Serve pre-dinner so your kids will eat dinner
Inevitably, when I head into the kitchen to start dinner my kids are immediately starving. We could have just finished putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher from their after school snack and they would still be staaaaaaaarving at the sound of banging pots and chopping vegetables.
Three strategies to tackle picky eating in older kids
Your kids are not going to like everything you make for dinner (as much as I would like to believe otherwise), but "I don't like it" doesn't have to be an acceptable reason that your little ones don't eat the meal that you've lovingly prepared.
Being selective about food choice is actually a normal part of a child's development. They are creatures of habit, have developing tastebuds - which are differentially sensitive to flavors than mature tastebuds are - and are pre-wired to avoid certain flavors, like bitter vegetables.
The language of food
Imagine if someone handed you a food you were unfamiliar with and said, "Here! It's good. Eat it." Would you? Or would you pause and ask "What does it taste like?"
We use our previous experiences with food to provide context and expectation for our new experiences. Doing this helps us feel more comfortable trying something new. When we know it will taste "crispy and salty with a hint of lemon" or "sweet and creamy" it's easier for us to prepare for that first bite.
Now imagine that you are your 5 year old who is still exploring the world of food. And language. Someone hands you baked eggplant which, let's be honest, looks a little dodgy, and says "Here's dinner. Eat up. It's good for you." What would your response be?
Signs your baby is ready for solid foods
Kizingo EATS: Curried Butternut Squash Soup
In our house, fall is time for apple picking, fires, spending a solid two months planning our Halloween costumes, and eating so much butternut squash that we swear we won't ever eat it again. (Until next fall rolls around, of course.)
This soup is full of Vitamin C, which can boost immune function, and lower likelihood of skin dryness and wrinkles (sweet!), Vitamin A, which is important for healthy eyesight, and potassium, which aids in regulating blood pressure.
"What's for dessert?"
I get this question a lot. And by 'a lot' I mean A.LOT. I sometimes think that my kids are hummingbirds, interested in subsisting on nothing but sugar. One Saturday morning my husband and I made the mistake of sleeping in, giving the kids permission to watch Finding Dory on Netflix. We came downstairs to find them eating chocolate chips for breakfast. Lesson learned.
Just last week, after a beautifully prepared, home-cooked warm chicken salad and freshly baked bread the first thing I was asked when everyone sat down at the table was "What's for dessert?"
Kizingo EATS: blueberry avocado muffins
We adore avocados around these parts. Mashed into guac, diced onto tacos or on top of scrambled eggs, smushed into taste and sprinkled with salt ... these are the more obvious ways avocados are consumed by the arm load each week.
Avocados are a power food. They are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for healthy digestion, contain a component that has been shown to maintain cholesterol levels, and are full of healthy unsaturated fats which help keep brain cells communicating with one another. (Avocados make a great first (or second, or third!) finger food ... if you're at that stage with your little one).