Feeding Time Archives - MOMcircle

Interactive Mealtimes Made Easy

Posted by | Blog, Feeding Time, Inspiration, Let's Eat!, Mom Time | No Comments

About once each week, we have a family style meal of finger foods spread out on a large cutting board. It looks a little like a fancy appetizer platter, but is so simple, healthy, and inexpensive to make. I like to use whatever I have on hand, which generally includes lean lunch meats (warmed up for pregos and toddlers), sliced or cubed low-fat cheese, whole grain crackers, grapes or strawberries (or any other cut up fruit), and raw veggies (we like carrots or cauliflower with just a little bit of ranch ;)). The beauty of this for your little ones is three-fold: Instead of getting a plated meal, with portions chose by mom or dad, they are listening to their bodies and hunger cues, stopping when they are full.

They also get to see their parents and siblings make healthy choices. Again, since it’s not a pre-portioned plate, they are allowed to choose their own foods, which can open up even the pickiest eater to try something new. Finally, we watch as our kiddos build their motor skills and hear them discussing the best combinations to try. In other words, we witness them connecting with others. #Familymealtime becomes an interactive event, filled with healthy, kid-friendly foods and conversation. And, it has a five-star added bonus: No cooking and no dishes to wash!

Life Hack: How to Get Your Kids to Drink More Water

Posted by | Blog, Child, Feeding Time, Mealtimes, Toddler | No Comments

Do your kids like to drink water? One of my girls does, but it’s always a battle with my four-year-old. I’ve put it in big girl cup, a fun cup with a twirly straw, and a water bottle so she feels like a “big girl”. These things only worked for the first couple of times, then it was back to the drawing board.

I can proudly say I’ve found something that works and is still working! I found a water bottle with a fruit infuser inside of it. I cut up fresh strawberries and lemons, then added water. Not only does it make the water look pretty, but it tastes like strawberry lemonade. I’ve also added fresh blueberries, cherries, and limes. It’s so easy to change up! I’ve even used a clear pitcher with water and ice for home.

It goes so fast, and I rest easy knowing we’re all drinking more water. I hope this can help your family drink more water as much as it has helped mine!

Your Words Have Power

Posted by | Child, Feeding Time, Let's Eat!, Toddler | No Comments

Remember that your words as a mom are powerful. I have to keep reminding myself of this. When I call my daughter a “picky eater,” she becomes a picky eater because it discourages her from trying new things. When I call her a “veggie monster,” she is more likely to try the vegetables I offer. Calling your child a picky eater may discourage them from trying new things at all.

You know your babies better than anyone else, so if you’re offering foods (like vegetables) you know they won’t eat, try hiding it in foods you know they like. My daughter doesn’t usually eat spinach, but she LOVES omelets. I offered my little “veggie monster” a ham, cheese, and spinach omelet and told her “I made it pretty” and she ate the whole thing and loves spinach now! The next time, I snuck spinach leaves into our homemade pizza and she ate it happily. If I would’ve said “I know you won’t eat this because you’re picky and don’t like spinach,” I wouldn’t have gotten her to eat it.

Someday, not today, I will tell her exactly what it is. For now, I know that I am giving her the gift of a lifetime. I used the power of my words, and the trick of adding veggies to something she already likes, to create a “veggie monster”.

Turn Off the Tech

Posted by | Brave Mom Decisions, Child, Feeding Time, Let's Eat!, Toddler | No Comments

I love it when my family is able to sit down together for a meal. We’re able to sit, talk, and laugh while hearing about each other’s week. We stay pretty busy so our family mealtime is usually only once or twice a week. Something my husband and I do so that we’re able to give our girls our full attention is put our phones up during mealtime. In this day and age, we feel the need to be attached to our phones — sometimes missing what’s right in front of us.

Since we started putting our phones away, our conversations are more intimate. I feel more in-tune with my girls’ successes and/or struggles at school. It makes me wonder what I missed when I was on my phone at the table. My daughter came home with a paper she made for Thanksgiving. It was a list of things she was thankful for. It said, “Thank you, mommy, for feeding me and talking to me and loving me.” This was reassurance that I was doing a good job.

A Winning Team

Posted by | Blog, Brave Mom Decisions, Child, Feeding Time, Let's Eat! | No Comments

Family meals are important to me. In fact, I wish they happened more often. Between work, taking my daughters to dance class, and going to school, it’s challenging to do all the cooking and cleaning myself. If you’re like me, I try to take on EVERYTHING by myself, and I struggle with allowing my daughters to help out in the kitchen. In the back of my mind, I know this helps them build self-esteem and teaches them how to be independent, but as they’re asking me if they can help, all I can think of is how big of a mess they’ll make and how much longer it’s going to take.

That’s not the kind of mom I want to be. 20 years from now, I want my kids to think, “How long did Mom say to cook this?” not “Mom never let me help with anything!“ So this weekend, I decided to change that. I named one of my kids the cooking helper and the other one the cleaning helper (because they also need to do the dirty work behind cooking) and making it a rule to switch duties with every family meal. Not only am I teaching my girls how to be responsible, but they’re also learning healthy recipes while spending quality time with mama.

MOMents of Fun: Cooking Together

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I enjoy cooking, but sometimes it can be a challenge. The dishes pile up, the two-year-old wants to be held, I forgot to defrost the meat… it’s not easy! One thing I do to make it more enjoyable is getting the kids involved. I let them measure out ingredients and pour them into the bowl (yes it can be a little messy!) but it also helps them learn to use a measuring cup and to start understanding fractions.

I also involve them in creating our meal plan for the week. I make time on the weekend to plan out our meals for the week and go shop for those items. I ask my kids what they want, and then involve them in the process. I let them write the list out (which requires patience!) and have them help me shop. They need to learn how to cook, so involving them in every step of the process is important and beneficial.

Above all, I make sure we all enjoy it which means turning off the TV, putting some music on, dancing around, and enjoying cooking together. If they see how fun it can be, they will want to be involved, and it makes some great memories, too.

MOMents of Pride: When Your Child is Ready for Solid Food

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I felt a lot of emotions when it was time for my baby girl to start solid foods. I was excited that she would get to try something new and proud that she was now strong enough to sit up straight in a high chair. I was also a little sad; she was almost 6 months old and growing up so quickly! She seemed to change and grow each day, and I wanted her to be my baby forever. Some of my friends had started cereal when their babies were younger. I waited until I knew my baby was ready and her delicate system could handle more than milk. That was my way of protecting her. It was also my way of letting her be my baby a little longer.

I had my camera ready for her first bite of solid food. It was an exciting moment for both of us, even though most of the food came back out. We took things slow, only one new food each week. After a while, she got the hang of it and was eating like a champ! I soon realized that she is still my baby girl even if she is eating like a big girl and I am proud that we started solid foods at just the right time.

Veg Tales

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I recently got the opportunity to take advantage a food co-op. That means a group of people pool their money together, buy food and then share! It benefitted us in two big ways. One was the fact that put fresh fruit and vegetables in the house. The other was that it included vegetables that I have never tried or would be brave enough to buy at the store! Jicama, romanesco, and cabbage presented themselves! I had to do a little research for recipes but definitely stepped out of my comfort zone! 

Here are a couple of shots of the baskets for this week. Taking me out of my fruit & veggie comfort zone! Cooked that cabbage last night and almost ate every bit of it myself. Ha!

What kinds of fruits and vegetables would you like to see in your house or would like more recipes to use?