This has been a popular topic discussion amongst friends lately so decided to post on it. Again I want to reiterate, I'm not a nutritionist or doctor and this comes all based upon my own personal opinion as a teacher and mostly a mum!
Last year I began to take notice that Eva never finished her dinner. Jack and Franklin have no issues cleaning up their plate and sometimes ask for seconds, but I could count on one hand how many times she had finished everything she was given. On the rare occasion she did finish, she was so happy and proud and it made me wonder how she felt when she was constantly leaving left overs.
I don't usually do dessert during the week and to be honest its not for health purposes but more that I actually can't be bothered preparing something else and wash another five plates! However, when I have made something that takes a bit more convincing to eat, the dessert bribe works every time, which is generally a bowl of frozen berries and a tablespoon of ice cream. Not too bad?
This year I stepped it up a bit in my great scheme to get organised for what we eat and asked the kids all the dinners they like me cooking. I figured if I want them to eat what I spend time cooking every night it may as well be what I know they will eat. Nothing annoys me more than spending an hour making dinner that gets scraped in the bin. So not only did we make up our list but I watched how much each of them ate each night and reduced the amount of snacking they did in the afternoon. One of my big parent fails, but when someone like me starts to go down hill on the mood swing at 3pm, if a biscuit or five is going to stop them nagging me then I don't care. The viscous fail cycle continued though into dinner as I scraped plates of food I had made in the bin thanks to children full on Arnotts! I only had myself to be annoyed at.
I also found it amazing how they were so full and couldn't eat what I made for them yet a bowl of ice cream or another five biscuits would never be turned down! Yeah like that is going to happen.... guilty that sometimes this may or may not have happened.
So afternoon snacks became one piece of fruit and either something I had made like a muffin, something out of the tin (usually muesli bar or biscuit) or a smoothie. This was done straight after school with plenty of time to get hungry for dinner!
Dinner now made a whole hour earlier, food the kids liked eating and the right portion sizes, I felt I now had every right to make my kids finish what was on their plates. So far so good and we succeed most nights of the week. Jack is a bottomless pit and I don't think my house contains enough food for his stomach. I'm still researching just where he is putting it all and why I was not given that gift. I know for a fact it definitely came from his Dad who can eat a large pizza to himself and weigh 2kgs less the next morning. Depressing I know! Franklin seems to follow their footsteps and once he's finished his dinner will usually make a start on Eva's left overs. If he doesn't finish, I begin checking for temps as I gather he is coming down with something (never been wrong).
Link in next week and I will continue this and talk about packing lunches for preschool and school.
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