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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Meatless Monday Recipes

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The Organic Beauty Meatless MondayI get that going totally plant-based isn’t for everyone.  I myself eat seafood a couple of times a week, and have no intention of cutting it from my eating. But regardless of where you are on the omnivore-herbavore spectrum, taking at least one day out of the week to go totally meatless has some major health benefits, and is definitely worth making a regular healthy habit.

Rocking a Meatless Monday just once a week will:

  • Lower your cancer risk
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Help you lose weight
  • Reduce risk of diabetes
  • Increase lifespan
  • Improve your nutrition
  • Reduce your carbon footprint

Pretty powerful stuff for just one day of healthy plant-based eating, right??

Here are some great recipes to get you started:

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Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

By: Natasha Uspensky

The first thing everyone asks me about when transitioning into a plant-based diet is, “Where will I get my protein?”  Great news, people! There a tons of delicious vegetarian protein sources that are naturally lower in saturated, unhealthy fats and cholesterol (not to mention toxins, antibiotics, hormones, and other additives) than their plant-based counterparts.  A well-rounded plant-based diet with plenty of delicious vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds is naturally high in protein.  Getting your protein from plant-based sources decreases your risk of cancer and heart disease, increases life expectancy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and a million other benefits! Check out these amazing sources of vegan protein in the chart below!

Photo: MercyForAnimals.org

Other great vegetarian sources of protein are:

  • Organic eggs
  • Organic greek yogurt
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole grain bread

What are you favorite vegetarian protein sources?  Share in the comments below!