Sunday, June 19, 2011


My oldest sister is studying nutrition at Bastyr, and stays with us some nights (because our home is closer to Bastyr than her home).  It's been very fun having her-- she often comes home and tells me things that she's learned, which is fascinating (more often than not).

Anyhow, she invited my Mom and me to the annual Herb & Food Fair recently.  I thought I'd write down a few of the things that I found most helpful/interesting...most of it pertaining to feeding children.

They had a booth with some activities for kids--one of the activities was making trail mix.  They had bowls of various trail mix items, and each child was given a baggy to fill.  I thought that was a brilliant idea.  Lately we've been out and about more, and would often need to eat while we were out.  To avoid fast food, I was resorting too much to bars (like Kashi, etc), so I love this idea of letting them make their own trail mix.

There was a lot of discussion in one of the classes about introducing new foods to kids, and how to be more successful at it.  I commented about peer pressure: having one child like something seems to make it easier for the other kids to like it.  I have a funny video of Moose making funny faces as he kept eating brussel sprouts.  Clearly he didn't like them, but his sisters were happily eating theirs, so he just kept trying it.
Other ideas were to make it fun and appealing.  One thing that I wrote down was to get a nice washable tablecloth for the kitchen table--our nicer tablecloths fit the dining table, not the kitchen, and ANY tablecloth will be dirty in minutes.  I think that's something that will make the meal more enjoyable for all of us, though. 
other ideas:
  • muffin tin Mondays, or bento boxes, or anything that "markets" the food for you
  • let kids help select food at the store
  • let kids help prepare the food
  • honor mealtimes (keep to the schedule, and all sit down together at least for some meals)
  • provide choices (but make sure they're all good ones)
  • have a "what's served is what's served" policy-- no short order cooking
  • include a winner with every meal (so if they like nothing else, at least they won't starve!)
  • refrain from bribing, punishing, or rewarding with food

One of the highlights of the day was hearing from Cynthia Lair, one of the keynote speakers.  You should check out her site which has wonderful, wonderful videos.

She talked about the importance of stopping eating in the evening so that your body has time to get hungry by breakfast.  Breakfast like a king, lunch like a duke, dinner like a pauper.

Anyhow, it was a really fun day, and gave me some girl time without my kids, but it also gave me so many good ideas on how to better nourish my children.  Thanks for the fun outing, L!

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