An apple a day. . .or seven. Who's counting?
by Gina from California
Kids grow. From the fast track to toddlerhood to the pre-teen and teen jumps, growth spurts are happening all the time!
I’ve got a 1.5 year old, a 9 year old who grew almost three inches in ONE YEAR, and a 13 year old! Now as we know, growth requires food, and lots of it. Lots and lots and lots of it in this case. The 9 year old is a kid with a varied palate, one day wanting to only eat one thing then the next week it’s something completely different. Of course there’s the regular kid cravings like mac n’ cheese, cheese-its, or just… bread.
We talk about balance and how to eat balanced meals. He is learning about different things like carbohydrates, natural sugars and artificial sugars, protein and more. For each meal, we take a look at what is on the plate and decide together if the meal is balanced. The 13 year old is a kid without much of an appetite at all, only picking at the things we make for meals. The toddler is the easiest as she loves to eat everything, almost always. We started early by introducing many different foods, giving her tons of options and new things to try.
I generally go shopping alone and the older kids are allowed to make a ‘wish list’ of items they want. This helps them also feel like they get to have a say in the things that we make. Enjoying meals is important for everyone, not just adults!
The 9 year old is allowed to eat almost anything as long as he keeps it balanced. He gets to pick his veggies (even if they change every day) and if he’s going to have an unhealthy snack, he drinks plenty of water and then has to eat a healthy snack next. It’s not always easy, but we work at it every day!
The teenager has options as well, and we talk about understanding the importance of nutrition in our food. Food isn’t just for hunger, it’s also to keep our bodies moving, to keep our brains working and help us get through the day. She is learning what foods can provide long lasting and varied nutrition, like Greek yogurt with nuts or protein shakes with spinach.
For the 9 year old, to help keep him satisfied we keep a constant flow of apples in our home. One day, he ate 7 apples. After all, he is growing! Our little one takes after her big brother and loves apples too!
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Gina.
About Gina. . .
Bio-mom of a toddler, bonus mom to two kids, digital marketer, and food lover!
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