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Moms are all too familiar with their kiddos rejecting meals. I would love to feed my kid a healthy, freshly prepared meal complete with organic raw veggies every day, but realistically this is not what my two year old desires…and time may not be on my side depending on what the other baby needs at the moment. So…yea, we do kid pizza, we do hot dogs, we do meatballs.
As hard as I try to purchase “healthy” kid food, the nutritional components of these products don’t necessarily line up with my PERSONAL healthy lifestyle guidelines…BUT I think it’s safe to say that if your kid is a bit picky, you’ll try EVERYTHING to get them to eat. So nuggets it is…and at least he eats MOST of it…
That’s when the trouble starts. I don’t know about you, but when my little guy won’t eat his last chicken nugget I don’t want to just TOSS it! Actually…I do. I want to toss it in my mouth. So I do that…but not before dipping it in the leftover ranch, because…hey, it’s ranch.
I’ve been reflecting on how often I do this. Turns out, it is a lot. Generally, I don’t even bother to log it with my food app because it’s not like it’s a whole meal…or a real snack for that matter.
Yesterday I made my bub a SECOND PBJ sandwich because he said he wanted it. Rookie move, Mama, you know he isn’t really hungry, he just wants to lick the jelly off of the plate. Surprisingly, he ate about half of it and proceeded with said jelly licking. Then he was “all done”. There were approximately 6 little squares of PBJ left, and he left the best part…the middle, who does that?! The crust can enjoy itself in the trash, but the middle?! COME ON! I tried to coax him to eat the few center pieces by explaining that there was no better part of a PBJ…but he wasn’t buying it.
So I just ate the middle pieces and called it good. No big deal right? I got to thinking about it. How many calories did I actually consume? I did a little research on kid food.
It’s a bit of an eye opener. If you had three bites of mac and cheese (which I might have done last night)…it’s almost 100 calories! You can spend 100 calories on WAY better food that will fuel your body and keep you full (apple, yogurt, avacado, almonds, hummus, peppers, carrots)! So how can I refrain from scavenging these scraps? I’ve done some Googling, polled some family and friends, and come up with a few action items that might help!
Grapefruit is great fruit
I’m not the biggest fan of grapefruit, but apparently I need to give it another shot. A study at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego revealed that people who ate half of a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds in three months. Ken Fujioka, M.D., the study’s head researcher, found that grapefruits lower your post meal levels of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar and fat metabolism.
According to WebMD, chewing gum can be a great way to curb your appetite and keep you from consuming more calories between meals. They reference a study from the University of Rhode Island that revealed gum chewers consumed less calories, refrained from high calorie treats, and burned more calories than non-gum chewers. Maybe this is why my husband is skinny….
Follow Your Nose
The New York Times has an article detailing the findings of Alan Hirsch, M.D. The Neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago says that certain aromas like peppermint, green apples, banana, and vanilla can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten! Try a whiff of that vanilla candle before cleaning up leftovers.
Even if it doesn’t seem like much, put it in a plastic baggy. They can have it as a “side” for a later meal. Then you don’t have the guilt of tossing it (until three days later when you forgot it was in the fridge…lol…jk…but seriously).
Have someone else take care of the cleanup! Teach your little ones early on to toss their scraps, ask your older kids to help with the dishes, or give the ole ball and chain a nudge to clean up so you aren’t tempted to snack on extras. I like this option because it’s less work for you AND less calories!
Ok Mamas, let’s put these tips to the test! Do you have any other methods for resisting the urge to scavenge? Let me know!