Are you cramped for time and worried about how many actual nutrients are making it into your kid’s body?
I feel you!
You’re juggling all the things: career, parenting, social life, relationships with family and friends, household management, maybe even a passion or hobby you love and, oh ya…there's the mental load that comes with all of it!
It’s so hard to find the time to do research, find recipes and strategies that actually work. You want to know that you are doing everything you can to support your kids, but feel overwhelmed by it all.
Luckily, I Can Help!
Here are 4 things that you can do to know you are doing all you can to support your kids’ health:
1. Cashew Protein Power
Add ground cashews to savoury sauces for a boost of protein.
Soak the cashews for 2 hours, drain and save the water. Add the cashews and then a little of the water to a blender. Blend and add more water as needed to achieve a creamy texture.
You can pop these in an ice cube tray and freeze until needed. These little protein power cubes are so easy to sauces like bolognese, alfredo and also creamy soups, stews, hummus, and smoothies.
I also love adding a little ginger and garlic, less water and turning this into a beautiful cashew cream cheese or veggie dip.
2. Flaxseed Omega-3 Magic
Add ground flaxseed to muffins, pancakes, oatmeal and nut butters for an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also sprinkle it over savoury dishes as long as you kid is ok with a little extra texture.
Just try to avoid heating flax on super-high temperatures (heating seeds is a big no-no = rancidity & nasty free radicals), but, you can definitely bake with it and sprinkle it on top of warm/hot foods.
3. Pre-Dinner Veggie & Fruit Plate
Before dinner, or while you are preparing it, make a plate of raw veggies and fruit. It doesn't have to be pretty. Add some favourite dips, too. Place it on a table near your kids and walk away.
Don’t say anything, just walk away.
Often kids are hungry right before dinner - is it that bad if they don’t eat a huge portion of dinner because they ate veggies and/or fruit before???? We need to take our wins where we can get them!
The key here is avoiding pressure to eat what's on the plate. If they don’t eat anything, just pop it into the fridge and use it in lunches, snacks, etc. It’s a win win, for sure.
4. Food Exploration
Keep exposing them to challenging foods. You never know when they just might give one a try. Just be sure to balance new and unfamiliar foods with what they would consider ‘safe’ or easy foods, on their plate.
You can further support them by making sure the portion is really small, and cut up into little, undaunting pieces. Again - let them know what the food is, eat that same food in front of them, and don’t ask them to try it or show any disappointment if they don’t eat it.
Don't even react to what they say about the food. This is the hardest part of food exposure for parents. Believe me, I still struggle with it every day.
Sometimes it can take up to 20-30 exposures before your kid will take that risk to try a new food. And, they definitely won't take that chance if they know you are watching them.
Just be consistent and try to put your own feelings and worries aside. If they don’t eat it, just add their portion to any leftovers.
I hope these tips help! I would suggest starting small - just choosing one tip and and focusing on that for a few weeks.
Trying to institute too much at once, often results in push-back and a negative attitude toward meals and food - for both parents and kids!
The next time you're not sure where to start - give one of these tips a try!
If you have any other tips, I'd love to hear them!
Curious about holistic nutrition can do for you and your family?
If you’re looking for support with your family’s health goals regarding mental health, ADHD or fostering a healthy relationship with food, feel free to book in a FREE assessment call so we can chat to see if Holistic Nutrition is a good fit for your family!
BA Hons., B Ed., RHN, CNE, OCT
Care-Informed & Health At Every Size® Nutritionist
Canadian School of Natural Nutrition Instructor
Metabolic Balance® Coach
Intuitive Eating Counsellor Candidate