Part One ~ Is it Picky Eating?
I am so excited to be sharing this series with you on picky eating at home. As a Nutritionist I have worked with dozens of families with real concerns about picky eaters in their homes. And in many cases, it is a serious concern! I am also a mom of 4 children, 1 of whom has always been a picky eater, to the point that he will starve over eating what has been prepared. This is a real problem for a lot of families and in this series I will cover strategies you can use to help overcome this in your home.
This part is about identifying what a picky eater is, and when its time to be concerned from a nutritional stand point.
So what does picky eating look like? Well if you have one at home, you don't need my description of it! But here it is from a Nutritionist standpoint. Picky eating in children is when there is a flat out refusal to eat a variety of natural and nutrient dense foods. Taste, smell and texture often play a role for many children who are picky eaters, but so can colour and appearance. The concern with serious picky eaters is not only malnutrition, but in many cases an overconsumption of processed foods.
Here is what you need to know about the above reasons your child is feeling resistant to eating foods based on these criteria. They are true in your child’s mind!
Lunches they will actually eat!!
Well its official, its Back to School time, and with that comes the challenge of providing our children with not only nourishing lunches, but lunches they will actually eat!! As a mom of 4 children, and Nutritionist I know the struggles families face when it comes to packing healthy meals at school!
One of the biggest concerns I have for school age children is the amount of processed foods that can find their way into their lunch boxes. Now, I will also share that my children’s lunches are never perfect, and yes we do purchase granola bars and the occasional treats, BUT what I am talking about is the highly processed lunches that are mostly packaged foods, full of preservatives, colouring, flavourings and frankly chemicals that will NOT help your children focus!
With so many children diagnosed with learning and attention challenges, and as a mom and Nutritionist, I always tell my clients to start with what you are packing them! If you want to learn more about foods that help them focus you can read this article here.
If you want to help them to focus, then you must understand they need stable blood sugar and clean nutrition to fuel their brain. In order for this to happen we have to begin by providing them with healthy lunchbox options. Now for the moms of picky eaters who are about to leave this article, hang tight!!! I got your back with this one!! Here’s the thing, often for our picky eaters, it has a lot to do with the flavour enhancers, sugars, and chemicals that our children’s processed foods are loaded with, not the whole foods!
Think about it this way, do you get the same taste, and physical response from eating an apple as you do eating Doritos? Children’s foods are so loaded with chemicals and sugars, their body’s start to expect the chemical reaction and intense taste every time they eat something. If the food you are providing them does not offer that chemical/sugar reaction, then it often ends up on the no list! But there is a way to help re-wire them!
The challenge is to eliminate the processed options and work with your children on what they DO want in their lunches without offering the flavoured and food colouring heavy foods. Which actually brings me to Tip #1!
Do you ever feel like life is so busy, that even though we had great intentions to eat well, we often miss meals, eat total "crap" food on the go, and at the end of the day feel exhausted, moody and bloated? Pretty picture isn't it?! I know this is not a positive opening statement, but after years of working with busy and exhausted people its become the norm for so many!!
Eating Well does NOT take more time, nor does it cost more money!
I want to give you my Top Tips to helping you eat better all while reducing the time and money investment. If you have read previous blog posts on here you may be familiar with some of these already. I will post links to other articles that cover many of these tips in greater detail.
My Tips For Nutrition Made Easy
1. Plan your meals and snacks. Yes I am totally saying it again. If you fail to plan, it is really very hard to stay on track! Check out this article on how to plan and download my free menu planning worksheets!
2. Make Freezer Bag Smoothies. Having a smoothie ready to be emptied into your blender when running out the door will help you get great nutrition while on the go!! Make 5-7 bags every week. Check out more info here!
3. Grocery Shop Online. If you have the option to order your groceries online, do it!! You can update your cart all week and choose a pick up time. This will save you hours each week and allow you to purchase ONLY the food you want to have in your home! You can earn a $10 grocery coupon by clicking this link!
4. Plan for a RESET every month! Purposely planning for a 10 Day RESET each month will allow you to focus on healthy habits that will carry over into the rest of your month. We offer group RESETS every month!! Learn more here!
These are simple and incredibly effective strategies for Improving your Nutrition Conveniently!! All four will have a positive impact on your healthy habits. My suggestion? Start with one, become routine with it, and then add another one!
What Do You Want To Learn About?
There are so many great topics we can offer education and guidance one!! I would love for you to share what you want to learn more on. Send me a email here!
I want to help Families eat healthy and live healthy. I know the challenges of a busy lifestyle and I know that our health as a whole suffers when we don't find the time to create realistic soltuions. I am the Nutritionist for REAL Families. Thank you for Reading and sharing my articles!! Be Sure to follow me on Facebook!
Do you ever feel totally overwhelmed with all of the health information and advice out there? I know I sure do!! Every time a new fad comes out I am in a position to look at it objectively, and ask myself a few questions that will also come in handy for yourself when trying to decide if the next health trend is really for you or not.
Lets look at these two things more closely........
Is there scientific evidence this works? This question will help you rule out the testimonial based marketing that so many companies and programs use. “Just Look at Sally’s results, in just 4 weeks!!” Well my question to that is, why did it work for Sally? What EXACTLY did Sally follow? How did this work in Sally’s Body? Is there is actual human research on it? (trust me you don't need to be a research geek to ask these qualifying questions!)
If what you are considering is backed by some real human evidence, and there is something clinically to support it, or even statistical evidence to support it, then GO for it!! If they can prove it works outside of a bunch of testimonies, then you know you are looking at something legitimate.
(Let me give you an example of statistical proof: We know statistically that people who follow a plant based, whole food diet, have much lower risks for some diseases including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The China Study written by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, is a statistical study on the role of plant based nutrition backed by actual science!!)
Second will this fit your lifestyle long-term? Let me tell you something, heart to heart, as a Nutritionist there is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that drives me more insane than “Quick Fix Programs”, that offer zero long term stability in results! Restrictions are temporary, and perpetual weight gains and losses is problematic over time, as the muscle loss which is associated with restrictive diets is damaging to your metabolism, and your muscles are what burn calories when you are at rest! More muscles, more calories you burn! Feed your muscles and throw in some daily exercise, and you will have incredible and lasting results!
Now I often get asked “Alisa if we shouldn't do restrictive programs, why do you run short 10-21 Day programs?” and my answer to that, is these are not restrictive programs. These 10-21 Day Jump Starts help my clients focus on eliminating unhealthy habits, like processed foods, and eating late at night. They are never calorie or carbohydrate restrictive, but instead focus on incorporating healthy lifestyle habits you can live with long after the initial timeline has been met.
Bottom line if you want long-term results, you need to create a long-term lifestyle. Sometimes the best changes are the small ones you learn to live with daily. For example eating oatmeal for Breakfast on the weekdays helps stabilize blood sugar during the workweek and curve cravings due to blood sugar instability. Also drinking a plant-based smoothie every day increases your daily nutrition intake, feeds healthy gut bacteria and helps keep your body feeling nourished for hours!! I personally use Complete at my house, since is a Vegan, Gluten Free and Non GMO Shake mix that is safe for my entire family!
If you want Great Results you can keep, you want to follow protocols that are PROVEN to work, and incorporate strategies you can live with.
Now don't forget I have an Educational Workshop Happening at the end of this month!! July 31st, 6pm EST
I am running a FREE Online Workshop on how to create your own health program!!!
You will learn:
Now you need to Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-create-your-own-health-program-tickets-48065136116
Once you are Registered you will get a email later this week to join my mailing list. The Access Codes are ONLY going out through my mailing list so be sure to Register and CONFIRM your subscription for access to this free online workshop!
Want to know how to create your own Health Program?
Do you have health goals but are not sure where to start? If you are like most people who want to make changes and up your game when it comes to your diet and lifestyle, But feel totally overwhelmed by all of the information and options out there, then I hear you!!
Even as a nutritionist it takes me a great deal of time to weed through all of the information and I truly understand how you are feeling!
My goal as a practitioner is to help you weed through it all, and find solutions that work for your unique body and your unique lifestyle. That is exactly why I teach programs like The Women’s Natural Health Program workshop, where women attend and create their own hormone balancing program based on the information we discuss.
I have ONLY done my job if I am leaving you more capable then when we met. My job is to decipher the information, and put it together in a way that allows you to take what works for you and apply it to your life. Information is powerful when its laid out in a way that works for us as individuals.
That's why I have decided to offer a FREE Online Workshop for anyone who wants to take charge of their own health and create their own health programs.
July 31st At 6pm EST I will be running a totally Complimentary online workshop for you showing you how to create your own health program.
In this workshop we will cover
Space is super limited for the live event and the only access is through my mailing list. On …… I will email out the link to Register. If you are not on my list you wont have access!!
Weight Loss is a HOT Topic as a Nutritionist. Over the past 14 years I have ran thousands of weight loss programs. Weight Loss is definitely the #1 Reason most people want the support of a Nutritionist. Now that being said, clients come looking for weight loss, and we end up correcting poor digestion, determining food intolerances, clearing up skin conditions, stabilizing blood sugar levels and improving immune function, Because the right diet doesn't just promote a healthier weight, it promotes a healthier body!
So since summer is officially upon us, and as Canucks we tend to eat a whole bunch of the wrong foods, and drink way too much of the wrong beverages, while we enjoy the precious few months of nice weather we do get, I thought I would share some tips to not only help you prevent weight gains.
If you are hoping to shed a few pounds, Let me share my 5 Tips to Summer Weight Loss.
#1 - Avoid Restrictions. Yep, I’m totally serious. See the problem I have with low calorie, low carbohydrate, and low fat, is for one thing, none of these focus on eating the right foods, and second, Protein (muscle) is a faster source of fuel than fatty tissue. If you follow a restrictive program you WILL burn muscle. Your Muscle also happens to be your metabolism, and what is burning calories when you are at rest! Restrictive programs result in a couple things…...
One you wont be able to maintain the weight loss once you stop your restrictive program (many gain more back than they lost!) and ….... Two it will be harder to lose weight in the future. If you are a chronic dieter who has hit a point where you are not able to lose weight, then the above may have already happened to you!
Watch this video I did for an event where over 600 people joined us to learn “why they couldn't lose weight”
Do you ever feel like there is simply not enough time in the day? OR that you WOULD eat healthier if only you had a plan to follow? Well there are definitely some strategies I use in my practice to help my clients simplify healthy eating!
Here are my TOP 4 Time Savers For Healthy Eating....
1. Menu Plan!! If you have been following this blog, or watched my recent video on Facebook, Menu Planning is the #1 way to get the right foods into your household and body!! Click here for my Menu Planning Strategies and Free Menu Planning Worksheets!
2. Weekly Prep Time. Now if this one makes your roll your eyes, then I am definitely speaking to you!!! Seriously I know prep time, takes time, and your likely thinking its time you don't have, BUT I am here to tell you, you DO have the time, because prep time SAVES YOU TIME! (Totally just mom rhymed there!!)
Let me explain……. Aim to find one day and time, each week you can be committed to 30-60 minutes of meal prep. During this time you can: Cut veggies, cook chicken, cook rice, cook oats and make up some freezer bag Smoothies (see #3). If you are feeling really adventurous you can even make a few salads in mason Jars. (see image below)
We all want our children to be strong willed, we just sometimes don't want to have them raise them when they are!! And when they have made up their minds around what they will and wont eat, goodness me!! Negotiations are tough and often leave parents feeling frustrated. Hang Tight I have a simple solution!!
So what can we do? Well my advice? Keep it simple! There are two tricks we use at home that truly help me sleep better when it comes to my children’s nutrition.
1. I let them participate in the planning of meals and snacks. I even encourage them to add their favourite fruits and veggies to our family grocery list. You can check out my last article on menu planning here.
2. I make them a smoothie daily.
“I don't expect perfection, but I do know that with the right knowledge, we can make better choices, and if we make better choices, we can feel better and if we feel better, we can live better.”
Do you find meal planning tough? If you do you are in the same boat as many other parents who want to eat healthy, but with a lack of planning and Busy Schedules, healthy eating simply becomes, just another unchecked chore on a long list of family desires.
I think the biggest misconception about menu planning is how much time it actually takes to do it. What if I told you that planning a healthy menu each week, would not only save you time, but also save your family money?!! I’m serious!! Learning the skill of menu planning can help de-stress your busy lifestyle, help your family eat healthier, AND save your family money. (Read to bottom I have a free worksheet for you!)
Let me share my personal journey with menu planning. I am a busy working mom of four children, and even though my profession of being a Nutritionist means I know how to do better, it doesn't mean I always follow, what I knew I should be doing. Our biggest challenge as a family is being super busy, and not feeling like we have enough time to do all the healthy habits I know we should be doing!
I have always aimed to be a Nutritionist for REAL families. I don't expect perfection, but I do know that with the right knowledge, we can make better choices, and if we make better choices, we can feel better and if we feel better, we can live better.
Sounds simple right? Well for most busy families it’s actually really tough! That is why teaching my clients how to menu plan is one of my most favourite things to do! I know what its like to not follow a plan, and frankly its pretty scary!! If I fail to plan, my family like most, will be stuck with fast and convenient options, which we all know is junk calories. These junk calories when over consumed, are harmful long-term to our health! We only need to take a quick peek at the national cancer rates, to gauge just how harmful this convenient and fast paced lifestyle has become!
So as promised here is how you can Eat Healthier, Save Time and Save Money with Menu Planning.
Need a Menu Planning Worksheet? Finish reading for yours!
1) Start With Dinner. Dinnertime for most families is where it really falls apart! Especially if you are busy with extracurricular activities. Eating a healthy evening meal is a great way to prevent evening snacking, and is also one of the most important meals to be mindful about the type of calories you are putting in your body. Lets face it, Pizza three nights a week is going to show up somewhere on your body!
Every Sunday at our house is menu planning and shopping day. I sit with my coffee in the morning and poll my family by asking, “what dinners do you guys want to eat this week?” This gives everyone a say into what meals we eat.
If they choose a Dinner idea that is less than healthy I look for the healthy alternative, for Example:
Alisa Herriman has been researching and teaching Nutrition since 2003. Leaving her job in the health care industry to share her passion for healthy living, Alisa travels all over Canada sharing her mission and teaching communities how to prevent and fight disease with Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.