Raising Healthy Eaters: notes and observations

“If my life were a movie, mealtime in our home would be the gory part…” I wrote over eight years ago in an emotional post my hobby blog, Under the High Chair.

I had a toddler and a baby, and was devastated to report that the disaster we called ‘family dinner’ was a real let-down. “Things will get better” I was told by many people, and of course they did eventually. But at the time, when everything I made ended up on the floor and I struggled to eat everything one-handed, I wondered nightly “What is the point?”

The truth is, the family table is a wonderfully intimate yet ever so imperfect gathering place.

During the good times, it’s the best spot on earth – and when things get ugly, we have to will ourselves to stay in our seats and endure. If you’re enduring, I’m here to tell you what other parents told me – things will get better, in their own time and in their own way. In the meantime here are a few things to remember about feeding kids that helped me over the past decade.

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Simple, natural kitchen cures for a cold

It felt like I was beating off a cold for the better portion of the holidays. You know that feeling when you wake up and go ‘Uh Oh’ because your throat feels dry and your head aches slightly. Yeah, not fun.

Because I was party planning and had house guests, I didn’t want to get laid up for a minute. It was time for some cold-curing home remedies.

Back in October, when I was yet again battling the onset of a cold, I asked my friends on Instagram what they do to kill a cold. Of course their response was swift and ever so smart. I saved their tips for my own reference, but I can’t keep them all to myself.

Should you be as unfortunate as to find yourself similarly sick, my hope is that you can turn to your kitchen for a natural cure using one or two of these suggestions.

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11 healthy family food habits to embrace in 2015

This list originally started as a few notes scratched in a notebook I keep in my bedside table. Reminders. Little practices that I occasionally forget about, yet want to continue because I know they have a long-lasting positive impact on my family.

It wasn’t until a few days later, standing at the sink up to my elbows in dishes and spacing out the window at the falling snow, when I realized that you might want a similar nudge. The new year is a popular reset time for many reasons, and while I am not going on a diet or pledging any massive goals, I am taking a look at how I can improve our family food culture and strengthen healthy food habits.

I think that you are all doing a bang-up job around the family table, but perhaps in reading, you will find there are one or two practices you could adopt.

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6 ways to a balanced diet for your kids

A balanced diet is important for everyone when it comes to your personal health, but it can be doubly important in children. What your child is eating now is laying the foundation for later in life, and your behavior and attitude about food is making an impression on them every time you sit down at the dinner table.

Beyond offering up balanced meals and healthy options at mealtime, sometimes it can be difficult to get your child to actually eat them. Sure, you may be serving them up, but if they’re discarding or eating just a bite or two of their vegetables every meal in favor of their chicken strips or tuna bites, their diet is still lacking.

If your kids are anything like mine, threatening them with the old “you can’t do that until you eat your vegetables” is only going to make them more stubborn about not eating their vegetables. Below I share what I’ve found works best in making sure that my kids are getting nutrition from all areas of the food pyramid and in the right amounts. [Read more…]