Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nourishing a Growing Body

Cam had his 18 month checkup yesterday and we received good news! He is now being charted on the average 18-month old growth charts. Basically, his growth was being tracked on the preemie growth chart since birth because he was born at 33 weeks. This meant he was being compared to babies born at the same gestational age. That was fine, but I couldn’t wait for him to just be compared to other kids his age – 18 months, born between 36 and 40 weeks. Cam is meeting all of his growth expectations and the doctor is happy to see his progress and growth.


Kids Grow Fast


We all know that children grow up in a blink of an eye. There are days that I can’t even believe I have a 4 year old and an 18-month old running around. Blink… I make sure they eat well and I know that has contributed a lot to Cam’s progress. As parents, I know we fight the same dinner table battles. We struggle to get our children to eat their fruits and veggies. Sometimes we just can’t get children to eat at all. I don’t know why some days my kids run like crazy and aren’t hungry come dinner time. It blows my mind.

So here are two tips to help you: When your child wants a snack, ALWAYS offer a fruit or veggie first. This is how I got my children to love them! Once they were used to getting them as a snack, there typically wasn’t a problem getting them to eat it during meal time. And if they wanted to skip meal-time, at least I could get them to eat a good snack. My second tip is to empower your child with options. When it’s snack time, allow your child to choose between two healthy snacks. Choice is a motivator for children and adults.


Water is Best, but Drink Milk Too


Drinks loaded with sugar just slow kids down in my opinion. I have noticed this first hand. That’s right, my kids don’t get hyped up on sugary drinks and run crazy. Instead they tend to get lazy. In addition, my kids don’t digest sugary drinks well at all so I know they need a lot of water every day.
Cam’s doctor also made sure he was drinking enough milk each day because milk helps our bones stay strong. Young kids need a lot of calcium in their diets. If your child isn’t a milk drinker, there are other options. My kids eat yogurt and cheese almost daily. And a nice treat is a small serving of ice cream, which is a dairy product!


Pack on the Protein


You can find protein in many different foods. I grew up eating a meat, veggie and another side for dinner. I have tried to follow this same plan with my kids. My daughter, Capri, requests steak and corn on the cob for dinner daily, no joke. But they both love to eat chicken and rice, tacos, fish, etc. When you provide kids with a variety to choose from, their palates will grow with them and expand upon new tastes. They will also be more open to trying new foods.

Don’t Give Up


Capri won’t eat red spaghetti sauce or red pizza sauce. She will eat plain spaghetti with a little oil or butter and some garlic and white pizza. I always will offer her a bite of my red sauces when we have them because some day she may like it. I don’t force her to eat things she doesn’t like. We all have different tastes. But I don’t give up on those “yucky” foods either. Just consider them food options that your child doesn’t like yet. Sometimes preparing foods a different way helps kids to realize they are good.

Cam didn’t like oatmeal since he could eat it. But every time Capri or I had it for breakfast, I would offer him a bite. And guess what? He gave it another try the other day and realized it was really good. Our tastes change as we mature so keep offering those “yucky” foods they don’t like yet and continue trying new foods and new ways to prepare old favorites.

Did your kid’s eating habits change as they got older? I’d love to hear your stories!

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids and owner of The Choosy Mommy. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and son Cam, who is learning new things everyday. Click here to learn more about Christine.

16 comments :

  1. Love this post! My kids drink a ton of water, but thankfully they like milk every so often too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Water is the bigger deal. We can get our dairy from other sources other than by drinking milk. Keep up the good work!

      Delete
  2. These are such good tips. I'm having a really hard time getting my six year old to eat anything at her school lunch. From leftovers to sandwiches, we've tried everything! I appreciate the reminder to keep giving her protein, even if she just wants sweets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is tough. When my kids are in the mood for "sweet" I offer PB&J. The peanut butter offers some protein and the jelly can sweeten it up. Still not a bad lunch! You're doing a good job! -Christine

      Delete
  3. Great tips! I'm a health coach, so I work with helping families to develop better eating habits. It's difficult to change the eating habits of little ones, but so doable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't think of it as changing but rather taking a different path. -Christine

      Delete
  4. Love this! My kids always drink water but also love milk!

    One Awesome Momma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is awesome! So many kids are stuck on sugary drinks so it is so good to hear that yours drink water. - Christine

      Delete
  5. Love this. My son was never as what they call a chunky baby. You can definitely tell now his baby fat is starting to shed. He is lean and long. He eats for what would be three people. He loves fruits and veggies & milk which in my book is a positive outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're doing a great job since he loves fruits, veggies and milk!! Top 3 right there! - Christine

      Delete
  6. Both of my kids eat just about everything. My daughter is such a good eater that the few things she absolutely doesn't like, she never has to eat. We may request that she try one bite every now and again, just to see if her taste buds have changed, but we don't force the issue further. AND, we never tell her ahead of time that she won't like something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point. If anything, I tell my kids how GOOD the new food is before they eat it. - Christine

      Delete
  7. I let my son try everything - and he isn't picky for a 17 month old! Just because I dont particularly like something, i'd never tell my child that it isn't something worth trying

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes! I keep offering foods over and over again until they stick! Eventually they come around.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tips! My toddler will pick fruits and veggies over other snacks any day, this makes me happy. However he is not a huge fan of water, I have been watering down his drinks though so he gets some.

    ReplyDelete
  10. My boys all drink tons of milk, which is awesome. They are not the best eaters of vegetables, but I always make them at least try everything. I completely agree that tastes change because I never used to like red sauce either, but now I love it.

    ReplyDelete

Choosy's Blog Archive