Foodie Friday: Good food related advice

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Categories Feeding, Foodie Fridays, Mommy Issues, ToddlersTags ,

I was at gymnastics class with the kids this morning, waiting for the doors to open and the hoard—ok, maybe 8—of toddlers to run into the class. The moms were bemoaning toddler eating habits. One mom was upset that as of three months ago, her little boy ate everything and now he won’t eat meat or vegetables. Another one said her kid sometimes doesn’t eat anything all day. My guys, of course, were busy looking around for the plate of cookies that had been out two weeks ago, when they’d been there last. They do have long memories for cookies. Anyway, the manager of the place heard people talking and shared the best advice he and his wife had gotten when he was expecting his first baby several years ago. Their friend is a pediatric nutritionist at one of the big teaching hospitals nearby and they asked her for feeding advice. They were expecting something about using only organic foods or avoiding all processed sugar—-and instead, she told them this:

“When she’s a toddler, don’t worry about how much she eats. Toddlers will eat what they need to. As long as she’s growing ok, don’t stress about how much food she eats each day.”

Pretty good advice, huh? It is similar to what www.wholesometoddlerfood.com talks about, another resource that I have found helpful recently. I know I tend to have pretty big eaters and not to stress too much about food consumption (and no, mine won’t eat meat either), but I still think this is a good mantra to have in the back of your head.  

What’s been the best food-related advice you’ve gotten? Share with the rest of us!

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8 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Good food related advice”

  1. I swear by Ellyn Satter’s book, Child of Mine. Her basic philosophy is to divide control between parent and child. The parent controls when, where and what to eat. The child controls whether and how much. Basically, your job is to get tasty, nutritious food on the table. This has really helped me relax about how much they decide to eat (or not) and I don’t take it personally if they don’t eat something I have prepared (which is sometimes hard if it took a lot of time and effort to make!)u. I also try to always include at least one thing I know they like (bread, fruit, etc.) so there is a “safe” option with every meal. She also points out that it can take up to 15 tries before a child will eat a new food, so don’t give up too quickly. If it’s something you want them to eat, keep trying :) And don’t be afraid of butter, seasonings, etc. Food shouldn’t be so healthy that it doesn’t taste good!

  2. My two nephews ate nothing but hamburgers for months and lived. Chopped or pureed vegetables can be added to almost anything: greens to burgers or meatloaf, carrots to chili, carrots/squash/sweet potato to pasta sauce.

    I love to eat pureed cauliflower with a little milk and a tiny bit of butter added; it tastes just like mashed potatoes. Parsnips are great this way too.

    HappyBaby has Dr. Sears’ Nutrition Guide on their website for free download with some of their recipes.

  3. I haven’t read that book, but maybe I should pick it up. But I’ve heard the same advice, and I try to really take it to heart. I offer a variety of foods, and they eat what they eat.

    My friend Bev’s pediatrician told her about toddler eating habits: “Expect two days of crappy eating for every one day of mediocre.” :-) I think that even goes meal-to-meal. They might have a great lunch, and then have like half a grape at dinner. Ah well.

    I’m also trying really hard to just offer whatever meal I’ve made for them, and not start throwing other things at them if they don’t want the first thing. I don’t want to get caught up in being a short-order cook!

  4. I’ve heard that advice too and I have to consciously remind myself of it every mealtime to keep from worrying! Also I have tried not to get into the habit of feeding them “kid food” all of the time and to expose them to adult food more. They love their mac n cheese, hotdogs, and spaghetti ohs!

  5. “No child ever died of starvation who had food put in front of him/her.” This is posted in my kitchen.

    Also,
    “Each meal is just that. One meal. One meal does not a trend make.”

  6. I like Ellyn Satter’s books as well. Great advice, and very calming for parents of picky eaters. Like mine.

    I was told that if I ate a varied diet while breastfeeding, my boys would have a taste for many foods. That’s a bunch of hooey, so I guess it would qualify as my worst advice I got. I ate an extremely varied diet while breastfeeding (it was a fun excuse :), and my boys are SUPER picky now. Oh well…

  7. Our pediatrician told us to look at our daughters’ food intake over the course of each week, rather than per meal. As long as their diet is balanced across several days, it’s balanced. Since our Melody seems to want to eat a single ginormous meal every two or three days, and live on crackers, bananas and milk the rest of the time, this advice has eliminated all sorts of stress and concern.

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