Hi there! So excited to be sharing some of my Eager Eating tips with you on WBTK – my name is Katharine Murphy and I am a fellow Nutritional Therapist like Sara. Toddler eating and prenatal/postpartum nutrition has become my niche so I am honored to indulge some of my time-tested tips!
How our kids eat is undeniably correlated to how they feel and how they grow, I promise that it is worth the effort to get things on track. January is a great time to take the plunge as we return to our structured routines and there aren’t as many holidays or gatherings to throw us off. Read on for a few quick tips to get you motivated:
1. Focus on breakfast – Most Mamas worry the most about dinner but it is at the end of the day, everyone is tired, and often our little ones have filled up on too many snacks to be adventurous at the dinner table. So start with breakfast – some protein, healthy fat and long-lasting carbs. Examples include seed bread, almond flour muffins, egg muffins, chia seed pudding, or veggie, fruit, and fat-loaded smoothies. This combo will stabilize blood sugar and keep your kiddo from craving the carby things all day – which should translate into a more peaceful dinner.
Pictured – My New Roots Life Changing Seed Bread
2. Limit the milk, juice, and sweets – consult with your pedi on milk (we’ve never done it, my kids grow like weeds) but I advise staying on the conservative side of the ounce ranges recommended and offering it with or after meals. High calorie beverages like milk and juice, and sugar-filled treats and snacks are super filling, without a ton of nutrients required for physical and brain development. We stick with water throughout the day and try to keep our snacks to mostly fruits and veggies (and some fat like Sara always says, to help littles stay full).
3. Limit snacks within one hour of meals – our little ones need to be hungry when they come to the table if we expect them to eat; we offer sliced cucumbers with a little olive oil and sea salt almost like an appetizer if our boys are ravenous while I am making dinner. Raw veggies first can actually help you better digest the rest of a heavier meal; it is a routine, they ask for it because they know there is no other option; routine, routine, routine!
4. Resolve any constipation issues – this is an underestimated obstacle to eager eating. If we don’t eliminate regularly, we just aren’t as hungry! Increasing water and fiber (think: smoothies and chia pudding) first thing in the morning can really help. Check with your pediatrician about adding an infant or children’s probiotic too!
I hope one or two of these ideas resonate with you and your family. You can find more tips on www.prettyandwell.com and on Instagram @prettyandwell.