Have you ever written down how many times your child or children says “I’m hungry” in the course of a day?
I honestly sometimes feel like it can be as early as an hour after Ms. Kirabelle just finished a meal. Now, sometimes I think this is actual hunger pains and other times I think it is boredom so I wanted to write down some tips to keeping the children healthy, engaged, and still in cue with their body’s signals and what they really mean.
Routine is very important from the time of birth to help teach them how to take care of themselves. The first thing the pediatrician told me my job was, was to teach her morning and night in order to get her into the same routine as Stan & I. In the morning you wake up and at night, you sleep and replenish. I noticed early on anytime we went on vacation and “let go” of our routines and maybe ate a little more food out or went to bed a little later – this made for a vacation hangover when it was time to get back crackin’ and to school/work. So the best thing to do is to maintain consistency with the working towards of breaks, rewards, vacation, and time to “let go”. We have kept meal times and snack times to specific hours so as not to make the kitchen a 24/7 convenience store but a time of connection to food, our bodies, and one another. A sacred time. A wholesome time. A slower time.
Another thing that helps is pre-planning healthy snacks that are on hand. I find it best to make a bunch on Sunday for the week ahead. Below are some ideas that my family likes and that you can play around with. I hope these find you WELL!
- Cut up cucumber and tomato slices drizzled with olive oil and a little feta cheese. These one is actually easy to prepare and doesn’t need to be batched and made. And I love the green & red combo of color sprinkled with white
- Fruit – all fruit and any fruit – great way to taste the rainbow, alternate seasonally, and even make happy faces with. Positive relationships with food start young.
- Sliced veggies that work for your child – Kira likes peppers cut up
- Seaweed snacks – high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, also good for fine motor skills
- Plain bread cut up into shapes with peanut butter and goji berries ———————>
- Plain yogurt mixed with fruit or sweetened a with little with honey
- smoothies – Kira likes 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 avocado, nut milk of choice and cocoa powder – tastes like a choc milkshake
- Nut Balls – here is where you can make these on Sunday and they are perfect for overall power and energy and you can even add in some things that are good for your child and they will never know- you will come to know how much of each. I usually start with a half of a cup of nuts and remember that you want to eventually roll them into balls so this is the consistency of what you want to see. If you ever need to “thicken or toughen them up” add some coconut flour or almond flour. I wanted to share some we have made using things from the cupboards. I find that as you experiment – your creative juices start flowing towards ideas. Example ideas below:
- walnuts, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon – blend and roll – cinnamon roll inspired
- soaked cashews, lemon juice, salt, maple syrup, can add chia seeds (gives like a lemon poppyseed flavor)
- peanut butter, oats, honey, salt, cinnamon
- soaked cashews, coconut butter, maple syrup, salt, dip in melted coconut oil and then roll in shredded coconut
- almonds, cocoa powder, little peanut butter, oats, dates, and maybe even mini choc chips
- soaked macadamia nuts, oats, maple, and little sprinkles for color (funfetti birthday cake spin)