Little Victories

We tried some brown rice cereal, sweetened with organic cane sugar and it also had unsweetened cocoa.  Then we poured unsweetened coconut milk over it.  He took a few unsure bites, but decided he liked it.  My other 2 kids liked it as well.  We also tried some coconut milk yogurt that he really didn’t like, but I got each kid to at least take 2 bites.  It will definitely take some time to change how they eat, but I’m excited that they have been more willing than I expected them to be.  My oldest was NOT happy that she was having to join her brother in eating differently, but after I explained to her that it was for the best for all of us, she’s actually been quite helpful most of the time with encouraging him to try more.

Food has always been a struggle for our “O”.  We discovered when he was about 12 months old that he has a severe allergy to eggs and peanuts, then lower on the spectrum is tree nuts, corn, and soy.  We are able to eat peanut butter around him, but he has never ingested it.  We’ve always tried to limit how much he eats of the other things, but corn and soy are in nearly every processed food, like crackers and other snacks he loves, so it has always been hard to find him alternative food for in between meals.  He also deals with some texture issues.  Even when it is a food he likes, if it is cooked in a different way (or “wrong” according to O) then he won’t eat it, sometimes he will even gag and throw up.  He used to LOVE blueberries, when he was about 2 and a half we went to the farmers market and he asked to carry the bag of blueberries and he ended up eating nearly the entire bag as we walked around, that’s how much he loved them.  Well, at some point he got a “yuck filled blueberry” and he hasn’t touched them since.  😦  So far we haven’t even been able to convince him to try them again.

Another texture issue for him is the crispy-ness of chicken nuggets.  For example, we generally were at Chick-fil-a every week and he always peeled most of the breading from his chicken so that he could eat it, but give him the grilled chicken and he won’t touch it!  Those are just a couple of the battles we face.  It’s a journey, and ultimately changing his diet is for the best and is going to help him greatly in the long run!

Do you have a child who deals with texture issues?  What are some tips or tricks that you have tried?

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Unplanned Healthy Meals

So one of the biggest things I have learned with food (as well as many other areas of life) is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail. Fail to plan, plan to fail So MANY times I’ve failed.  Life gets busy, things don’t go as planned, kids need more attention so dinner doesn’t get made, we get home late from piano lessons or gymnastics, the list of excuses can go on and on!  It used to derail me from healthy eating quite easily, but with time and practice I developed a plan for my “unplanned days” that has helped keep me eating healthy!  Here are the steps I take to put together dinner for us on those days…green veggies

Step 1: Vegetables!  What vegetables do we have and what can I do with them.  I try to use any fresh veggies we have first.  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our freezer stocked
with frozen veggies we can steam in a pinch, but fresh
veggies are our favorite.  Generally I roast them in the oven with a little olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper.  I try to choose a green one because usually those provide the most health benefits, but I use what we have.  Learning to build our meals around a vegetable instead of a meat, definitely took some adjustment!  Almost all of us are raised to think of what meat we are going to prepare first and build sides around it.  Making the vegetable the star of the meal is still new to us, but I think we’ve embraced it well.

Step 2: Protein!  Sometimes this is a meat, sometimes it quinoa.  When cooking my unplanned meal those are generally the 2 we bounce between.  The most common for us is leftover chicken breast, lean steak, or turkey burger that we season with our homemade taco seasoning.  I think that is my favorite!  Sometimes I add onions and peppers to it and place it on a bed of mixed greens and a scoop of guacamole or avocado slices.  🙂

Step 3: Eat it! Yes, it’s that simple.  Meals don’t need to have 3 or 4 sides.  Keep it easy and simple and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully satisfying it is to eat REAL food!  That’s how I adopted this unplanned yet planned meal idea in the first place…make it easy and I’m more likely to see it through!

Back Up Plan…Worst Case Scenario  So this happens sometimes.  I’m SO hungry and it is SO late, that I don’t even have time for what I’ve laid out above.  So, what do I do?  Well, I used to hit the nearest drive thru, but now that I’ve kept to healthy eating for so long, going through the drive thru makes my body feel horrible!  Now I just make a protein shake.  We have a couple protein shakes that we use.  We love Pure Protein Complete from Young Living, (contact me for wholesale pricing) or the All in One Nutrition from Vega. (I’m not affiliated with Vega, just love some of their products!)  Those are our favorites.  We just add a little unsweetened almond milk, sometimes a little frozen fruit and blend it up in our Ninja.  It helps keep me on target and even on days that it’s not what I really want, it tends to hit the spot.

How can you make dinner easier when you’ve forgotten to meal prep?  What are your favorite healthy go-to meals for your family?

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