I have never claimed to be a nutritionalist, nor a dietician.
I am a mum and a cook, and I know what my kids will eat if I only give them the choices. I believe education with food is the biggest thing for both carers and children.
I was recently very fortunate to be invited to a ‘Blogger Playgroup’. Being a mostly hermit blogger I jumped at the chance, and lucky I did because I met the lovely Mandy, from Little People Nutrition.
She’s got me thinking more about not just WHAT we feed our kids, but HOW we feed them. I’m not referring to TV on, or eating with hands, all sinful traps I’ve fallen into much to Grandpapa’s horror (Hi, Dad!).
We’re teaching our kids habits for life, and there are simple things that we may not realise we’re doing that can impact them forever.
Responsible portions. So simple.
We eat too much. We like to be full after a meal, but in reality, we should stop before we feel full. Kids don’t eat until they’re stuffed, like some people I know who shall remain nameless (ok, it’s ME).
That said, when our kids say they’ve had enough, we need to respect that they, as a general rule, have a natural full point that they stop at. Bribing kids to finish what’s on their plate to get dessert is only creating bad habits.
Doh. I bribe.
D Man will also sometimes say he’s full before he even has a bite… little stinker.
This usually only happens if he thinks he doesn’t like it, so I encourage him to have one bite of each different thing on the plate. If he still doesn’t want it (rare), fine. I’m not going to battle, but there is no Plan B. No cooking multiple things until he likes something, because, well, frankly, I’m sitting with them at the table having my own entree in liquid form and chatting about our day as they try to look past me at the telly.
Making Hungry Little Caterpillars out of vegetables….brilliant!
I’ve noticed schools and pre-schools talk less about good food and bad food these days but more about sometimes foods and every day foods. This is a much healthier way to look at food. With eating disorders and a ‘diet’ mentality starting in our kids earlier and earlier (I’ve heard children as young as 7 are becoming diet conscious WTF? Eat ice cream and run it off, kids), we need to arm them with as sensible and rounded a way of looking at what fuels their little machines as we can.
Using positive communication about food like ‘this food makes me feel strong‘ or ‘helps me see in the dark‘ may help with positive associations from a young age.
Snacking is great as a way to tide our little Energiser Bunnies over until the next meal, but too many snacks means they won’t eat their meals. Not rocket science, but a trap I can fall into if I’m not paying attention. D Man loves to snack.
So do I.
Little Bellies Ginger Bread men….. just waiting to be eaten
If I’m buying snacks, I always read the sugar content. I’m not super mega-anti-Satan’s sweetener but I don’t think we should hold illusions that we’re giving our kids ‘healthy’ snacks if we’re not i.e. some brands of kid specific yoghurt have four teaspoons of sugar in a pouch.
4mg of sugar is one teaspoon, so if you start doing your four x tables, you’ll soon see how the numbers add up.
I’ve been so focused on my sugar factor, than I’ve barely given salt a thought.
Mandy brought to my awareness that sodium content in snacks is equally full-on for our kids. Their kidneys struggle to process it thereby putting their systems under stress. So if you opt not to feed your darling the packet of Tiny Teddies, and reach for the Rice Crackers (like me) then perhaps you’re actually not being as goodie-two-shoes as you think you are.
When I was told that a good low salt option snack would have no more than 100mg sodium per 100 grams, I turned to my cupboard to see what I was feeding my kids.
My cupboard has three difference types of rice crackers, corn crackers and wheat crackers all of which I feed my young. They range from 275mg (relatively low) to a whopping 900mg of sodium per 100g.
SALTIER THAN A WHALE’S SCROTUM, PEOPLE!
I’m not going to throw out all of the food in my cupboard, but I will mix it up with some better options. Knowledge is power, or at least, less salty snacks.
The main reason for the Blogger Playgroup, hosted by Brand Meets Blog, was to introduce us to a new product range by a fabbo Aussie company called Little Bellies.
Little Bellies is an Australian owned company that makes organic and healthy snacks for the munchkins. They’re thoughtful about the salt and sugar quantities so you don’t have to be. Winning!
I was lucky enough to nab a bag of goodies and we’ve been munching our way through them with fantasmagorical results. The Fruit Choo Chews were a winner and the Muesli Choo Chews were pretty close behind.
There’s a cereal (which D Man loves) and biscuits that are sweetened only with grape juice concentrate rather than sugar. You can’t see the Ginger Bread Men in my picture because they were eaten.
Check out their website for full range.
I met the family behind the company and I really liked them. Their ethos was great, and their whole vibe is about teaching good habits, forming healthy associations and setting kids up for life.
Little Bellies have offered a free goodie bag to be sent out to one lucky Holsby-ite, so I’m a hostin’ a give-away…..
All you have to do is be an Australian resident, and be sure to like my Facebook page.
You don’t have to follow my blog by email, but if you wanted to I would surely be much obliged.
If you wanted to like the Little Bellies Facebook page you would also potentially have seven years great sex. Not from them. Or me. You’ll also stay abreast of all their exciting news.
The main thing you need to do is leave a comment on the blog or Facebook page telling me the worst thing that you have found in your child’s mouth or caught your kid eating.
I once stopped D Man from putting a stick in his mouth at the park, before discovering it was a little dog poo. Ewwwwwww.
Can you top that???
I will choose a winner in 7 day’s time. Just click link below and you could have a SUPER MEGA LITTLE BELLIES SNACK ATTACK PRIZE PACK ON IT’S WAY IN A JIFFY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer : I don’t think whale’s have scrotums.
Flogging my blog on Friday over at With Some Grace. Go see who else is flogging.