When To Eat Dinner During Sports Season

Real Mom Question: As afterschool activities start up again, when should I feed my kids dinner—4:30 or 8:30?

Real Mom Answer: Serve dinner before 4:30, prior to their evening activity, and a mini-meal when they get home.

 

How do we feed our kids when extracurricular activities like team practices and athletic schedules get in the way?

First and foremost, just do your best! Meals do not have to taste or be perfect. If you can get your children to eat real, wholesome kinds of food at dinner and throughout the day, then you’re already ahead of the game.

Try serving dinner immediately after school, perhaps around 3:30, which will enable your child to digest what they’ve eaten before running around. An early dinner is a great way to fuel your child for whatever activity awaits them, and if they’re hungry afterward, you can then serve a smaller, “mini meal” following their practice or game—presumably sometime around 8:30.

If possible, consider serving a full family dinner to all of your children at the same time, even if it’s earlier in the evening. Not only will doing so help to foster the importance of eating family meals together, but it’ll also save you time in the kitchen and eliminate the need for multiple meals.

If your children are on different schedules, don’t fret. Again, do your best. Think about each child’s individual nutritional needs and which nutrients are most important for them to consume. A couple of ways to ensure that your children acquire the appropriate nutrients are:

1.    Start early. Make sure to include wholesome ingredients at dinnertime just in case your child is too tired after working up a sweat or wants to join the rest of the team for victory ice cream.

2.    The big picture. Think back to what your child has eaten all day. Did their menu include wholesome grains, leaner proteins and healthier fats? If not, try to incorporate any missing elements in to dinner or their mini meal. If that’s too difficult, it’s not a big deal. Simple squeeze it in to tomorrow’s menu.

3.    Plan ahead. Make meals ahead of time. You can even pack a thermos filled with hearty one-pot dishes or serve up quick frozen meals that you’ve prepared in advance, that way, you don’t have to think too much in the heat of the moment. (For inspiration, check out my “Make-Ahead Meals” and options for vegetarians that can be whipped up in 15 minutes or less on Modern Moms.)

If your child is hungry for a post-game snack, then a quick mini meal should suffice. Remember, bedtime isn’t far off, so use this time to help your child refuel following vigorous activity and be considerate of portions. One option is to make a homemade smoothie. My boys love a berry smoothie I adapted from Driscoll’s Berries, but if you decide to blend up your own, be sure to add a protein source and eliminate any extra sugar the recipe calls for. Other quick and tasty choices are a bowl of soup, which is both filling and hydrating, or whole-grain cereal (like muesli) with Greek yogurt and fruit.

Last but not least, be mindful of your own diets too on these especially busy evenings. Whatever you do, try not to fall prey to the fast food joints that tempt you from the side of the road while driving the kiddies to and from practice. Instead, bring food from home along with you, even it means eating another sandwich or missing a family meal, and remind yourself that none of those greasy ingredients will truly provide you with the power you need to be the super mom that you are.

Preventing Food Jags: What’s a Parent to Do?

Preventing Food Jags: What’s a Parent to Do?
By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

*This post was originally published on ASHA’s online blog. The original can be found here.

Photo Credit: r.nial.bradshaw via Compfight cc

As a pediatric feeding therapist, many kids are on my caseload because they are stuck in the chicken nugget and french fry rut…or will only eat one brand of mac-n-cheese…or appear addicted to the not-so-happy hamburger meal at a popular fast food chain. While this may often include kids with special needs such as autism, more than half my caseload consists of the traditional “picky-eaters” who spiraled down to only eating a few types of foods and now have a feeding disorder.  I  even had one child who only ate eight different crunchy vegetables, like broccoli and carrots.  Given his love for vegetables, it took his parents a long time to decide this might be a problem. The point is: These kids are stuck in food jag, eating a very limited number of foods and strongly refusing all others.  It creates havoc not only from a nutritional standpoint, but from a social aspect too. Once their parents realize the kids are stuck, the parents feel trapped as well. It’s incredibly stressful for the entire family, especially when mealtimes occur three times per day and there are only a few options on what their child will eat.

It’s impossible in a short blog post to describe how to proceed in feeding therapy once a child is deep in a food jag. Each child is unique, as is each family. But, in general,  I can offer some tips on how to prevent this from happening in many families, again, keeping in mind that each child and each family is truly unique.

Here are my Top Ten suggestions for preventing food jags:

#10: Start Early.  Expose baby to as many flavors and safe foods as possible.   The recent post for ASHA on Baby Led Weaning: A Developmental Perspective may offer insight into that process.

#9: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate: Foods, that is.  Jot down what baby was offered and rotate foods frequently, so that new flavors reappear, regardless if your child liked (or didn’t like) them on the first few encounters.  This is true for kids of all ages.  It’s about building familiarity.  Think about the infamous green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.  It’s rare that hesitant eaters will try it, because they often see it only once or twice per year.

#8: Food Left on the Plate is NOT Wasted: Even if it ends up in the compost, the purpose of the food’s presence on a child’s plate is for him to see it, smell it, touch it, hear it crunch under his fork and  perhaps, taste it.  So if the best he can do is pick it up and chat with you about the properties of green beans, then hurray!  That’s never a waste, because he’s learning about a new food.

 

To continue reading, please click here to be redirected to ASHAsphere.

Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

During the holidays, certain foods remain a tradition within some families. However, I find the holidays to be a wonderful time to explore new recipes. Next to the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, I prepared a new one: Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta—which turned out to be a healthy hit! The only modification I made to the original recipe is not adding oil, as there is plenty of flavorful fat from the pancetta!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 3 ounces paper-thin slices pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions

Partially cook the Brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the pancetta. Continue to saute the sprouts for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant but not burnt, about 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and saute until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the broth and simmer until the broth reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, about 3 minutes. Serve.

Enter to Win Peter Bereley's Cookbook and Solae Prize Pack

Last month, Solae–leading company in developing soy based foods like soy milk and energy bars–hosted a dinner created by Chef Peter Bereley. Peter Bereley, author of The Flexitarian Table, prepared a 4 course dinner with every dish containing tofu. Unlike the typical tofu you might imagine, Chef Bereley used it in innovating and delicious ways: tofu-ricotta,miso salad dressing, chili, and even pie for dessert! As he demonstrated how he prepared each dish, he provided creative tips on how to incorporate soy protein to our meals.  At the end of the event, Solae provided us with an awesome giveaway, including an extra for our readers! Included in the awesome backpack are several of Solae’s soy based products and a copy of Chef Bereley’s cookbook so you can try his “soy-licious” recipes on your own!

Thanks to Solae and Peter Bereley, Mom Dishes It Out will be giving away a “Solae Prize Pack”:

· A copy of Peter Bereley’s  “The Flexitarian Table”

· Solae Backpack

· Reusable Water bottle

· Cooking Tools

· A few coupons and samples of Solae’s soy-based products like Balance Bar, 8th Continent Soy Milk, and Special K protein shakes

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

Winners will be announced on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM EST.

Constant Hunger…your child’s relentless pursuit of food!

Does your child constantly nag you for food? Does this happen only at particular times…or all of the time? Do you eventually give in due to exhaustion? Or perhaps a headache? What is his/her temperament like? Is he persistent in getting his way all of the time? If so, this is likely a power struggle…and not a hunger issue. Think about your child’s interactions with others. Do grandma and grandpa or the nanny spoil your child and always oblige him? If so, you may have a cute little “monster” on your hands.

Sometimes our children are naturally hungry—a wonderful trait for many. As parents, however, we need to determine when our child is truly hungry or truly just pushing our buttons to see how much he/she can get away with—or actually get from us. Remember, structure and boundaries are important issues in raising our children whether it’s about food or even something as simple as wearing a hat on a cold day.

3 Clues to Determine If Reported Hunger is Real or an Attempt for Control

  1. Your child nags you about food at non-meal times when you are trying to get him to do something else. (Examples: Bedtime, clean up time, quiet time.)
  2. Your child is asking for food when you are not giving her attention. (Example: You are talking on the phone or working on the computer and your child is not self- entertaining.)
  3. Your child engages in power struggles over food he/she likes yet refuses to eat.  (Example: You agree to a snack of apples and cheese at the kitchen table but your child demands crackers instead and wants to eat them on the couch.)

If these mini scenarios remind you of your child, be very cautious in your next moves. Your child is most likely trying to win a power struggle around food…and may be succeeding! This battle is comparable to his/her feelings about control in life and about the parent/child relationship.  If not kept in check, it may turn into a counter-productive relationship with food later in life…likely leading to obesity or any other eating disorder.

 

5 Tips to Eliminate the Parent/Child Power Struggle

  1. Set specific times for meals and snacks. They can range with a “must” start time of 15 minutes before or after the predetermined times.
  2. Have your child sit down at the kitchen table for all meals and snacks with no screens to view while eating.
  3. At least one hour before bedtime, offer a p.m. snack and clearly state that this is the last opportunity for food. After that time, do not give in to your child’s pleas! You are setting appropriate food boundaries.
  4. Do not succumb to the begging, crying and screaming even if it lasts for an hour. If you give in, your child will recognize his power and push the limits even more or longer the next time. Instead of crying for an hour to get his way, he will persist for 75 to 90 minutes until he gets his snack.
  5. Ask your child if there is something else she would like…perhaps a hug or to read a book with mommy, or even the chance to help prepare the next meal.

 

Don’t fall prey to the hunger trap. Employ the five tips above to help create positive new behaviors. If struggles remain or you feel helpless, enlist the help of a Registered Dietitian specializing in both pediatrics and eating disorders. This will help to guarantee that food intake is removed from the power struggle and make it less likely your child will/won’t eat to satisfy control issues.

Teaching Children an Appreciation for Food

Getting kids involved in the kitchen can be a great way to introduce foods

By Guest Blogger: Debra Johnson

Many parents want their children to be happy and healthy. Eating nutrient dense foods is one way to accomplish a healthy body. However, some children are picky and may fight off the idea of new meals. The information below may help a parent introduce new foods into the home.

1. Add Fun – It is necessary for a parent to make eating fun. If a parent does not allow a child to associate excitement with lunch or dinner, introducing new foods may be exceedingly difficult. For example, a parent may choose to add the child’s favorite dipping sauce to the menu. The child may be willing to try a new food if he or she may add something that is familiar and comfortable. It is also possible to cut the new foods into fascinating shapes and give them creative names.

2. Do Not Push – Some parents may push their child into trying a new food; this is a terrible idea. The child may refuse to try the new food in the long run if a parent pressures a child. It is crucial to exercise patience. A child may have to look at the new food several times before he or she tries it. The parent should not punish the child for not eating more than one or two bites. It is a terrific idea to celebrate any taste tests, as this will encourage the toddler to try the food again at a later date.

3. Involve the Child – A child should feel that their opinion is important and appreciated. If a parent wishes to teach an appreciation for different foods, it is a fantastic idea to involve the child in the shopping process. The parent should point to new foods and allow the child to choose what to put in the grocery cart. However, if a parent does not like the chosen food, it does not have to be purchased. The child will feel a sense of belonging and power, and the child will be more likely to try the food at home. The child should also help with the cooking process.

4. Use A Routine – It is crucial to maintain routines. A parent should not change the course of a day if he or she wishes to teach children to try new foods. A child may feel scared or confused if he or she does not receive a snack at a certain time of day. If the child is not ready, he or she may be less willing to try something new. New routines may also spoil a child’s appetite; when dinner arrives, the child may not be hungry, and the new food may be rejected at a faster rate.

Toddlers and young children tend to be picky eaters. It may be difficult to get a child to try something different; however, it is not impossible. The information above may help a parent nurture a love of new foods. With some patience and a willingness to adapt, any parent may accomplish their goal.

 

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of LiveInNanny.com. She welcomes your comments at her email, jdebra84@gmail.com.

 

Guest Blog: Arguments For Your College Bound Child Eating Their Veggies At Last

By Guest Blogger: Barbara Jolie

First of all, I want to acknowledge upfront that I don’t have to sell the “benefits of smart eating” argument to the parents whose kids can’t stand the sight of greens. Parents, I know that you’re trying your hardest to get your kids to eat well without scaring them off from nutritious food altogether, and I applaud your effort.

With this article, I want to address the picky eating college-bound young adults directly, telling them hard truths that parents might avoid. Yes, I have more than a few bones to pick with youngsters who would sooner find solace in a fast food chicken nugget than they would a bowl of quinoa or even a stalk of celery. Eating the right foods is all the more important for selective eaters when they’re going off to college because they have to make their own meals now—without mom and dad monitoring their eating habits, there’s no telling what they’ll gobble up to satisfy their hunger. My intention is to help these wayward eaters get on a smart path to better eating.

So here’s my argument, hypothetical college student; please consider it before you give in to ramen and microwave dinners.

You’ll Need the Nutrition

I’ll admit that you might not be sold on this point alone, but I’ll make it anyway. Earning a college degree is hard work, often requiring a superhuman amount of mental strain to study for tests, complete projects on time, and to absorb hundreds of pages of class material. How do will you keep up your mental stamina in the face of such academic challenges if you don’t keep your body and mind properly fueled with healthy foods?

Fast food might satisfy your sodium cravings, but think about the bigger picture here: how well do you think a few items off a dollar menu will prepare you the night before a big test? I’d wager that a solid nutritious meal with ample greens and smart proteins like chicken or fish would be much better for your mind. Certain foods are called “brain food” for a reason, after all.

Expanding Your Palate Will Open Your Mind In Other Areas

In my opinion, trying new foods can do a lot to broaden a person’s intellectual horizons. I’d like to think that there’s a pretty direct correlation between adventurous eating and adventurous behavior. For picky eaters with serious food phobias, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to overcome those anxieties and try something outside of the comfort zone.

The idea of eating a salmon filet with green beans can seem intimidating if you’re only to eating nothing but hamburgers and French fries for most of your meals. But I guarantee you that the moment you try something new, the moment you challenge yourself to try new foods—especially healthier options—you’ll notice your entire worldview start to chance. Fearless eating translates into many other positive behaviors: you might have more confidence in your studies, or you might gain the courage to take the helm in social situations.

Eating Well Can Save You Serious Money

And then there’s the financial argument, which I think makes the strongest case for college students to consider healthy eating habits. If you budget properly for it, you can save a good chunk of change from eating expenses if you make your meals at home from store-bought produce, meats, and grains. If you cook meals in big batches and with well-balanced ingredients—say veggie lasagna or a one-pot heart meat stew—you could have enough portions to last you through several lunches and dinners. Cooking in such a way will even cost you less over time than if you were to rely on ramen and dollar menu items from a nearby fast food joint. What’s more, cooking for yourself is the only way to ensure that you get the proper nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet in school.

 

About the Writer

Barbara Jolie is a freelance education, tech, and health blogger currently writing for onlineclasses.org. She loves to write about higher education in particular through the lens of either student health or modern mobile technology. Please feel free to leave Barbara some comments!

 

Congratulations to Our "Intuitive Eating" Winners!

Congratulations to our “Intuitive Eating” winners, Melissa Cadle and Cara L. Sachs!

Congratulations on winning a copy of Intuitive Eating by  Evelyn Tribole M.S., RD. and Elyse Resch M.S., R.D., F.A., D.A —A book that encourages the Non-Diet Approach and a lifestyle towards healthy eating.

Tweet @MomDishesItOut with your info or email us at cipulloRD@aol.com

Thanks for playing and remember to check back every week for our Monday Giveaway!

Help, My Daughter Is Overweight.

By Real Moms: Guest Blogger Elyse Falk, MS, RD and Laura Cipullo RD, CDE

Real Mom Question: How do I help my 13-year-old daughter who is overweight?

Real Moms Answer: For females, there are a lot of hormonal prepubescent changes that happen around this age.  The body is getting ready for menstruation and womanhood.  Weight gain is normal during this time. Don’t get overexcited by this increase in weight or body fat. This is normal and necessary.

Avoid diets

If your daughter is sensitive to her recent weight gain or her body image, sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with her. Recognize she may want to try different diets at this point in her life. Many tweens or teens choose to try vegetarian intakes around this point (See our article in the Publication Tweens and Teens).  For us, as women and especially as mothers working in the field of eating disorders, the word diet conjures only negative feelings such as deprivation, restriction, sadness, failure, and being “bad” when you “cheat” on the diet, etc.  The list goes on and on. There are too many girls and moms that feel badly when they eat a food that would be forbidden on a diet. Therefore, at all costs, discourage your daughter from dieting. Instead, help to foster body acceptance, balanced eating and lifestyles changes if and when needed.

75-90 % of the Time, Eat Healthy

Teaching our children, tweens and teens to eat in a healthy and balanced way is of utmost importance.  What do we mean by healthy?  Eating when one is physically hungry and recognizing when one’s stomach feels full; Not eating for emotional or behavioral reasons like many tweens and teens do. The idea is to eat foods that help our physical body work properly and prevent disease while eating adequately and varied to encourage mental wellness.  A healthy attitude is to eat the foods that help our body about >/=75 – 90 percent of the time; the other 10 – 25% percent of our intake can include the foods that Elyse calls “yum yum” foods or Laura calls “sometimes” foods: ice pops, candy, baked goods, fried foods etc..

Make it a Family Affair

It’s important for our tweens and teens to have positive role models for eating and movement. Parents and caregivers have a great influence on this, so think about how you eat and exercise.  Think about how your family eats and moves? The goal is to have the entire family eating a varied intake of everyday foods and moving regularly for fun and for heart health. Be sure to try for family meals, plan family activities such as walks, bike rides and even hikes. If your teenager always wants to snack, keep fresh fruit, veggies, lean proteins and low fat calcium foods in the house at all times.  A whole grain low sugar cereal with low fat milk is always a great option as well.  Don’t try to control or restrict your child. Rather provide food and active opportunities and let them make the choices

Forget the Scale

Be aware of your 13 year old’s behaviors and mood. If your teenager is skipping breakfast, it can lead to an over-hungry state, which can result in overeating later in the day.  It can also lead to mood swings. Talk to your daughter about behaviors and mood swings but never say you are fat, too heavy or need to lose weight. And please never put them on a scale.

Avoid Guilt

Recognize, sometimes your daughter may feel bad about eating “too” much after having restricted all day. Then this guilt results in future restriction, meaning skipping meals or eating very little calories over a long period of time. Again, this only leads to being over-hungry and then over eating again likely binging. Unfortunately, this has the potential to turn into vicious dieting cycle.

Prevent Skipping Meals

To help prevent your daughter from restricting her food intake be sure to keep fast and easy breakfast options in the house: an organic yogurt smoothie with extra protein powder, ¼ cup almonds and fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs with a toasted pita, low sugar protein/nut bars, pbj sandwiches, whole grain waffles topped with nut butter and bananas are all great options to start the day.  Ensuring breakfast is eaten will help to guarantee meals are not being skipped and the day is heading in a proactive direction.

Encourage Internal Self Regulation

Make a conscious effort to see if your teenager is eating regularly for physical reasons.  Educate them to adhere to a feeding schedule for meals and snacks to prevent restricting and binging.  Eating every 3 to 4 hours is normal and helpful.  If you feel that your child is eating immediately after a full meal, encourage her to use a hunger fullness scale to identify internal cues for portion control. Maybe she is eating because she feels stressed, anxious, or nervous.  If this is the case, help your daughter learn new coping skills and or offer hugs and your listening ear when she needs you.

Eat for Physical Hunger

So the message is avoid having your daughters diet regardless of your concerns or your daughter’s concerns for her body weight. Allow her body to go through puberty and encourage all foods in moderation and moving for energy. Provide varied foods and a safe place to talk about food and body. Avoid judging your daughters body and instead focus on behaviors and moods. If weight loss is needed, lifestyle behavior changes and eating for only physical reasons usually helps to make your teen grow into the body they were born to have.

Mom Is Dishing Out 2 Copies of Intuitive Eating!

In Intuitive Eating, Evelyn Tribole M.S., RD. and Elyse Resch M.S., R.D., F.A., D.A., discuss the dieting mentality and how freeing oneself from it can help one “make peace with food.” They introduce Intuitive Eating–a program that encourages an individual to use hunger signals, to eat in balance and moderation and most of all, “to rediscover the pleasures of eating and rebuild your body image.”

Thanks to Gürze Books, Mom Dishes It Out will be giving away Intuitive Eating to 2 lucky followers!

Want to enter for a chance to win a copy of Intuitive Eating?

Enter by one of the following ways:

Let us know what you like about the book and you could be one of the lucky winners!
Winners will be announced on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM EST.