Most of you know that sweet Claira has had a cranky few weeks. When looking back over the time, we are certainly able to see why. Poor little girl. There have been many late nights. She has had tons of fun but no routine. She has been eating nightmarish meals (I assume all responsibility). The other night we were eating lovely fresh potatoes out of mom and dad's garden and Claira wanted to take the peeling off. We overheard her saying "I can't find the tab to pull it off". Phil commented that maybe we have had a bit too much fast food!
So…for the past three days it has been "boot camp" around here. A healthy breakfast with very little sugar. A walk to the park with lots of fun playtime in the fresh air. A healthy lunch with whole grains, protein and some fruit. An outing in the afternoon with an exit strategy if her behaviour deteriorated. I make sure she has snacks and a glass of milk or water ready before she begins to unwind. Supper carries the expectation of sitting down until she is finished (no more wandering to and from the table), and a healthy dessert. And finally, an early trip to bed where she can play and talk and read for a few minutes before laying her head down in happy sleep. The days have been lovely, and I finally feel like I am in charge of things.
I did a bit of meandering online, and found some food items frequently listed on the "no-no" lists. They include hot dogs, any meats with nitrites, heavily coloured foods, foods with hidden high sugar, juice, and overly processed foods. Salty foods are not great, as they make kids thirsty for sweet drinks. None of these are a surprise, but when I took the time to think about it, many of them had snuck into our daily routine.
I am trying to make a list of healthy snacks or lunches that I can refer to when I am staring into the pantry. The list I have come up with so far includes:
- whole wheat crackers or noodles
- fruit cups, canned in juice is better than canned in light syrup - not the best for the environment though
- tomato soup with pureed vegetables added (easy when there is a baby around eating pureed veggies!)
- chicken noodles soup with more water and whole wheat alphabet noodles added (cuts down on the salt, adds fiber)
- fresh fruit and veggies (of course!)
- yogurt - works as a fruit dip too
- smoothie - now that I have a magic bullet!
- oatmeal - homemade so I can control the sugar
- cooked chicken (buy a rotisserie chicken to have on hand in the fridge)
- pasta salad with whole wheat noodles (mixed with regular noodles is a good idea)
- cheese is also great, but Claira made a decision that she does not like it. Maybe if it came in the shape of Tigger or Dora or something…
I find it has been really helpful to make up a plate for Claira at snack time, rather than giving her an entire bag of animal crackers over at the painting table for example (did i say that out loud?!) and then to sit with her while she eats. Easier said than done, but it helps her eat.
My next job is to find some healthy homemade cookies recipes.
Now… your job is to help me by adding to the list. Just add a comment with 1 or 2 or 30 ideas. [Mom - you need to add your ideas too] Can't wait to read read read!