Podcast Episode 171: When Your Kids Only Want Snacks – A Listener Q&A for this Your Child Explained episode

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

We’re sticking with the food theme this week, today addressing listener Tim’s concerns about kids and food:

“Why are my toddlers not eating fruits/vegetables? Why are they only eating snacks (cereal, popcorn, Lunchables, grrrrrr)?”

In March of 2016 I made the whole month about food – how to handle picky eaters, how to prepare food without going bankrupt or spending hours in the kitchen – I even created a Guide to Food and Family, with recipes and food hacks, which you’ll find in the sidebar at weturnedoutokay.com!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/171 to listen and to read about my responses to Tim’s questions (and thank you, Tim, for asking : ) Continue reading “Podcast Episode 171: When Your Kids Only Want Snacks – A Listener Q&A for this Your Child Explained episode”

064: Feeding Kids Beyond Nuggets and Fries: A Your Child Explained Episode

Today, in this Your Child Explained episode, where we always get into the mind of our kids’ heads, we’re looking at exposure to new foods from the perspective of our kids.

March has been – and continues to be – all about food here at We Turned Out Okay, and today’s episode pertains to two interviews from this month: my conversation with mom and author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids Jeannie Marshall in episode 60 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/060 to listen) and my conversation with mom and author of the cookbook My Kitchen In Rome Rachel Roddy in episode 63 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/063 for that one). Those were two fantastic conversations, I learned so much about kids, food, and the interactions of one with the other while talking to these two great women! I know you’ll love our chats, so if you haven’t yet, go back and take a listen – that said, neither episode is a prerequisite to today’s.

Jeannie and Rachel are friends who live in Rome, Italy; each has a son in the Roman school system – and both are quick to note the differences between the school lunches they remember growing up in Canada and England respectively, and school lunches their sons enjoy each day.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/064 for further notes from today’s Your Child Explained!

Similar to the school lunches that you probably remember, Jeannie and Rachel ate a lot of frozen pizza, French fries, and limp salads in school. In Rome – as in most places in Italy – each school has a chef, who makes fresh and extremely varied dishes each day, serving them family-style and eating with the children and teachers! Kids are exposed to foods in Italy that we’d never dream of sharing with them here in North America or England; in fact Rachel’s 4 1/2-year-old son Luca came home the other day talking about how he “didn’t like the car coffee” served at school. Rachel thought briefly “they are giving my son coffee?”… and then realized that the phrase car coffee is a phonetic pronunciation of the Italian word for artichokes. Luca may not have liked them, but he was exposed to artichokes in school that day!

And that is how kids get out of picky eating, become more adventurous and able to handle different foods. We can’t expect our kids to be exposed to only the same nine or 10 foods in their young lives, and then suddenly become adventurous (or even less picky). It’s up to us parents to change their exposure at home – to make nuggets be the treat and variety be the norm.

I know how difficult that is; episode 59 from the first week in March was all about how my own picky eater turned adventurous (listen here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/059). Through our experiences in my own family, I know that it can be done; I hope as you listen to today’s episode you gain some ideas and some hope in moving from nuggets and fries to other great and yummy foods out in the world!

Key Links

Click here to sign up for the “5 Ways to Handle Your Picky Eater” Free Guide!

Click here for my conversation with Jeannie Marshall in episode 60, and here for her website, JeannieMarshall.com.

Click here for my conversation with Rachel Roddy in episode 63, and here for her weekly food column in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/059 for my story about helping one picky eater become… well, less picky!

My forthcoming book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, is for you if you need a toolbox of tools to handle every tantrum, keep your cool, and enjoy life with your young child! To get your free, printable, fridge-worthy anti-tantrum infographic, as well as to be notified immediately when the book launches in Amazon – it will be free for three short days! – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.

063: How to Approach Feeding Our Kids – and Ourselves; A Conversation with Mom and Cookbook Author Rachel Roddy

RachelRoddy_July2015_ElenaHeatherwick-12Continuing in our month-long series about feeding kids, today I have the privilege of talking with award-winning author and blogger Rachel Roddy.

Before visiting Italy a decade ago, Rachel enjoyed a great career as an actress. At 32, however, she found herself in Sicily – with no desire whatsoever to go home to England. Rachel wandered around Sicily and then Rome, learning the language, loving the culture, and recognizing that her approach to food and eating needed to change.

She’d never thought of herself as a writer, but before long Rachel had started the blog Racheleats.wordpress.com. She’d also rented an apartment in a quirky, fascinating neighborhood in Rome, fallen in love and had a child; choosing, in effect, a tranquil, homey life in which food plays a nourishing and delightful part rather than the life she left behind of an actress “with many eating disorders.”

Along with her partner, Vincenzo, and her son’s father, Rachel is raising 4 1/2-year-old Luca; our conversation ranges over what it’s like to raise a child in a culture that is not your own, food and the young child, and also about Rachel’s own childhood and the part food has always played in her own life.

Click here to read the full notes on this podcast episode at weturnedoutokay.com/063!

Rachel’s beloved Roman neighborhood is often called the Fifth Quarter, and when her first cookbook came out in 2015 in England, Rachel gave it that name; just last month – February 2016 – this cookbook arrived in the States, now with the name My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking. It took me about three seconds while checking it out on Amazon to decide that I needed this book! I promise you, I have never looked back; it’s a great resource for someone like me, part Italian and raised with both the culture and food.

Rachel has led such an interesting life, and over the course of it has given a lot of thought to food. She shares:

  • why every time we put a home-cooked meal on the table we instigate a “quiet riot”

thoughts on how, even in a place like Italy where people pride themselves on the quality of their food, corporate greed is having an influence

  • great advice for parents who are struggling to get healthy food on the dinner table: learn about where your food comes from

Having started life in London, England, Rachel has a delightful British accent. I know that is just one of the many things you’ll love in listening to this episode!

Key Links:

Connect with Rachel at her blog, racheleats.wordpress.com, and by reading her weekly column, Kitchen Sink Tales, in the great British newspaper The Guardian.

My Kitchen in Rome, the American addition of Rachel’s cookbook, is available in Amazon; click here to check it out (I bet that, like me, you will not be able to resist purchasing it 🙂

Friend-of-the-podcast Jeannie Marshall, author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids, initially connected me with Rachel; listen to our conversation from We Turned Out Okay episode 60 here, and here is a link to her amazing book in Amazon.

Rachel brings up a favorite book of hers, What to Eat by Hattie Ellis, as part of her advice about getting healthy food on the dinner table and into our young kids; check that book out here.

059: How to Get Your Kids to Eat, Part One

042303 02aWhat’s your experience with your young kids and food?

Do they eat what seems like a balanced meal sometimes – and then other times reject anything and everything you put in front of them?

Have you ever felt judged about your kid’s eating, either by friends or relatives – or maybe by the pediatrician?

This month on We Turned Out Okay, we’ll dig into food and kids, and hopefully by the end of March you’ll have some more clarity on what can seem like a super-cloudy subject!

We’ve got three great interviews with guests you’re going to love – I couldn’t help but include one extra conversation about food, weeknight chaos, and families, coming up in the middle of the month – and two Your Child Explained episodes, where we try to see everything from the perspective of our kids. And finally, two Just-You-and-Me episodes to bookend the month of March!

Today, we start off with the disaster that was our approach to food during our first years as parents, and what I did to fix that.

When our oldest, now 15, visited the pediatrician for his three-year-old annual visit, the doctor had two questions for me: “what does Max eat every day, and what is his exercise level?”

… I had nothin’. How could I tell her that Max’s four food groups at that time were 1) Cheez–Its, 2) Macaroni and Cheese, 3) Actual Cheese, and 4) The Occasional Banana? How could I tell her that his exercise level was nil?

That day, I realized that it wasn’t just Max going down this terrible path; Ben and I were eating terribly, and not getting proper exercise as well!

It was time to start making some changes.

First, I started cooking again; I experimented with muffins, figured out a recipe that Max loved, that was decently healthy – at least, better than what I could find in the store – and most importantly that kept him actually full until lunchtime.

Grab that recipe – and check out the show notes for this episode – by clicking here or going to weturnedoutokay.com/059!

I made those muffins every week or so for years, they are that good! Because of the chronic illness I “acquired” 4 1/2 years ago, I haven’t made them at all in recent years. Until one day in the fall of 2015, I finally felt able – it was such fun to see the reactions of the kids as they first smelled them baking and then tasted them for the first time in years! (My recipe for Maple Oat Muffins is down at the end of these show notes for you to try 🙂

Those muffins were the start of many years of small, positive changes – not just Max’s health but the health of our whole family has improved as a result!

Key Links:

The book that paved the way for nearly all our healthy changes: The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

My friend Heather Kempskie, formerly of baystateparent magazine, came on the show twice last summer to talk about family adventures: click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/020 to hear about the buildup to Heather and her family’s first RV trip, and click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/027 for the trip postmortem!

The book I’m writing for you, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, will be free for three short days when it first launches in Amazon, hopefully April 3! To get notified right away when it launches – so you can grab it for free – and to get your fridge-worthy anti-tantrum, printable infographic, click here or go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.

Maple Oat Muffins

1) preheat oven to 350°; grease 12 muffin cups or drop liners into them

2) in mixing bowl, cream together: 4 Tablespoons softened butter (one half stick) and 1/2 cup sugar

3) in a smaller bowl, combine: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt

4) mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture; add 1 1/2 cup whole, organic, rolled oats

5) add 1/2 cup milk (we use 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk with great results) and 1/2 cup maple syrup; mix until just combined – over mixing can cause the muffins to be tough

6) divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups; fill each cup about three quarters full, and keep any extra batter for a second round

7) bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until, when you press lightly on the top of a muffin, it springs back

8) enjoy!