Welcome to summer! Meals in our home change a bit when the weather is hot and the days are longer. Easy meals that highlight what’s in season are key, which includes lots of fresh fruit.
We are also getting more into grilling. Or shall I say my husband is thanks to a new grill and lots of entertaining. With young kids around (2 and 4), it’s just easier to have people over at our place.
We want to grill more fish, so we’ll be trying this new salmon recipe. I’m also looking for healthy and tasty salads (pasta/bean combos) for BBQ sides. I tried this bean and corn salad over the weekend and it turned out great. The kids didn’t touch it but as you know, these things take time!
For more meal planning ideas see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week?
Monday: Have it your way tacos
Tuesday: Ravioli with spinach, garlic bread, and salad
Wednesday: Kids’ Choice (had been quesadillas lately)
Thursday: Slow cooker chicken with baked fries, garlicky/Parmesan green beans, and fruit salad
Friday: Grilled salmon with grilled asparagus/corn, fruit, bread and salad
My two different eaters
Now that Little D is over two, his food personality is coming out. He really loves eating and is very cranky when a meal is even a few minutes late. One morning while I was getting breakfast together I found him sitting underneath his highchair waiting.
Just like a lot of kids his age (around 2), his appetite has decreased due to slowed growth but he still eats more than the average toddler. When Big A was this age she barely ate dinner which just goes to show how different kids can be when it comes to eating.
Big A is in pushing limits mode. I say black, she says white. I say yes, and she says no. She has times where she’ll try new stuff and other days she dead set against it. She takes any encouragement with new food as pressure where Little D all I have to say is “try?” and he often goes for the new item. But most of the time he eats what he likes first and then if he is still hungry he’ll start eating the less familiar stuff.
One thing I have noticed is that Big A’s appetite has really increased. Where she used to only eat a couple of bites of dinner she now has nights where she digs right in. Even though we never comment on how much she eats she’ll usually say, “Look, I ate everything!” And even though I’m shocked, I just remind her to follow her appetite and that it’s not particularly better if she eats more or less of any meal.
I try really hard not to gush over Little D’s eating or make Big A feel like less of an eater because she is more cautious around food. They both are good eaters in my eyes. But I’m not going to lie, it is more fun feeding an adventurous eater.
For those of you with more than one child, how do you handle your kids’ food differences?
News — Chubby Babies = Chubby Adults?
A friend of mine sent me an email about a news report she heard on NPR: “I heard this story that said chubby baby equals obese teen/adult. It concerns me it will encourage parents to impose unhealthy food restrictions on infants and toddlers.”
I checked the news for the day and discovered this new report from the Institute of Medicine on Childhood Obesity Prevention. One of the researchers talks about how some people still think chubby babies are healthier babies even though weight problems often persist as children get older.
I think all parents need to question the nutrition sound bites they hear on the news. Not only was this taken out of context, but it raises the point no one ever brings up: babies and kids come in different shapes and sizes and a bigger-than-average child is not always bad. I was just talking about my two very different kids. Not only was Big A chubby as a baby, but she also ate less than my thinner eat-everything son.
As Ellyn Satter always says, if we parents are doing our job of feeding we need to trust that our children will grow into the body size that is right for them. If we feed our children balanced meals at regular intervals and allow them to follow their appetites, they are likely to be just fine. But if we restrict their eating both in terms of what is offered and how much is eaten this almost always backfires. But letting kids eat whatever they want, whenever they want doesn’t work either.
What I’m trying to say that weight, in and of itself, is not always the issue. Yes, a super chubby baby could be the result of constant feeding or letting the child graze on energy-dense foods/drinks all day or it can be a normal part of a kid’s development. I just think it’s all too easy in this weight-obsessed world to create problems where there aren’t any.
What do you think about these messages about kids’ weight? Do you tune them out or take notice?
Want to create your way to meal plan in a way that works for you? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.