Making mealtime fun and switching things up are 2 keys to unlocking the adventurous eater in your child. One thing that we do is experiment with dips with the meal. What child doesn’t love dipping? Not only can they create new tastes, consistencies, and combinations but they can be artists with creating their own combinations. Which makes them feel pretty powerful and in control of what goes into their mouth. Here are some dips that we’ve used and created for Brooklyn. We allow her to dip whatever she wants into whatever she wants- there are no rules! (Which she loves too- and helps her grow into a more adventurous eater.)
- Mustard. She loves the sour taste and beautiful color. We sometimes mix with mayo which is a combination my grandmother taught us with a cauliflower dish she makes.
- Hummus & mashed avocado or pre-made guacamole.
- Yogurt with hummus and a touch of Everything but the Bagel seasoning.
- Yogurt with mashed avocado or pre-made guacamole.
- Yogurt with dill and sea salt.
- Hummus blended with veggies of your choice. We love doing spinach and hummus in our NutriBullet.
- Pesto- store bought like Trader Joe’s Vegan Cashew Pesto or you can easily make your own. We’ve mixed yogurt with pesto as well.
- Ketchup and mayo for a thousand island type of dip.
- Mild salsa with any of the above.
- Pureed beans (black or cannelli beans work best) with different seasonings like sea salt or all purpose seasoning. You can also mix the beans with any of the above.
Having fun at the table doesn’t mean a mess or chaos. Playful parenting at mealtime can enhance the experience and create a positive vibe that is needed for your family. Do you have any dip tips or crazy concoctions that work for your family? Comment below!!
Brooklyn is turning 5 soon so I am definitely in the “picky eating” world at times. It’s so darn unpredictable too! One day she eats the world and has an amazing attitude. The next week she hates everything I put in front of her. Then she will only eat one of the items on the plate. Then you add in the stress of your child getting up every 5 minutes. Playing with their food. Asking for another glass of water. Throwing an item they don’t like or want. Asking you to make them what THEY want to eat. How is something as glorious as eating a beautiful feast one of the most stressful parts of the day as well?
Below are my short tips and foundation for our family table. They work for us, you’ll see if they work for your family. These form the base of the positive family table experience I want for our family. We lay these out so the meal is enjoyable, we connect, we are mindful to what we are eating, and we have manners to respect ourselves and others eating around us.
- No television or electronic devices at the table. This doesn’t need an explanation. Let’s connect and talk. Bring some emotion to the table.
- Your butt needs to stay in the chair until mealtime is over. I allow 1 bathroom break because… well, sometimes you really have to pee. One glass of water is on the table when dinner starts, and that’s enough for dinner time. It’s like the bedtime routine of “Can I have a glass of waaaaaaaaaaaater only to manipulate you.” Brooklyn gets one “ooops” chance but if she gets up a 2nd time, the meal is done. She will not starve. This has worked for us but you do what’s comfortable for you.
- Proper seating at the table. This means no feet on the chair, no slouching with your head on the table, and no leaning over with one leg off the chair. Having your child be mindful of this teaches them manners and the focus of mealtime being important.
- No throwing food. If they don’t like it, it’s OK to politely say no and put it in the “No Thank You” bowl. I have a small bowl next to Brooklyn where if she doesn’t like it, and doesn’t want it on her plate, she puts the item(s) in the “No Thank You” bowl. We do not allow throwing of food at us nor on the floor. Establishing this is important in teaching them how to communicate when they don’t like something or they’re not in the mood for it. Because it’s is definitely OK if they don’t like it. It’s not a big deal.
- They have to try one bite of something new. I always put a couple items that I know Brooklyn likes for sure. But I also put something new out there, and perhaps a new version of something she already likes. I’ve taught her that her tongue won’t burn off, she won’t have to go to the hospital, her life isn’t going to end with a small taste. What do I do if she just will NOT try it? I don’t make a big deal of it. I try it myself and teach her in another way with me as the positive influence. Maybe the next day she’ll be more open to the new item.
I hope some of these help and would love to hear what works for YOU along with any challenges you have with a positive family table experience. Thanks for reading and all the best on your adventurous eating journey!
The comparison trap can be the one thing that sets you back from not only achieving your goals, but from being the person you truly are meant to be. When we compare, we shift our focus to a life that isn’t ours and therefore neglecting the attention and TLC we need to be giving our own life. I’ve been in the comparison trap many times throughout my life and it’s usually when I’m in the most insecure and scary part of my life. I’m unsure. I’m not clear or focused. I’m unorganized. I’m vulnerable to being influenced by the outside instead of motivated from the inside.
Doing the work to get connected to your soul, your needs, your desires, and what you’re truly meant to do on this earth can be hard. I still have my moments when I find myself staring at someone’s Instagram page and wondering, “Should be doing what they are doing?” It’s OK to be inspired by someone or notice a technique that a person uses to get to their success- but let’s also remember that we are here to create our own story. You will never get to the goal you want to achieve if you are constantly comparing yourself to other stories. Here are some tips and quotes that I keep on hand that have helped me with cutting the ropes of the comparison trap:
“Your life can only be as fulfilling as your interpretation of your experience. Your perception. No matter how great, if you don’t have a healthy relationship to those experiences, then no matter what amazing things happen, you’re not going to feel fulfilled.” –Julianna Raye.
Enjoying the present moment and writing down why.
“When I no longer demanded something completely outside my control, I realized I am still able to live from my intention — no matter what happens. Even when it comes to choosing where I live.” – Jess Lively.
Give yourself some patience.
Give yourself time.
Open your mind to learning and growing.
Remember your values and how that makes you the person you are.
Address your ego’s doubt.
Coming to peace with your own body.
It takes a lot of prayer, work and dedication to honor and love the body you’re in. Dedication to not obsessing.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Create gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.
There is always someone who has it worse than you do.
When you are connected with your own goals and intention- comparison diminishes. Comparison grows when you lose focus on what fulfills you.
Who are you comparing yourself to: When you start to make myths out of people – even though they may have produced extraordinary results – you run the risk of becoming disconnected from them. You can start to feel like you could never achieve similar things that they did because they are so very different. So it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is just a human being no matter who they are.
Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing you to yourself. See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.
Work hard to grow spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Commit to growing and learning something new EVERY day.
Celebrate the little accomplishments each moment of your day. Write them down.
Comparisons are unfair. We tend to compare the worst of us to the best of others.
You are too unique to compare: gifts, talents, and values.
Comparison puts the focus on the wrong person.
Comparison results in resentment.
Comparison deprives us of joy.
We lose focus on our true goals.
We take time from recognizing our own achievements and honoring them.
Become one with your own success.
Pursue the greater and more important things in life- there is no measurement.
Change your surroundings when you feel yourself comparing.
Change what you’re doing to something that will get you to your goal when you start comparing.
Instead of comparing to others, search for people that inspire you.
Get to know someone’s reality beyond social media or television- they are vulnerable and have faults as well. They may be more real than you think and have their own insecurities or imperfections.
And finally, one of my favorite quotes… which is so true…
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”- Theodore Roosevelt
Celebrate YOU. Honor YOU. Connect with YOU. And fall in love with YOU.
New year, new you, new goals. Did last year’s goals become reality for you or were they quickly forgotten a month later? Was the towel thrown in after a week of picking up the kids here, there and everywhere? Did you say “I’ll start over tomorrow” a few times and then simply felt like you failed?
As a wellness coach, probably the most common goals people have had include:
- Lose weight
- More energy
- Get my kids to eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Stop eating sugar
It’s an episode of the movie “Groundhog Day”. The goals are set in their mind, they go full blast for a couple weeks, become overwhelmed, quit, and come to me frustrated and defeated. They have no answers why other than excuses of how busy their life is and that it’s simply too hard. They want to try, they verbalize it, and they truly believe this time will be different. But how come year after year, it’s NEVER different?
Tony Robbins has a statistic of the amount of time it takes for a goal to be forgotten and on the pile and it’s less than 30 days.
So what is the missing spark when it comes to achieving your New Year’s resolution or any goal for that matter? The answer: You’re not going deep enough to your true reasons for change. All the sample goals I list above are simply side effects of something bigger. That something bigger is THE key to you achieving your goal. Your inspiration. The FEELING you’re going after. The source to your HAPPINESS. The nourishment for your confidence & excitement for life.
If you simply write down “I want to eat more vegetables”, “I want to work out at least 3 times this week”, “I want to cook more and eat less processed foods”… your goals will not be achieved. At least not for the long-term. What do you write down instead? Here are some of mine that I’ve had the past 6 months to give you some help:
- I want mental clarity and excitement when I am with my daughter. I actually want to play with her, to run after her, to laugh, be creative and inspirational so we both have amazing memories of this time.
- I want to avoid disease as much as I can. With cancer in both my mother and father’s lives, I vow to only put things that will nourish my body and to avoid cancer and disease as much as I can.
- I want to sleep well so my body can recover, heal, and energize. I want to sleep at least 7 hours of quality sleep so I can wake up with my family happy, full of life, and excited to start a new day.
There are no formulas for the above such as drink more green smoothies, exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week, avoid gluten, reduce sugar, or meal plan for the week. Many of us know what it means to make healthy choices. We have information in front of us constantly. Ironically the formula for health is whole & real foods, movement, happiness, stress-reduction, and creativity. But what will get us to make choices in each area so we, as an entire family, achieve total wellness? It’s figuring out YOUR reason, your why, your feeling, what YOU see YOUR life being. What you want for your family. What will make your time on this earth full of quality? Let’s brainstorm for a bit and I want you to let me know what matters to you. What truly matters to your family?
This week brings me to the importance of mindfulness and how to teach your child empathy in this world. Many of our children are over-scheduled, over-stimulated, rely on other things to entertain themselves, & aren’t connected to their true self and what they can give to this world. This is the area that will create a leader. An influence. A philanthropist. Teacher. Mentor. This is a neglected area in education and we need to change this.
Below are my top 5 ways you can teach your child mindfulness and empathy. You can learn more on what is being done and how you can make the difference after you read my top 5.
1. Have your child write about their day and what they noticed. Consider this part of their “homework”. Get them connected to events in their day and how they may have influenced them. Grab those teaching opportunities when they share with you.
2. Let the quiet and the calm create the colors of their mind. These are necessary to ignite creativity. Let their brains do some magic without relying on other things to give them information. It doesn’t have to be long but let them sit in quiet with nothing else but their brains for 20-30 minutes a day.
3. Allow your child to tell you how they would solve their problem. And how they would do it differently the next time. We are so quick to jump in and solve our children’s problems. Telling them what to do. Then they rely on everyone but themselves to make decisions and problem-solve. They may not have the 100% right answer but give them the opportunity to grow and become confident that they can handle their world.
4. Focus: The key to connection. The doorway to mindfulness. The pathway to the present. The light to the world around us. Before bedtime, Brooklyn focuses on a candle flame for 2-5 minutes (she chooses the time) where a chime starts the exercise and a second chime ends it. During that time she is to focus on the flame. The colors she sees, the movement, and anything else that her eyes sees in that flame. It’s a calming exercise full of connection to her brain.
5. Stop and teach your child to observe situations and others around them. When you see a situation around you, let’s say how a person is being treated right by you, take the time to observe with your child and then talk about it together. Don’t tell them what you saw, ask them what they saw and their feelings about it. Would they treat that person the same way? Why? What would they do differently and why? Make sure there is a balance between positive and negative situations you encounter.
Learn more from Goldie Hawn’s mission and organization: www.mindup.org where her goal has been putting actual CURRICULUM into the classroom for your children. Watch her 30 minute video all about this and WHY it is her mission here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7VSkCp7xoE
It doesn’t have to be all math, science, testing, ranking, and always looking to what the future holds academically. We desperately need to teach our children how to grow their spirit, their connection to their feelings, the confidence to express them, the unique gift of helping others, the desire to give, and the strength to open the doors of compassion towards others.