Apologies for the terrible photo however, showing photos of happy kids is not so easy these days!
On Friday Joe's school had the annual athletics day so the PTA organised a BBQ for lunch. We get these fabulous filler-free sausages from the local butcher (Cameron Harrison).
We've been dishing up sides of veg now for about a year too. We have tried several different ideas with the best being batons of chopped cucumber and carrot. The students are allowed to help themselves from a platter at each station. This time we ran out too quickly so it's obviously a trend that is gaining a little momentum
I'm such a firm believer that visuals are critical. Seeing veg as a normal part of a BBQ is a very big step towards having veg consumed at a BBQ. This is of course even more important at the dinner table. Thinking that lots of veg is "normal" and an important part of dinner is a critical first step in the journey towards actually eating them!
Are you making veggies a prominent part of dinner?
Today is Athletics Day at Joe's school and the PTA (me included!) will be putting on a BBQ for lunch.
We've upgraded from the cheap hot dogs to the proper meat, no filler sausages from the local butcher which makes me very happy (and Joe too). So he will be ordering one of those.
I am however, not a fan of the supermarket bread. Luckily I was making some "quick rise" Spelt rolls for a cooking lesson with one of my hesitant eaters this week. Perfect timing as I have packed two of these for Joe to have with his sausages. He is very happy .. well, he'd be happier if he got TWO sausages but ...
Spelt is an ancient grain and a more nutrient dense, more easily digestible option than regular flour. We use instead of wheat for making bread or as a swap in baking.
Making every meal count nutritionally when you have a selective eater is important. Making some simple swaps (spelt makes a lovely, fluffy bread) can make a huge difference to the daily tally.
Have you heard of Spelt? Tried it?
Workshop - Feeding "picky" kids
Max and I ran a workshop last night empowering parents to feed their selective eaters.
As usual it was a huge buzz and lovely to meet a great group of parents. We will be catching up with quite a few to discuss specifics and devise some action plans!
Watch this space for news on what we're up to next ....
If you're wondering how to get more nutrients into the kids eating a selective diet this could be one of the answers!
Look for more nutrient dense foods that still tick all the boxes. This quinoa and rice pasta looks white, can be cooked "al dente" and is accepted by many discerning eaters. But, it's an upgrade on the usual wheat pasta and readily available at the supermarket. The price is higher but you need a much smaller portion!
Have you looked at some of the alternative pastas?
I'm doing a big "meatball" cook off. These are the beef and pork ones and the prawn balls are about to go into the oven (once I clean off a silicon tray!).
I usually cook in bulk as it means I have something in the freezer either to use for lunches or as a base for dinner. It's my equivalent of a take-away ...
Minced meat can be a great buy when it comes to hesitant eaters. Many learner eaters find meat challenging. This is often due to the texture. It's very chewy and goes dry and stringy very quickly in the mouth. Mince is far easier to eat and so is better received.
Mince is super versatile as it can be mixed with all sorts of flavours to create a new taste. You can also add nutrient boosts. My minced beef balls do not use bread crumbs but are bound with egg and ground linseeds. They are so moist and deliver an omega 3 boost to boot.
Have you tried mince for your kids?
If you have a lunchbox that comes back fuller than it leaves is it time to think outside the box?
Why not send your child to school with one of their favourite meals? Whether that's pasta or pizza or like the photo fish and chips it's possible using a food thermos.
These thermoses are super cheap to buy and mean you can pack family meals rather than sandwiches if they are more appealing for your child.
Sometimes the trick in feeding is to set them up for success.
Would your child eat a hot meal from a thermos? Have you tried?
Wow, where did the time go? Already charging through Oct and so it's next Thu, 20th we'll be hosting another Confident Eating workshop.
Practical information on how to avoid fussy eating. What to do if you do have a selective eater and how to know whether it's "just a phase".
Often just acknowledging there may be an issue and taking the first steps can take a lot of pressure off us already worry-full parents.
Free personalised analysis of your family's eating issues offered to all participants.
Don't delay booking, the last workshop was over-subscribed ...
Any questions please ask. firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a bit of fun for Halloween .. As it's getting bigger and bigger in NZ I put together a list of fun ideas that can be used for Trick or Treating instead of the standard lollies. You never know, in making them you may just find that new things become popular around your house.
Check out my blog with loads of piccies at the Healthy Food Guide .. http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/blogs/the-art-of-nutrition/2016/september/30/trick-or-fun-treat
Ah, school holidays the good and the "not so good"! One thing we implemented a while ago in my house is that the boys share cooking duties during the holidays. You can see Max making Thai fish cakes and Joe creating the base for the gravy during the roast pork cook.
Now I appreciate that cooking with kids is often exhausting and stressful and it takes a LONG time before it's a help
rather than a hindrance. And even now there are times when I just have to shut my eyes and take a deep breath. The last photo is my kitchen floor disaster after Joe had cooked. Which was far better than Max's "oops" when he failed to put the eggs on the shelf properly and when I opened the fridge the whole box crashed to the floor ... sigh.
However, cooking with kids is such an important part of
giving them an interest in food, in getting them invested in what's being prepared and having them understand what goes into preparing a meal. The most stubborn of eaters can be swayed by spending time helping in the kitchen - especially if it's with an adult they don't usually have quality time with.
If you do have a reluctant eater involve them in the cooking. Even just helping sprinkle the finishing touches gives them a hand in the creating and makes them more likely to eat.
And, despite our mini disasters in the kitchen I have managed to have four dinners this week prepared by the kids. Not quite relax in the lounge with a cocktail just yet .. but we're getting there!
Are your kids cooking?
Due to popular demand Max and I are running another workshop. Thursday 20th Oct from 7.15 - 8.15pm at the Khandallah Town Hall.
Unlike many of these presentations it is not a general feed your kids healthy options talk. It is specifically aimed at parents who struggle to feed their kids - whether this be green food, new food or just any food!
The workshop includes a section on how to prevent children becoming selective, what to do if you do have a child with a limited diet and how to increase their nutrients(in surprisingly easy ways). It also details "red flag" issues so you are able to evaluate your own child's situation and find solutions to resolve current problems.
Special offers available to all attendees. Book early as numbers are capped.
Any questions please contact me directly on Judith@theconfidenteater.com
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.