Summer is underway. I’m trying to do lots of fun stuff with the kids like going to the beach and swimming. It’s all about easy meals — and sometimes ditching the routine. This week I’m trying a new chicken enchilada recipe for Mexican night and am relying on the slow cooker on Tuesday (so we don’t have to stick around the house) and the grill on Thursday and Friday.
For more meal planning ideas see Org Junkie!
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Chicken Enchiladas with a side of black beans and guacamole
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna with fruit salad
Wednesday: Kids choice (easy)
Thursday: Grilled salmon, roasted potatoes, salad and fruit
Friday: Pizza on the grill! served with smoothies
More from Cooking Light
Why swimming reminds me of feeding
We first started swim lessons for Big A when she was around 3. She hated going and would cry but I handled it DOR style, telling her she didn’t have to swim but we were going anyway and once she got there she’d always swim.
Over time she stopped complaining and showed improvement in the water. Her instructor was nice but also pushed her. I remember being totally amazed at what he could get her to do, and how she remained scared in the water with me. I know it sounds strange, but I would always think about feeding and whether or not I should I push her more. That’s because age three was a particularly tough stage of feeding as her appetite for food disappeared but increased for sweets.
Eventually we stopped the lessons and there was still no difference in her swimming outside of her classes. As the next summer approached, and she was 4, we tried lessons at a different place. The teacher was much more laid back and didn’t push her as much. She loved it and asked me never to take her back to the old teacher. That summer, she really took to swimming and started going under by herself and would swim with me.
Now that she is 5, Big A is swimming and begs me daily to go. We start lessons this week at what she now calls “the nice place.” I realize that, for my girl at least, pushing too hard for swimming (and feeding) is not the way to go. I know that she is the type that would do more things for me if I pushed her, because she likes to please both me and my husband. But I really want her to get satisfaction from her learning experiences. After all, enjoyment and confidence enhances learning on every level, including food.
So now that Little D is 3, I’m faced with the same question about swim lessons. He is a different kid than Big A — and is even more scared and cautious with swimming. He’s not particularly interested in pleasing us and does not give in without a huge, drag-out fight. We finally got him to go in the water last year and that was a huge win. So I think we are going to skip the lessons and spend some time with him in the pool. Next year, when he’s 4, I’ll start the lessons at “the nice place.”
Updates and News
June is National Dairy Month. The good folks at the Dairy Council of California developed this nice sheet with information about milk and a couple of recipes. It reminds us that a glass of milk contains 30% of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium, 25% for vitamin D, 20% for phosphorus and riboflavin, 16% for protein, 13% for vitamin B12, 11% for potassium and 10% for vitamin A and niacin. Gotta love milk!
A couple of new studies caught my eye over the past couple of weeks. One published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that serving family style meals didn’t result in less intake in preschoolers. While other research shows kids eat less with family style, that really isn’t the reason I recommend it. When considering a child’s development, something I researched intensively for Fearless Feeding, I understand how empowering it is for children to serve themselves over having everything pre-plated. That’s not saying I never plate their food, because I do at least once a week, but most the time the food is in bowls that get passed around.
Another study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology showed that children were more likely to try veggies when parents smiled while eating them. While eating a salad the other day I tried smiling and it felt awkward. Sometimes I think these studies get a little silly. I mean, if data showed that eating veggies while hopping on one foot would get your kid to eat would you do it? (It’s okay if you said yes.)
Okay, I think I rambled enough for one day. Let me know how you are doing in the comments. Have a wonderful week!
Jennifer (@speechladyjen) says
Love this post. As a feeding therapist and mom (although my children are older now) I am a BIG fan of family style meals. Sometimes, we need to remember that kiddos need to have some control over their choices and serving themselves at mealtime not only allows this but covers MANY developmental skills as well. Well done and thank you for posting such great information.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
Thanks Jennifer. I appreciate it!
The study about family style meals is interesting. I have to admit that I usually pre-plate, since it means fewer dishes for me to wash. Maybe I’ll try it with one dish for each meal. Thanks!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
I totally understand Elizabeth! One of my readers does family style dinners by letting everyone at the family take the food off the stove in its original pan. Young kids might need help though.
Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says
I keep hearing about pizza on the grill… sounds amazing but hard to imagine it, haha! all sounds delicious, btw.
(here from MPM)