Posts Tagged ‘eating habits’


Monday, October 2nd, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I’m going to admit it right here: I regularly take my kids to McDonald’s. I know these days that’s not a statement you hear very often among people who consider themselves to be responsible, caring parents. Of course, most of the time, I’m feeding them healthy, balanced meals prepared at home. But I have to come clean: we go to ‘fast food’ several times a week.

My kids aren’t the greatest eaters in the world when we’re not home, but we can count on McDonald’s. They adore the pancakes. They’ll happily eat the chicken nuggets. They’re both fans of the French fries. They happily sip chocolate milk—and if they’re really lucky—chocolate shake!

Obviously, we almost always head to a McDonald’s with a children’s play area. Even when Haley criticizes some of the offerings (she could give you a full critique of every play area within a fifteen mile radius), she always loves being in an area designated for kids only. She’ll play happily for as long as I let her.

And let’s not forget about the Happy Meal toys. Even though I think most of them can be firmly placed in the category I call “plastic garbage” the kids always love the toys and are amused am proud to have something new. Sometimes when you’re a mom just trying to get through the day, that’s all you need.

I know “haters gonna hate” when in comes to Mickey D’s. But it’s been a great option for our family. I don’t see skipping it any time soon!

Ice Cream Madness

Monday, August 14th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I love ice cream. So it’s not wonder that my kids do, too. However, I have to tell you they take their fondness to an extreme. When they hear the ice cream truck come by, they lose their minds! Of course, it’s not just the fact that they’re getting ice cream that makes them love the truck. It’s the randomness and surprise of the truck appearing, and offering a treat that you can have at home even though you didn’t go to the store. I get it. It’s exciting. But please, stop with the screaming already.

One downside to the ice cream obsession is that I cannot resist a cone or sundae myself! So while the kids could not care less about how much the full fat dairy and sugar are affecting those little bodies, I’m always thinking about my waistline and cholesterol. I have to tell you; when I’m watching my diet, ice cream is so much harder to abstain from than other fattening foods. It’s just too cool, creamy, and delicious!

But like most things, sweet treats are fine in moderation. I think it’s good to show my kids that mommy enjoys dessert, but healthy eating and exercise—which we also get plenty of in the summer—are important, too. Hopefully some of that message syncs in between licks of the cone.

Have a great week!


Monday, July 24th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I am not proud to let you know about this, but Hudson is obsessed with lollipops. He asks for them every day. I am even less proud to admit that I do indulge him almost daily.

But here’s the thing. He only goes in for a few licks at a time. Then he forgets about it. He hands it to a grown-up to deal with, and might ask for one again six hours later.

I don’t think it’s such a big deal to indulge him and prevent a tantrum. Especially since he doesn’t get them at meal times, he only has a bit, and he still brushes pretty religiously.

I hope I’m not setting him up for a bad habit or getting him hooked on high fructose corn syrup. Truthfully, I have been slowly scaling him back. I also think he will cut down more when he starts school in the fall. These days, it’s like he walks around the kitchen, remembers that they’re there somewhere (we keep hiding them) and it occurs to him to ask for one. Hopefully a new routine will break the pattern.

Hope you have a lovely (and sweet!) week.

The Butter Bandit

Monday, June 12th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My son is hardly the first kid in history who is obsessed with butter. I was raised hearing the Hindu myth of Lord Krishna stealing butter from his mother as a chubby toddler. So apparently this obsession has been around for a long time! I’ve heard of other little kids who can’t resist the creamy goodness. Hudson would eat sticks of the stuff if we gave him the chance. Whenever I take the butter out for cooking, or toast, or whatever, two seconds later there is a little person at my feet, imploring, “I wan but-ter”.

I do indulge Hudson in a pat here and there. But as we all know, butter isn’t good for you in large amounts. Babies need full fat dairy for brain development, but we’re way past that! Now we’ve got to start considering cholesterol, not to mention simply forming bad food habits.

Obesity in general is a considerable problem, and we tend to attribute processed food and added high fructose corn syrup as the main culprit. It is true, our brains and tastes are influenced by being fed these things our whole lives, and it is not healthy. But when I look for Hudson reaching for the butter, I know that it is human nature to crave that kind of fat. Of course, you can be overweight on a whole foods diet, too. Making healthy choices involves paying attention to various factors—processing, packaging, portion control, sugar content, preservatives, additives—and unfortunately, cutting down on the saturated fat.

Have a healthy week!

Fruit Monsters

Monday, March 13th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My kids are obsessed with fruit. Obviously, there are worse foods to love. Haley’s favorites are grapes and berries. Hudson adores bananas and apples. They both love oranges. I am so glad that small, easy-to-peel mandarins are readily available in grocery stores these days. Grabbing a healthy, convenient snack couldn’t be easier.

A great additional benefit to having fruits around is that I eat them a lot, too. If it weren’t for the kids, I might not buy as many, since there’s always the risk of fresh produce going bad. These days, I know they will get eaten. I’ve also gotten a lot better about throwing extras in a healthy smoothie or juicing what I have on hand. I also make delicious banana bread for when those are about to get overripe. Hudson especially gobbles that up.

Now that we’re heading into spring, I’m looking forward to adding fruit to ice water. My absolute favorite is strawberry with a few slices of citrus. What’s funny is that my children hate water with fruit. They drink a ton of water since I don’t usually allow juice. I guess I’ve turned them into purists!

Since a lot of fruit is low in calories and is comprised of simple carbohydrates, I do sometimes worry about my kids eating too much, or rather—eating fruit instead of more diverse food options. But most days, they get their bread and milk and protein, too, so I’m pretty pleased. Even if they want to overindulge, this is one battle I’m often okay with losing.

Have a great week!

The Coffee Table Buffet

Monday, January 30th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Sometimes Hudson is an extremely enthusiastic eater. Other times, it’s sort of a wonder he still manages to exist, and so wildly, on the few calories he consumes. This seems to be normal 2-year-old behavior. One day they’re loving life and will eat absolutely anything you out in front of them. The next, they’re throwing a chicken nugget in your face. As with most parenting challenges, you’ve got to roll with it.

I have my “safe bets” when it comes to preparing food for Hudson. Pancakes, hardboiled eggs, and spaghetti are some of his absolute favorites. But I want to expose him to different foods, and I have no interest in short order cooking. What’s peculiar is that Hudson will often reject a food, only to pick it off my plate later.

A friend told me that experts are now saying that the best thing to do with these grazers is to give in to their style. Leave a bunch of healthful snack foods, like raisins, crackers, etc. on a low table where your toddler can access them all day long. Has anyone out there tried this approach? It takes a certain laidback quality I think I’m lacking. I worry about the spills and the inability to keep track of what exactly his food input would be. I’m just too Type A.

On the other hand, if it gets more calories in him, it may be worth exploring. And who knows? Maybe I can throw some sushi and asparagus on the table and at some point, get a taker.

Healthy Choices

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
My husband’s gym is in the middle of a fitness/diet challenge. He wants to lose a few pounds by eating healthily. So he decided to accept the challenge for the next six weeks. Since my husband is participating, that means the entire family is along for the ride.

We were sent a PDF file with grocery lists, meal prep, and a guide to various meals each day. Although it’s a lot of prep work, there is really no excuse when it’s all laid out in front of us.

For ten years, I have struggled to convince my children to love vegetables. There are a few vegetables they like, but more that they turn their noses up at. This is a great age to teach my boys a few things about cooking and working in the kitchen. If they help prepare it, they may eat it. Jack helps a lot with some of the basics every evening. He is learning about different veggies, how to cut them for different types of cooking. Tate will watch and ask lots of questions, sometimes getting his hands involved.

To our surprise, the boys have tried and liked almost every meal we’ve made so far. I don’t know if it’s because they’re involved, or the flavor is that much better. Either way, this momma is ecstatic. I’m not saying my kids will only eat vegetables now, but hopefully this little change of diet will remind them that healthy food can taste good, too.

There have been a few cheat meals, but so far, I think we’re all doing pretty well and enjoying what we’re feeding ourselves. Motivation is key in exercise and a healthy diet. I hope we can stick to our goals for weeks to come.

Sous Chef

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I wrote several blog posts about dinnertime challenges and my kid’s picky palates.  Just when I think something is a safe food that they will eat, they change their minds and push it to the side of their plate. My new plan is to get THEM involved with the cooking process.  I hope this will encourage them to try new foods and like them.
Jack and Tate like to help me make cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies and decorate cupcakes.  They are always helpful when sugar is involved. Last night, I asked Jack if he wanted to take his cooking to the next level and prepare our dinner. Jack was hesitant, but he was excited when I assured him I would be supervising and helping him through the process.
Spaghetti was on the menu, a basic meal he could start with.  I explained stove-top safety, and made sure he was careful of the boiling water. He learned what the idiom “a watched pot never boils” means. I handled the oven and the dinner rolls because his arms aren’t long enough to reach over the hot oven door. He was careful to be smart about the stove-top burners and watched the timer count down until the pasta was ready.
Now I know that Jack is perfectly capable of cooking a very basic meal, with a little supervision, of course. He was shocked that it wasn’t too complicated.  I hope my kids learn to love cooking and, more importantly, eating their dinner. I’m hoping if they help cook, mealtime becomes less of a battle.

Dinner Defeats

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I enjoyed cooking before I had children. I’m no master chef, but can follow simple recipes and prepare tasty meals that my husband and I enjoy eating. I’m fortunate that my husband is a great cook. When he is home, and his schedule permits, he offers to make dinners. He’s just about mastered his smoker and can serve up some delicious dishes.

Since having kids, dinnertime is always a struggle for me. I don’t always have time to make elaborate new recipes, and I’m in a rut with using the same recipes over and over and over. My kids are picky eaters and only like a handful of meals. In fact, they’ve been eating the exact same sandwich for lunch for the last 5 years. I’ve been trying to find new recipes that will interest their taste buds (and mine), but the kids turn their noses up to it when it’s time to eat. I’ve tried to coerce them into trying something new, but they assure me they won’t like it. It is like I’m playing the character of Sam in Seuss’ Green Egg’s and Ham. Jack will surprise me every now and then and declare he actually likes what is on his plate, sometimes even vegetables.

It’s very frustrating trying to make sure your kids are getting a balanced meal, but refuse to eat what’s on their plate. It’s especially frustrating when my husband is out of town, and I feel as though I’m cooking for no reason. I’m not one to make an entire separate meal. I’m not saying I’ve never done that, but I want my kids to learn to eat what we serve.

I was a picky eater when I was younger. I do understand a little where they are coming from, but they refuse to eat mashed potatoes. Come on, who doesn’t like those? Eventually, I learned to appreciate food and now love foods that I would have never touched before. I’m hoping one day soon my kids do the same. They really don’t know what they’re missing out on.

Kid Cuisine

Monday, December 21st, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
If my kids had their way, all they would ever eat would be the three P’s: Pizza, Pasta and Pancakes. They’re devoted pioneers of the high carbohydrate movement. Some goldfish crackers here, some apple slices there, and Haley and Hudson are content. Well, I’m glad someone is, because their shared lack of nutritional balance drives me crazy.

Don’t get me wrong; we have good days. Hudson will devour the grilled chicken I make for dinner or Haley will try and enjoy the avocado she has at a friend’s house. Yet it always feels like such a struggle. I am constantly tabulating in my mind—where have their calories come from lately; what are they missing?

So many parents and feeding experts tell you the same thing: keep offering. But you know what? It is hard to keep preparing steamed broccoli, baked pork chops and mashed potatoes and watch them sit uneaten. As much as we all in the family should be “eating the same thing,” sometimes their dad and I are eating things that just don’t suit them for various reasons. There is no point in trying to force Haley to try a spicy yellowtail roll—none.

Truthfully, my kids aren’t as picky as others. Their willingness to explore new dishes basically depends on the moods that they’re in. I may not be perfect every day, but when I have the will, I do cook those foods that will remain uneaten, because I know exposure is key. If you stare at a bowl of cheese-topped chili long enough, you are bound to want to try it at some point! I just need to keep dishing it up and hope that at some point—fingers crossed—the mood will strike.