We had a good week of meals last week even though I had one of those days where takeout was the only answer. It was a tough day at work and I didn’t get much sleep due to my teething 15-month old. I couldn’t imagine myself in the kitchen preparing a meal so I didn’t. My husband picked up Pollo Loco instead.
I think that is what takeout is for — those days that you just need a break. It so hit the spot and I did not feel an ounce of guilt.
Last week’s updates: I tried the Gnocchi with Spinach and my husband and I loved it. But neither of our kids gave it a try. I think my son had a little stomach thing because he didn’t eat much of his afternoon snack either. We enjoyed the healthy sloppy Joes. I’ll be posting some recipes soon.
This week I’m pulling out the slow cooker for a couple of recipes from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking. I feel like it’s time for some meat so I will be making Carnitas. I’m also trying a new pasta and bean dish.
For more meal plans see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week?
Monday: Slowcooker Carnitas with sides of black beans, tortillas, and all the toppings including guacamole and salsa.
Tuesday: Garlicky Pasta, bread and green beans (Six O’Clock Scramble Cookbook)
Wednesday: Slowcooker Cowboy beans, mixed green salad, and fruit
Friday: Salmon topped with veggies, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and fruit
My 3-year old is going through another stage with her eating. Bean burritos are one of her favorites but lately she is only eating the tortilla and guacamole. And for some reason, she’s no longer eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Both days last week I sent them to school and she ate everything else I sent except the sandwich.
I’ve seen her go through stages like this before and she always returns back to eating more of a variety. Sometimes I wonder if she does it to get a reaction out of me but I never make a big deal out of it. I remind her about all the food on her plate but that’s it. What bothers me the most is that I can see the consequences of this change of eating in the toilet.
Yes, I’m going there. She’s been getting a little constipated– and has been going less frequently. Actually, since she’s been potty trained, for several months now, she seems to put off going poo as long as she can which doesn’t help. I know she has to go when she walks on her tippy toes.
Harder stools usually have one of three causes — hydration, fiber, and activity. Since she stays pretty well hydrated and is active, I know it’s the fiber. She still eats plenty of fresh fruit though some days she shuns it. But I think the real culprit is she’s eating fewer beans and whole wheat bread.
I’ve been talking to her about how eating a variety of foods helps make her poo softer (not at the kitchen table of course). I’m using those toilet times as “teachable moments.” I’m also going to make some high fiber muffins and up the fresh fruit and veggie offerings. I plan to write a post on this wonderful subject in the near future so if you have any questions/challenges let me know.
Somebody has to talk about it.
For more help for constipation read: The Log of my Labor
We recently went out to dinner when a babysitter with three kids sat down next to us. When their meals were served the babysitter helped set the kids up and they started eating. I’m guessing the ages were 3-8. The youngest, no doubt the pickiest of the bunch, barely touched his burrito (but he did eat quite a bit of rice).
The babysitter started pleading with him to take at least three more bites of his burrito or else dessert wouldn’t happen. There was no talk about whether or not the kid was hungry or full. I wondered if their parents knew how their babysitter fed their kids.
This reminded me of something I read on one of my go-to blogs, Family Feeding Dynamics. Dr. Rowell mentions an article published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior where they videotaped childcare workers feeding children. I looked up the study.
More often than not, the childcare professionals told children to take more bites or to finish their food without mentioning hunger or fullness. There was also a lot of “you won’t get dessert until you finish your food.” I discuss the consequences of such feeding strategies in 10 pitfalls to avoid when feeding picky eaters.
If your child is in childcare/school it’s important to find out how they are being fed. You may provide the food, but the “how of feeding” is just as important. As Rowell says in her post, “Remember that over time, children can be fed in a way that overrides and buries their internal cues which means they are likely to eat more or less then they need.”
I think this is a completely overlooked culprit to eating challenges in kids and adults. Almost every adult I used to see for weight problems, told me they were told to “clean their plate” as kids.
For those of you new to my site, I often talk about how important it is to raise my kids to be intuitive eaters. That means they eat for hunger (not boredom, etc) and stop when they get full, a gift they are actually born with.
I’ve been talking to my daughter about tuning into her tummy. Is it full? Still hungry? Satisfied? We were having ice cream the other night and I stopped and told her I was satisfied. She asked me what satisfied meant. I told her it’s that perfect point you know you’ve had enough. Not quite full but not wanting more.
She soon stopped and said, “I’m satisfied now.”
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.
I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve had the poo talk with my daughter too. She’s now seven years old. I do believe it’s important to educate ourselves and our children with foods and the effects it can have on our bodies. She loves green smoothies, so I make those often. She also loves fresh fruits and veggies. It’ something she sees me doing all the time, and at this stage she still wants to be just like mommy.
I do tell my daughter not to be afraid to leave food on her plate if she’s full. As she has gotten older she has been able to gauge this better, and will let me know. “Mommy, I don’t want that much, I won’t be able to finish it.”
I’m so happy you liked the gnocchi. It passed the adult test, but I guess it didn’t have a chance to pass the kid test! I hope everyone feels 100% this week.
Love your blog!
FYI – Your date on today’s posting is off by a few days. Darn typos! 🙂
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks Moxie! I changed it.
Thanks for sharing. It is important to educate kids abouthow food affects their body. My daughter’s a little young so Im taking it slow.
Mama Melissa says
I too believe in talking with our kids about making healthy and smart food choices. My daughter is only 2.5, but already enjoys “fresh” food rather than anything fried or highly processed. I’m actually lucky, though, that she hasn’t hit a serious case of the “pickies” yet in her young years. But if she is having a, *ahem*, “hard” week, I tend to slip a little prune juice mixed with water into a sippy cup at breakfast time. We call it “brown juice” around here. She loves it. Since she doesn’t normally get fruit juice, this seems like a treat to her. Then again she asks for “red juice” at lunch time (low sodium V8) – maybe the term “juice” just sounds like a treat in her mind! ;0)
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks Melissa. When she was a baby I used to give her brown juice. If I don’t seem improvements I might try it again.