Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fresh Baby: Our Healthy Eating Starts Now


How much water do we actually drink in a day? What is the right amount of food for a preschooler's plate at each meal? What about for our plate? How often do similar questions cross our minds? And how often do we bounce them right back out?Does anyone else feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to food, meal planning and nutrition?!

The Dr. Jekyll in me strives for more fresh and natural ingredients, and balanced and wholesome meals. The cranky rebel in me [MRS. Hyde] resents doing math to eat and wants affordable, family-friendly, hassle-free meals!

Preparing meals that actually meet our bodies' needs can feel like a never-ending juggling act between the food we have in the house, the money we have in the bank, what we feel like eating, and what we ought to be eating.

I was recently introduced to Fresh Baby, a company dedicated to helping parents raise healthy kids and to making fresh and natural foods easy, convenient, and fun. I'm loving their blog Peas & Carrots HERE! I especially love that their recipes were developed to be convenient for anyone, regardless of income or location.

After using a few of their products over the last month, I'm excited to share our experience with you!

Get Moving

love that Leap put his handheld game down to build his Let's Move Foam PuzzleJust before I snapped a photo, he was reading the words along the outer edge: "Hide and Seek," "Hopscotch," and other Let's Move ideas. Ever since, he often invites me to play Hide and Seek. There's also a serious Hopscotch map in chalk on our back patio, with 23 squaresCoincidence? Could be. 

Kids In The Kitchen

Although Leap wasn't wearing THIS cool Kid's Apron at the time, it did prompt him to ask "what is an apron for?" We talked about the pictures and words on his apron, and how he could help in the kitchen. He was super excited to help! Props to Hubby for seizing an opportunity, and showing him how to carefully peel a carrot. Leap was very careful and focused, and quite proud of his accomplishment.

How much water should we drink in a day?

Mom's Water Bottle
The real answer to the question above is, it depends. Our gender, season in life, physical condition, lifestyle and where we live all help determine the amount of water our body needs each day. [In general] Infants get all the hydration they need from breast milk and formula, while an adult man may need 13+ Cups of water each day. There are 8 fluid ounces in 1 Cup [US Cup].

Although not a substitute for a personal health exam from a medical professional, I found THIS article from MayoClinic.com helpful.

I had no idea how much water we actually drink in a day. Now I know it's at least 10-16 ounces. To begin with, I challenged Leap to finish one full 10oz. Kid's Water Bottle each day. Although he and his 2-year-old brother should finish closer to five for the 6-8 Cups of water they need, at least I know by how much we need to improve. I should finish at least five Mom's Water Bottles for the 9+ Cups of water I need. As these estimates are for water from all sources [including other beverages and food as well as drinking water] it couldn't hurt to note the results of a 'Pee Pee Test.' If your urine is light in color|colorless, it's likely you're getting enough water.

What is the right amount of food for our plates?

Here's where I confess, managing food portion sizes for my boys used to sound like
'fits in a small bowl'
'a small scoop'
'the size of their fist'
In short, I was 'eyeballing it!' For me, a portion was the amount of food I believed I could eat without feeling stuffed. I generally served Hubby 1½ times to double the amount I'd eat. That's about as calculated as portions were at our house!

wish I could send every one of you THIS Kid's Portion Tip Card
along with a set of THESE 4-Section MyPlates.

How might knowing how much food your 2-8 year-old child should eat each day improve meal planning for you?
Could a visual Portion Size Guide have an impact on your meal portions at dinner?
Could filling his|her own plate change your child's attitudes about meal time?

Fresh Baby is sharing one side of the Kid's Portion Tip Card in a Free Printable

Practice Makes Healthier

I'm practicing!
I haven't achieved perfect balance yet. But we are closer to eating healthier, feeling better, and understanding proper nutrition. Though terrifying, if it's true children's eating preferences are established by age 3 then I play a critical role in establishing the best habits and relationships with food possible.

Can you guess what surprised me most during our Fresh Baby product review? It was just how eager Leap has been to learn, and to do what Mom and Dad do. That is super exciting to this Momma!

For more fantastic recipes and ideas, and to join me in receiving their free newsletter Fresh Ideas hop over to Fresh Baby's blog Peas & Carrots HERE. 

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