Food is a powerful part of our life. We NEED it but we don’t always know how to use it.
It gives us energy and strength but it can also scare us and make us weak.
Food has a way of evoking every single emotion.
The love and joy we feel when we eat cake at our Birthday or share a special meal with a friend, the sorrow we endure when we binge eat after a loss, the abnormal amounts of sugar we tend to reach for when we’re “hangry". Having a ‘sweet tooth’ isn’t a joke… and dental bills are not laughing matters.
As a mother with littles ones, I was and am fully aware that this whole ‘food thing’ will take time but it is so important. We are teaching little blank palates to love flavors and textures that have never entered their world.
Now, with two year olds I’m realizing the importance of teaching my children to really love food and have fun with it… getting them involved with the entire process - planting something, watching it grow, cooking along with me, enjoying something they can say they helped make. Using fun colors and shapes that can tell stories. This has been an “ah ha” experience for me. My children are eating better when we make it a family affair. Food and the entire process has a way to transfer into other areas of life - giving them confidence and the power to take risks and challenge themselves. I want them to appreciate food and I truly believe this desire will lead to a healthy way of living for all of us.
…but here are my questions, since I know this isn’t fool proof.
I feel like we do pretty well inside the house, but when we’re out and about I’m running into the same old eating challenges.
- How can I help my children explore new foods outside the home? For us, it seems to be a comfort thing, so we tend to stick to the basics which are not always as healthy as we would eat at home
- When we’re running out the door, I’m always looking for snacks that don’t take much time to grab and go. In a hurry we’ll tend to grab the less healthy food because it might be pre-packaged/simple and well, easy to grab and go. What are some quick, easy + healthy, "on the go" snack ideas for toddlers?