potential confli

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The language of food

The language of food

Imagine if someone handed you a food you were unfamiliar with and said, "Here! It's good. Eat it." Would you? Or would you pause and ask "What does it taste like?"

We use our previous experiences with food to provide context and expectation for our new experiences. Doing this helps us feel more comfortable trying something new. When we know it will taste "crispy and salty with a hint of lemon" or "sweet and creamy" it's easier for us to prepare for that first bite. 

Now imagine that you are your 5 year old who is still exploring the world of food. And language. Someone hands you baked eggplant which, let's be honest, looks a little dodgy, and says "Here's dinner. Eat up. It's good for you." What would your response be?

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"What's for dessert?"

"What's for dessert?"

I get this question a lot. And by 'a lot' I mean A.LOT. I sometimes think that my kids are hummingbirds, interested in subsisting on nothing but sugar. One Saturday morning my husband and I made the mistake of sleeping in, giving the kids permission to watch Finding Dory on Netflix. We came downstairs to find them eating chocolate chips for breakfast. Lesson learned. 

Just last week, after a beautifully prepared, home-cooked warm chicken salad and freshly baked bread the first thing I was asked when everyone sat down at the table was "What's for dessert?"

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Why I create a weekly meal plan

Why I create a weekly meal plan

My own weekly menus (as is true of my grocery lists) have evolved considerably since kids came on the scene and my planning is often done in the minutes between breaking up fights over who was using the brown lego tree trunks or getting someone (who was not myself) something to eat. Also, I found that my weekly meal plan – which lived a double-life as our grocery list – was messy and disorganized, which left me wandering through the store trying to remember what I came in for in the first place. Something had to give ...

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