A Week of Healthy Toddler Meals

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes and health food products with you!

A Week of Healthy Toddler Meals  |  The Organic Beauty Blog

What to feed my kid has become much more of a focus in my life than I care to admit.  As a nutritionist, I am constantly worrying about little M eating healthy toddler meals with enough healthy fats, proteins, macronutrients and greens, but hovering over her every bite wasn’t doing either of us any favors.

To get a real sense of how well your toddler is eating, look at what they eat over a two week period, instead of just day to day.

What I’ve learned is that to really get a sense of how “well” a toddler is eating (in terms of fueling their bodies with healthy foods and building blocks for growth), you can’t look at just one day.  Toddlers’ appetites naturally ebb and flow from day to day, and on a “bad” eating day, when they may just not be as hungry as normal, it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a short order cook and whipping up crowd-pleasing backup meals just to get our kids to eat.

The problems with this approach are many and varied, but most notably, it sets a precedent that our kids get to call the shots (dangerous) and that it’s more important for them to eat something than something healthy (false).  When we set aside the rejected healthy meal of salmon and broccoli and run to the kitchen to make some mac and cheese that we know they’ll eat, we aren’t honoring their own sense of what their bodies need in the moment and we show them that all they have to do is push away their plate of healthy food to get mom to make them something “fun.”  This is a recipe for entrenching picky eating.

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Flourless Banana Pancakes

Flourless Banana Pancakes | The Organic Beauty Blog

We’ve been these eating flourless banana pancakes for years now, but since having a baby, these delicious, protein-packed puppies have become a weekly mainstay in our house.  They take just a few minutes to make, so they’re just as perfect for busy mornings as they are for long weekend breakfasts.  With just three ingredients, these pancakes are the epitome of clean, easy cooking.  Plus, no added sugar or flour makes them paleo, gluten-free, etc. etc. etc. — pretty much great for any diet.  And they’re a great alternative to the sugary, refined carbs of traditional pancakes.

Though I used to make a more complicated version (see my Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes), now, we just opt for a pared down version.  I make little silver-dollar sized pancakes for my toddler and regular sized pancakes for us.

The key to getting them to puff up is using a super hot pan — I use my trusty cast iron.

Enjoy!

 

Cooking with Bone Broth.. and why you should use it!

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes with you!

Cooking with Bone Broth | The Organic Beauty Blog

After years of maintaining a mostly vegetarian (or at most, pescatarian) diet, I struggled with the concept of incorporating bone broth into my eating.  But after tons of research, discussions with my colleagues in holistic healthcare, and seeing the benefits in my own body, I’m sold.

I started adding Brothee Organic Bone Broths, made locally here in Southern California, to my weekly Milk & Eggs grocery delivery orders a few months ago, and I’ve never looked back.  Here are just some of the many health benefits of using organic bone broth:

  • It promotes and supports strong immunity
  • It helps to treat and overcome digestive issues like leaky gut and IBS
  • It supports the body in overcoming food intolerances and allergies
  • It improves joint health and mobility
  • It supports healthy skin, hair, and nails
  • It fights inflammation in the body

Crazy, right?! So basically, this humble broth, made simply by simmering beef or chicken bones (though duck or fish bone broth is a thing too) with some vinegar and spices, is pretty much the world’s most perfect health and beauty food.

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Peanut Butter Healthy French Toast

Peanut Butter Healthy French Toast

French toast is one of my favorite comfort foods, so I’ve been determined to make it healthier, especially before I get little M obsessed with it too.

The best and easiest way to make healthy french toast is changing the kind of bread you use.  I like to use sprouted, whole grain bread instead of the typical crappy white bread, which instantly makes it a healthier, fibrous breakfast, instead of a high glycemic sugar bomb for the body.

The other healthy modifications include omitting sugar or maple syrup, and using peanut butter and fruit instead!  Peanut butter is naturally sweet, and makes this yummy french toast even higher in protein, which is great.  If you need even more sweetness in the batter, you can mash up a banana and mix it in, but I personally find that the peanut butter plus some added berries when serving makes the french toast sweet enough, and I can feel good about serving it to my toddler.

5 Toddler Bad Eating Habits to Break NOW

5 Toddler Bad Eating Habits to Break NOW

As parents, we hold the power to set our children up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and a happy relationship with food and their bodies.  The eating habits we enforce now, from the very beginning of their relationships with food, can determine how they will eat for the rest of their lives. But sadly, in this country (and pretty much only in this country), parents are set up for failure almost from the get-go with bad eating habits that have become the cultural norm when it comes to feeding babies, toddlers, and kids.

In my holistic nutrition practice, all of my weight loss clients have one (or more) of these three bad habits in common: snacking, emotional eating, and eating on the run.  So much of the struggle with losing weight and keeping it off comes down to breaking these three bad eating habits, but when you’ve been eating that way all your life, or when you come from a household where those habits were the norm, it is much, much harder to move past them. Growing up with bad eating habits can set you up for a frustrating years long battle with weight, dieting, stress eating, body hatred, hypoglycemia, and in more extreme cases, even type 2 diabetes!

Thankfully, it’s not too late to break these bad eating habits, even if your child is no longer a toddler!  But it takes commitment, and a bit of going against the grain.  These bad habits are so deeply ingrained in our parenting culture that it can feel weird to be the one parent who’s kid isn’t attached to a cup of Goldfish or Cheerios.  But I promise you, it is so, so worth it.  You will save yourself and your child so many power struggles, tantrums, and frustrations around mealtimes. And down the road, you can feel proud that your kids have healthy eating habits and are set up for a lifetime of healthy weight, strong bodies, and efficient metabolisms.

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How this nutritionist feeds her baby

Nutritionist Feeds Her Baby

As a holistic nutritionist, I put a lot of thought into what and how I want to feed my baby. Her first foods and the way she is fed set her up for a lifetime of healthy eating and a happy relationship with food.

I did a bunch of research before I settled on baby-led weaning and a very specific set of first foods for my little one. Check out this video where I discuss what I love about baby-led weaning, what foods I feed my little one, and how I’m setting her up for a lifetime of happy, healthy eating!

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