We know that it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to feeding ourselves and our families. When you are contending with picky eaters, time constraints, and sleep deprivation, meal planning and food prep can often feel overwhelming. The BVTMB team along with our sponsor, Healthy Living, is here to provide some fresh perspective and inspiration in the kitchen! From meal ideas to how to feed those picky eaters, we are excited to talk about all things food these next few weeks in our “Growing Up Gourmet, Beyond the PB&J” series.
How we manage to be in the cookie business and limit sweets in our house!
Like many mom’s making sure my family eats healthy is a priority for me. I general, we have fairly good eating habits, with lots of home cooked meals, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks. We don’t eat out much and limit the amount of processed food we have at home.
Unlike many households, we have sweets in our house all the time because I bake and sell cookies. So limiting sweets became a bit of a balancing act and over the years we have learned some tips and tricks that help us limit sweets and stick with healthier alternatives.
1. Getting taste buds used to less sugary foods
When my daughter switched to solid foods, I made all her food. We started her with avocado, oatmeal and whole grain porridge. When she got a little older, we switched to homemade soups made with veggies, mung beans, spinach and lentils. She eats homemade plain yogurt (made weekly by my mom) and has never developed a taste for flavored yogurt.
2. Not using sweets as rewards
We had to learn that offering sweet rewards is counterproductive and it was teaching our daughter that sweets were more important since they were used as a reward. We try to keep sweets separate and not emphasize them as rewards for eating other foods or good behavior.
3. Not depriving of all sweets
This was not hard to get behind, as a family we try not to restrict any foods. We want our daughter to have a good relationship with food including sweets and think that restricting sweets might make her overeat sweets given the chance.
4. Dessert is not a part of dinner
We don’t have dessert every night. If my daughter is hungry for a snack after dinner, she can have fruit, yogurt or a cheese stick.
5. Being mindful at the grocery store
I try to stock the fridge and pantry with a good ratio of healthy, sweets and snacks. I also try to keep string cheese, washed fruit and cut up veggies in the fridge so she can just grab healthy snacks when she is hungry.
6. Healthy beverages
Our daughter hardly ever drinks sugar sweetened beverages, has never had a soda and only drinks watered down fruit juices occasionally. She drinks water all day, and has sparkling water or milk with her meals.
7. Giving our daughter control over what she eats
Understanding that we won’t always be there to help my daughter with her food choices, helping her learn how to make good choices with food is important. We talk to her about making healthy food choices to keep her body healthy and strong.
8. Actions speak louder than words
Having healthy eating habits as a family shows our daughter that we model the behavior that we want to see in her. It would be hypocritical to eat three cookies when I only want her to have one.