Moms do so much. They constantly give of themselves and often ask for very little in return. They work diligently to make sure their children have what they need, when they need it. Motherhood can be a big and daunting job. These 6 moms have embraced it and have done so in a “real” way. One that not only honors the ups, but the downs, while also fostering an environment that supports a positive relationship with food.
Sure, these women are all dietitians, but they’re moms too and they’ve got a wealth of knowledge to share. We put them to the challenge, and asked them “how do YOU foster a good food and nutrition relationship for your children?” Get the inside scoop on their tips so you can put them into practice in your home too!
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD – RealMomNutrition.com
Sally is the fabulous woman behind Real Mom Nutrition. She runs a tight, but “real” ship around her house and her brand. We love that “realness” because it makes her relatable. Follow her for practical tips on how to successfully manage meal times!
Sally’s Advice – “My best tip is to be chill at the dinner table. Don’t pressure your kids, force a certain number of bites, or show visible stress. Too many battles take place over dinner between parents and kids. And it won’t get you anywhere. Serve the foods you want your kids to eat and be patient with them. Some kids will take longer than others to try new foods, and that’s okay. The dinner table should be a place where kids feel welcome and understood, not stressed out!”
Holley Grainger – www.holleygrainger.com
Talk about a mom who couldn’t be nicer! Holley is a true Southern gem of a woman and dietitian. She’s got a knack for building amazing lunch boxes for her kids and she shares all of her tips and tricks with YOU on social media and her website. After you see some of those lunch boxes, you’ll wish you were one of her kids too!
Holley’s Advice – “Cut yourself some slack, moms, when it comes to family meals. Often parents figure that if they can’t prepare a healthy, gourmet family meal for their kids that they may as well resort to junk food or the drive thru. Set a goal each week to have 3 family meals together (any meal works–not just dinner!). Research shows that just 3 family meals per week has a long term effect on a child’s healthy weight, on eliminating the risk of eating disorders and on them having a healthy relationship with food.”
Lindsay Livingston, RD – www.theleangreenbean.com
Think your tough? Well, you probably are, but so is super mom Lindsay Livingston of the successful blog The Lean Green Bean. She proves that moms are strong, smart and nurturing. We love her food prep tips and her helpful posts of her oldest little showing off his chef skills in the kitchen!
Lindsay’s Advice – “I think one of the best things you can do is getting your kids into the kitchen with you from a young age. There are lots of simple kitchen tasks they can do from a young age. It’s fun for both of you and it helps get them interested in trying new foods, learning about where foods come from and being excited to taste the things they create. You can also practice other skills like counting, shapes, colors, etc!”
Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN – JessicaLevinson.com
Delicious recipes are what Jessica Levinson is all about! Not only are her recipes fabulous, they’re easy to make and are kid-friendly! She knows feeding little ones nutritious food can sometimes be a challenge, so she tries fun and innovative ways to get kids involved in the food preparation and cooking.
Jessica’s Advice – “Feeding kids nutritious meals is hard work, even for dietitians! I started feeding my twin girls (who are now 5) everything my husband and I ate – including food made with herbs and spices – from the very beginning, and that certainly helped to open them up to foods other kids don’t eat. Things change though, and as they have spent more time at school and with their peers, they are becoming a little choosier, which is a challenge I hadn’t yet had to deal with. Despite those changes, my stance on feeding them hasn’t shifted.
I plan my menu in advance and sometimes include them in the planning process, asking them for their choice between two meals for a particular night. I always cook one meal for the whole family – no short order cooking in my house – and I make sure there’s at least one thing on the table everyone likes. I also involve the girls in the cooking process, even if they’re just watching me at the kitchen counter. The exposure to cooking and seeing the raw foods has increased their interest in trying new foods, sometimes even a raw piece of lettuce or other vegetable while we wait for dinner to be ready. I also find that when I take the kids to the supermarket, they pick out a vegetable or fruit that looks interesting or fun to them. At home, when I say I’m making what they picked out they get so much more excited to try it than if it’s something they weren’t involved in choosing. A few weeks ago it was guava and this week it’s spaghetti squash!”
Katie Serbinski, MS, RD – MomToMomNutrition.com
Need a mom friend with some serious nutrition savvy? Look no further than Katie! She shares her tips and tricks for both food and nutrition on her blog, Mom to Mom Nutrition. Follow her to get inspiring ideas on how to raise a healthy family!
Katie’s Advice – “Dinnertime seems to be the meal that gets the most push-back or questionable looks from my crew. While I always try to ensure there’s a food served that each member of my family likes or accepts, they know they don’t have to eat the meal. But they also know that they have to wait at the table until the rest of the family is finished eating. This added time at the table often leads to a few bites of the accepted food being eaten, and the comfort knowing that no one goes to bed hungry.”
Jill Castle, MS, RDN – www.jillcastle.com
With over 25 years of experience working with kids, it’s no wonder Jill Castle is such a well known and respected member of the nutrition community! As a mom of 4, Jill has a handle on the challenges that present themselves when it comes to feeding children. Follow her podcast and blog – both of which are geared to helping moms succeed at providing a nourishing environment for their kids.
Jill’s Advice – “One thing that I do for my own family and encourage other families to do, is this: Never serve the same food twice in a row. I think this is one of the simplest “rules” to ensure kids (and the whole family) get variety in their diet. Variety is a key to making sure kids get the full complement of nutrients (they need about 40 different ones daily), yet some families get stuck in a rut, offering the same fruits, veggies, grains and proteins week after week. For example, if you serve apples with lunch, don’t serve them for the next snack time. Find a different fruit or a veggie to offer instead. The idea behind this is to rotate foods so that kids see a lot of variety, don’t get bored with the same old food, while having the opportunity to try new foods over time. Each week, plan your menu, picking out some foods the family likes for meals, while also working in some new options to try. In doing so, not only do you provide variety, you also expand your child’s quality of diet and food preferences. This has worked well for my family—my kids eat a wide variety of foods, are willing to try new things and I don’t hear complaints like, “Not that again!”
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