Dieting, cutting calories, “good” vs “bad” foods” etc, is NOT an effective way to improve your health.
No one wants to feel “restricted” which is why it’s NORMAL to binge on fast food or cookies after you’ve been following a strict diet.
And research actually shows that those who diet frequently, actually end up gaining the most weight.
So what’s a busy mom to do?
You want to FEEL healthy right? As in not feel like you’re going from starving to stuffed after every meal, or surviving on sugar and caffeine.
Do you want to feel confident in your nutrition choices that you’re modeling for your kids??
Do you want to have energy (not just sugar or caffeine spikes followed by crashes)?
Join me for the FOOD FREEDOM FORMULA.
A FREE 4-day nutrition experience for the mom who is DONE dieting and wants to learn how to:
model healthy eating for her kids
END the starving —> stuffed cycle
Say BYEE to the caffeine + sugar obsession/cravings
all WITHOUT restriction — because we already said restriction DOESN’T work anyway, right? ;)
Did I mention FREE, what do you have to lose?!
Do you like the idea of meal planning…. but find yourself rushing to prep dinner at the last second every night? I work with a lot of busy families who are the same way, and I love helping them simplify meal planning.
Why is meal planning so important?
Because when your stomach is in charge (aka you wait to cook til you’re hungry), it’s hard to make a healthy decision- that’s when you find yourseld having cookies for lunch and the drive through for snack.
Planning ahead can give you peace of mind and make the healthy choice the easy choice. (because when dinner is planned, it’s way easier/cheaper to stay home than go out.)
Dinner is often the most overwhelming meal for my clients. Here are a few strategies for making dinner planning EASY.
only plan 4 dinners. 7 is overwhelming and most people (including myself) end up going out on the weekend, having leftovers at some point, etc. Just start by planning 4!
Use the MIX + MATCH method to make life easier. Pick a protein a slow carb (aka slow-digesting carb) + a veggie. Easy peasy. Ask your family members their favorite foods in each area to make your job easier.
Then add flavor. Meal planning doesn’t have to involve complicated recipes. Stick with the basics!
I know first hand how challenging it can be to deal with family meal time stress. I have a toddler myself, and over the last year I’ve also worked with nearly 200 families on nutrition, and many of them had similar concerns.
I constantly hear moms say:
“I feel like a short order cook”
“Every meal time is a battle”
“I just want my kid to EAT!”
Sound familiar?? Below I’m sharing a few great tips to help create peace at family meal time. Remember, this is a process and won’t happen overnight, BUT with these tips you can find peace of mind and hopefully have less stress at your next meal!
(a side note: I’m aware sensory issues can cause more of a struggle, and longterm stress. However, these strategies CAN be helpful, however, obviously more intensive therapies will be necessary).
Forcing. Force feeding, forcing to clear the plate, forcing to eat a bite, etc. It creates stress for the kids and parents and is not helpful in the short or long run.
What to do instead?
Practice the division of responsibility. That means YOU (as the parent) get to control the food, the environment, sitting at the table, etc. The kids get to decide WHAT they are going to eat and HOW MUCH. That simple. If they don’t want anything? Okay, but next meal is in a few hours (or tomorrow).
Bribing. Don’t use food as a bribe to eat the meal OR for things like getting good grades. Why? It creates an unhealthy relationship with food, and kids are less likely to choose foods they have to be bribed to eat (i.e. veggies).
What to do instead?
Create a schedule around desserts. Maybe have them Monday and Friday, and leave it at that. And instead of using food to bribe for good behavior, reward with experiences like going to the movies, the pool, the park, the beach, the zoo, disneyland…
The dinnertime stalemate. Not letting your kids leave the table until they eat is torture for you both, and makes meals VERY stressful.
What to do instead?
Set a timer for 20 minutes and then dinner is done! No stress, no worry, no babysitting at the table for an hour. If they don’t eat- no worries. They might be hungrier at the next meal.
All day snacking. It’s an endless cycle. Your kid snacks (on something like goldfish or fruit snacks that don’t fill them up anyway), then they ask for another snack. Then they cry for another snack. “I’m HUNGRYYYYY”. Then at meal time they aren’t hungry. And miraculously 40 minutes later (or at bedtime) they decide they are hungry.
What to do instead: Create a schedule around meals and snacks. If they don’t eat a meal, they will be hungry for the next one. Control the portion size for snacks, and try to include fiber at all meals (more filling). Foods with fiber are fruits, veggies, and whole grains. If they ask for a snack, re-direct by saying “snack time is in 20 minutes (or whenever), lets play ___ instead”.
Catering to pickiness. Let me guess… you feel like a short order cook sometimes?? Your kids “only eat three things” and “HATE veggies”. So you only make them what they want (or they convince you to have a second option if they don’t like dinner…) They are probably constipated too right???
Guess what, mama? YOU get to call the shots. They will NEVER learn to like new foods if they aren’t exposed to them. That doesn’t mean force feeding, but it DOES mean putting foods they may “not like” on their plate. It can take 15-20 tries to develop a taste for a new food. Offer foods in different ways.
For example: broccoli can be raw dipped in ranch or hummus, steamed and soft, roasted and salty, pureed in soup.
Large serving sizes. Kids actually need a lot less than we think in most cases. If you have a toddler, a serving size of a food group is the same amount of tablespoons as they are in years. For example: a 2 year old- serving size of fruit= 2 T, serving size of veg = 2 T, serving size of protein = 2T, etc.
If you find your kids tend to OVER-eat, start with smaller portions and practice mindful eating together. Slow down while eating. You can make a game out of counting “chews”, drinking water before bites, putting the fork down between bites, etc. Also, always wait 20 min before offering seconds.
Too much milk. It’s not that milk is “bad” per se, but drinking cups of milk all day will keep a baby or toddler from being hungry at meal time.
What to do instead?
Plan milk for after meal time.