There are days that every meal goes amazingly well. Where the girls are thrilled with everything on their plates and the boys eat without hesitation. And…there are days when it takes a little more encouragement or mom trickery to get them to eat. Those are definitely the days when it would be easier to appease their demands and give them a bowl of watermelon or a muffin. And, you know what if that’s what you need to do every once in a while…go for it. I am a mom and I understand that mental health it also important.
So, be prepared for those days and when you have a day with extra downtime, make some “emergency” rations that will still satisfy their nutritional needs, while comforting them with something “easy” to eat. Just make a big batch and pop them in the freezer.
I personally do not allow for substitutions because for me, it is easier maintain consistency with the message of eat what’s on your plate. Sometimes I do lure them along with an after dinner treat if I feel like that is a necessary bait to eat the less favorite veggies.
Here is a great sample plate from last night’s dinner. The burgers were a combo of water buffalo (from Miller’s Organic Farm), pastured pork and grass finished ground beef (both from Southchestnut Farm) and topped with raw sharp cheddar cheese from ( Miller’s Organic Farm). I also served baked NC sweet potato (from Tart Farms), avocado (from Costco) tomato and basil salad (from my garden), zucchini noodles (from Tart Farms) with sauteed garlic, sage and oregano (from my garden) and home fermented purple sauerkraut with caraway seeds. I served the burger over some crispy romaine lettuce (on sale at Whole Foods :)). The dip was a homemade combination of fermented ketchup, avocado oil mayo and yellow mustard.
Everything was gobbled up by everyone but William wanted nothing to do with his zoodles. I told him if he was full (as he claimed), that was fine but please don’t ask for treats after dinner. He immediately was disappointed and countered with a deal…one bite and then I can have a treat…no deal. Two bites…no deal. We settled on three combo bites using his avocado bits remaining on his plate to assist him in tolerating the zucchini in his mouth. Amazing!
His treat was cinnamon dusted toasted coconut chips with soaked and roasted sunflower seeds. I also put in a couple dates.
This is the time when we can model a consistent real food diet for the kids. You can set boundaries without losing your sanity. It may be difficult, really difficult, at times but that’s ok. Because I would rather shoulder the difficulty on me now than place the health burden on them later.
I don’t know if the kids will fully uphold this lifestyle forever. Who knows what what their bright little futures hold for them? My hope is that I give their growing bodies the best raw materials I know to give them. I want them to know that you can truly change your health, improve your function and prevent disease with what you choose to put in your mouth. If they keep that with them forever…that’s a win in my book.