Health can seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb. Especially when it comes to children. There are so many things out there to do for children, or to give to children to keep them healthy. I have found for myself that the simpler I keep it the better. I am sure there are some good concoctions out there and tons of great DIY health solutions. But I am too busy for most of those. I don’t have the money to spend on a lot of them either. SIMPLE is my language when it comes to small children.
I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but even things that should be easy get too complicated for me. My friends would all tell me, oh just use the little baby masher and mash up your food for dinner for them. Well, by the time I got out the masher and mashed the food that I already spent time cooking, and then threw away the skins that didn’t mash, and then fed the baby, and then still had to clean the masher…well, it didn’t feel so simple by the time that process was through and I usually just reverted back to jars of baby-food. This time around, however, it dawned on me that there are several things I have and make that are already quite mushy and can be given to my six month old without that process. Avocados, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and bananas have been my go to along with her oatmeal. I fill that in with little organic pouches of baby food that I found at Aldi’s for .79 cents apiece which is way less than the 1.79 at Detwiler’s or Publix.
For my 4 year old, this Whole 30 diet change has been extremely difficult. Since he is child number 5 he had gotten away with eating a lot of filler foods, and was often discovered sneaking whatever junk or candy he could find in the house. With all of that out of the house, and lots of veggies and meat on his plate, he was often crying or sad. One day, it was just he and I at the house, and he hadmeat, veggie, and fruit on his plate. We started talking about the food, and he had a lot of questions about why he had to eat it, so I led him through the food groups in a very simple way, and explained the purpose for each of them. In 4 year old simple language, of course.
I explained how meat and nuts have protein which gives us strong muscle, and we both made a muscle together and laughed. We talked about how vegetables have lots of vitamins and keep us from getting sick, and how fruit has vitamins too, and they have healthy sugars that give us energy. He jumped up and down and laughed some more. We talked about bread having carbs that give energy, but when we eat too much they make us tired. We pretended to sleep and be tired. And he and I discussed why sugar is bad and how it feeds sickness. This really helped him understand why I was not allowing it in the house. If you need any resources for you child, there are a lot of helpful ideas and activities on this site here to help toddlers and young children get excited about eating healthy. It is important that they understand the why of what we are doing, so they can make good choices.
I am also considering in investing in Lunchbots for my kids school lunches. I would have done it already, except it is rather pricey when purchasing for 5 kids. I love the fact that the inserts are stainless steel, and stay in one piece for the dishwasher. It would save me buying sandwich bags, and the fruit and veggies they take wouldn’t get mushy which would be a huge help. It is hard to pack a bunch of little containers, but since there are dividers in the Lunchbots already they are perfect for healthy lunch options such as avocados and olives and berries and other things that are tough to pack. Sometimes it is worth a little investment to have something that works. An investment into the health of my children is a wonderful thing, and could save them (and us) so much in medical bills, not to mention personal health as they get older.
I would love to have feedback from all of you on what has helped you establish intentional health with your young child or baby. What do you do that has helped develop good habits, or saved you time in the health and wellness department? Does anyone know of a way to get Lunchbots or something similar for less?
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