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If you make it, they will eat it...

Monday, November 29, 2010

When it comes to eating healthy, sometimes we moms feel like we are all alone. Our husbands could care less how many calories are in the food, and whether or not they ever eat a vegetable. And the kids are just darn picky. But I have discovered, particularly in the last 2 years, that we as moms have a LOT of influence when it comes to what our families eat. If we take a little time to try new things out and be creative with what we make, we may find our family eating healthy right along with us.

I was a single mom (actually going through a divorce from his father) when my son Mikah was born. I was trying to do the best I could do making a future on my own, so I was working full time along with taking full time evening classes toward a degree in business. So, I put simply - I WAS BUSY!! I liked cooking, but simply didn't have the time. When I did cook, it tended to be easy stuff that was already pretty much made, like frozen ravioli with canned pasta sauce. I would make grilled chicken and veggies now and then. But I was not very health conscientious, so I remember hitting the drivethru at the nearby Wendys, McDonalds, or whatever for me and my son pretty frequently.

So, when he was 3 and 4, it shouldn't have surprised me that if I put ANYTHING in front of him that was not pasta, pizza, or chicken nuggets, he would NOT eat it! When he was 4, he started going to a pre-school where he ate lunch with them. It was a good variety, and he slowly, very slowly started eating more things, but was STILL super picky.

Today? Totally different story. I made a huge 6-serving "salad" made from just red bell peppers, mushrooms, and a little bit of grated carrot, tossed in a home-made dressing on Friday. He wolfed at least 4 servings down, and told me it was so delicious, he couldn't wait until I made it again!!! He is less picky than I WAS when I was his age!!

What made the difference? Me, I think. A couple of years ago, I started a whole-foods diet, both to lose weight and just to be healthier, and I started following a meal plan with all sorts of new recipes, making everything from scratch, and using more vegetables probably within the last 2 years, than I have in the whole 28 years prior!! At the same time through the last 2 years, Mikah has DRASTICALLY become more open to different foods, and tries almost anything. He loves when I make anything with bell peppers and mushrooms (hence, the reason I made that salad when I came across the recipe), and practically BEGS me if he can munch on them raw. I NEVER saw it coming!

So, here are a few things I think that help, if you have a family of picky eaters like mine:
1. BE POSITIVE! Make new things, taste test it first, and make ALL SORTS of "yummy" noises! Seriously, I think this is highly influential. =)

2. Make it taste good. If you wouldn't want to eat some bland, plain vegetables, then don't expect the kids to want them. Try different things, season it up. Check out recipe books, even ones geared for kids, and get ideas. Find out what suits your kids' taste, and do it.

3. If at first they don't seem to be psyched about them, try, try again. Many times, kids have to try things multiple times before they develop a taste for it. I saw this as a kid myself - I hated, I mean, DETESTED lima beans, but was required to eat them, at least a little portion. I had to wash them down with water, I hated them so bad. And then, it was almost from one day to the next, all of the sudden, they tasted GREAT to me! You can try again, and season it differently, or combine it with something else... be creative, but don't give up.

4. Serve the veggies first, as the "appetizer." I got this tip from a magazine, and thought it was great. Kids are more likely to eat it/them if they are really hungry.

5. Let your kids participate in meal prep. I also read this one in a magazine, and found it particularly true with my own family. When your kids get to see what all goes into the meal, and be a part of it, like helping wash the veggies or toss them into the pot, they are much more likely to want to taste their "own handiwork."

6. If worst comes to worst, hide the veggies. When I make spaghetti meat sauce, I sometimes grate up carrots, zucchini, and other veggies, and sautee it with my beef. This adds a great deal of flavor, but they are disguised by the tomato sauce! My kids really like it that way.

7. Be somewhat insistent with the veggies. I know some parents don't want to force their kids to eat, but maybe have a minimum requirement of what they have to eat, and reward them when they do it.

I am sure there are other ideas and tricks out there, but these are some that I feel have made a difference with my family. Hope this might help some other mommies out there... emoticon

BTW, my hubby is also eating way better these days. He is like a big kid, and doesn't "like" veggies, and never eats fruit. When we met, he was all about pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets (sounds just like my son!), and he was a total Coke-aholic. But in the last 2 years, I have found some recipes for dishes with LOTS of veggies, which have now become some of his favorite dishes - a chicken vegetable stir fry, tuscan chicken, a Italien zucchini skillit (side dish), things like that. So, it IS POSSIBLE!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBOURKE8 11/30/2010 7:18AM

    I concur! My husband came from a picky family (well, his mom) and the only veggie they ever ate was canned corn and green beans. So when we first got together that was the only thing he would tolerate....Now I can't remember the last time we had a canned veggie :)
My kid has never been as picky b/c I have always made her eat veggies and fruit. Although there are some things she just won't do. Like the yummy black bean burritos I made last night

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JILLIANPRNCSS 11/29/2010 9:11PM

    I love all of your ideas. My DD loves everything and my son is terrible but I don't make a big deal about it. He knows to eat enough of dinner because that is all he gets.

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SEEHOLZ 11/29/2010 11:23AM

    My son ate brown rice with egg beaters yesterday.... it sounds lame, but even as busy as I am, I'm surprised how far he's ocme- some of it is maturity I think.

Good for you for taking care of your family! I figured out that every little bit counts.

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Marathon Training Wk 6 / 18 (Photos)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I ran 17 miles (27.4 km) today!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO! That is my new record for distance! Only by a mile, but I still feel great about it. I felt awesome today. I was itching to run harder from the beginning, but managed to hold back. I didn't want to poop out with 5 km left, and have to call my hubby to pick me up.... I ended so strong, though! Right at the end, the song "Pretender" from the Foo Fighters started playing from my playlist, and I pumped the last half mile! AWESOME!

Plus, on top of just feeling good physically, it was BEAUTIFUL out! When I started out at 5:30am, it was 25F or there about (-4C), and foggy. But the moon was shining really brightly, and in spite of the fog, I could see the moon clearly above, and the fog and low clouds dispersed the light from the moon so nicely that everything was lit up. I barely needed my flashlight. There is also a little bit of snow on the ground right now, which made things seem even brighter and well-lit in the dark. I loved it.

Here are some pics I took along the way this morning:

It's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas!!! YAAY! I love this time of year!

Here was my plan for Wk5:
Monday: Biking 60-80 min (instead of running 8 miles), and ST
Actual: Biked 1 hr 15 min, ST

Tuesday: Biking 45-60 min
Actual: Biked 45 min

Wednesday: Biking to/from gym, ST
Actual: Ran 4 miles, Biked to/from gym (35 min), ST

Thursday: Biking 45-60 min (instead of running 6 miles)
Actual: Ran 5.75 miles instead of biking...

Friday: Biking 30 min
Actual: rested

Saturday: 16 miles again
Actual: 17 miles!!! YAY!

The weather took a turn in the snowy and icey direction, so biking is not really safe at this point anymore. So, it will be a hit-or-miss thing with the biking from here on out. I am sure the extra rest days will do me good as I start to run more and more....

Here is my plan for Week 6:
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Run 6-8 miles FF, ST (BodyPump) and BodyCombat
Tuesday: Probably rest, but biking only if weather permits
Wednesday: Run 4 miles with 5x 20 sec Strides, ST, biking to/from gym if weather permits
Thursday: Run 6.25 miles with intervals
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Run 13-14 miles

This week, I'm pulling it back on my long-run mileage, and next week, I will run a 10K race, so I won't do a long run at all next week. In other words, they will be sort of taper weeks for me, and then I will return to adding more mileage slowly. So far, I am SUPER pleased!! Only 9 more miles to conquer!!

Wishing you all a great weekend and happy running!! Happy shopping if you dare, too!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBOURKE8 11/30/2010 7:20AM

    Awesome!!! And good for you running in the cold and snow! I'm on the TM :)

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CHUBBYSISTER1 11/27/2010 10:52PM

    Wow!! Really great job! It is so motivating to see you get the long mileage in when it is cold out! I'm having a hard time getting my butt out the door. Tomorrow it is supposed to be above I hope to get some miles in. Thanks for the inspiration.

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MOMONTHERUN1 11/27/2010 4:12PM

    Great job!

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CRZYRUNRGRL 11/27/2010 8:54AM

    Way to rock that 17 miler!
I love the pics, its just beautiful! I wish we had some cooler weather here. its supposed to be. 63 at 6am for the start of my marathon and be about 78 for the day. Ugh!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 11/27/2010 8:25AM

    That is crazy you are so far along already. I need to get my butt in gear. Loved the pics, it made me miss Germany

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BREWMASTERBILL 11/27/2010 6:32AM

    That's fantastic. ONLY by a mile? How much are you supposed to beat previous distances by? heh. Respectable in any circle, I'd say. Appreciate the pics too. Nice post!

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HUGELY successful day!!!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I don't have time to write a real blog, but here goes my quick one:

First off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY LOVELY SPARKPEOPLE!!! Wishing everyone wonderful family time, happy running, and a wonderful day!!

On to the real subject at hand: potty training my twins!! My daughter Reilynn has totally taken off with this!! She's totally going on her own without asking or prompting from me!!! She even got upset when I started putting the potty seat away at lunch when I was getting read to put them down for a nap! No lie. She also wanted her diaper off after her nap, and wanted to use the potty instead. How can I say no to that????

Eliana, her sister, is not so dependable, but I'm sure it will come. I'm so psyched!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLEEPYDEAN 11/26/2010 3:03AM

    What great results after just a few days. Hopefully the success will keep on going!

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CHUBBYSISTER1 11/25/2010 9:17PM

    That is the best.....I remember that feeling well.

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SWISHSTARNAN 11/25/2010 11:30AM


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DOTTIEJANE1 11/25/2010 11:19AM

    Glad that potty traning is going so well.

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Day 1 = YAY! Day 2? BOO!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yesterday, as promised, I started potty training my twin girls. While some parents take a more relaxed approach, and primarily let their children figure this sort of thing out more on their own, my girls are DETERMINED to strip their clothes every chance they get, and I'm having to clean up accidents anyway, so why not try a little more parent-guided approach, and get those rascals potty trained, right?

I got this idea when I started potty training my son several years ago, and thought I would rehash it, and try it with the girls. Here's the game plan:

** Have potty seats, and clean up materials handy.
** Keep the kiddos nearby, or in a certain room while I do my housework or other things that need to be done.
** Remove their diapers for a period of time in the day (I remove the diapers, because if not, they just stick to what they are used to, and go in the diaper.) This is just a few hours in the morning right now.
** Sit them on the potty seats every 15 minutes or so and tell them to go. If they go, let them up, but keep them sitting on the seat for a few minutes to give them a chance. If they don't go, just try again in another 15 minutes.
** When they do go, PRAISE, PRAISE PRAISE them, reward them, and make them feel really good about what they did.
** If they start to go on the floor, rush over and plop them on the potty seat ASAP, and tell them not to pee-pee on the floor, but in the potty. (Not being super harsh, but just teaching them.)

I was so excited yesterday. After only a couple hours (and an accident), Reilynn, the slightly older twin who has always seemed to be a bit bolder than her sister, INITIATED sitting on the potty seat, and going ALL BY HERSELF!! She did this a couple of times! Clearly showing that she both knew she needed to go, and how to go. And Eliane, who was excited about trying to go too, was really trying, though she is still more accident prone. So, at lunch time, feeling like the day was a great success, I put their diapers back on, and got them ready for their nap.

The most HILARIOUS thing was that I went to use the bathroom later, and Eliane followed me in there, so I thought I would "teach" her by saying, "See, mommy is going pee-pee in the potty." And she got SOOOO excited, and squealed and clapped her hands (CLEARLY mimicing my reaction when they went!), and then she said, "Good girl!" to me! ROFL

But today... Ugggghhhh. I seemed to only get opposition from them, they only cried about sitting on the potty seats, even with encouraging words and praise and treats and rewards. They were very uncoorperative, so frankly, I gave up after 2 hours.

My plan is to try each day just in the mornings for at least a week. Then see how they are doing, and decide how to proceed from there. I do not expect this to happen over night. They are still young, but I really think they are ready to at least start, and get to the point where they are at least not wearing diapers during the day... again, this will probably take a couple of weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLEEPYDEAN 11/24/2010 10:44AM

    That sort of thing definitely doesn't happen overnight it seems. I wonder if the fact that they are twins will help, they'll see the reward one gets when they do well, and then do the same. Hope today is going better for you.

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 10:50:29 AM

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    Keep working with them it will get better.

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JENN26POINT2 11/23/2010 9:46AM

    One piece of advice my dr gave me when I started potty training Brady was consistency. Don't try just in the morning... try all day long. I took Brady's diaper off and let him run around nekkid for the day... he became more aware of the need to go and was literally potty trained in a weekend. He was a champ! We did stickers for prizes...

Also, my dr mentioned putting underwear on him, then putting him in a diaper... that causes the "discomfort" of wet pants without the mess... she said this worked fabulously for her daughter... but I didn't need to do that b/c the no diaper thing worked marvelously.

Now we just need to work on night-time pottying...

Good luck and don't get frustrated... yesterday it was fun and new... today, it's not "normal"... diapers are "normal".

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JILLIANPRNCSS 11/23/2010 9:29AM

    AAAAGGGHHH, so glad to be done with that. Good luck and if it gets too frustrating then go for a run.

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AOGOAE 11/23/2010 9:19AM

    lol, good girl indeed!

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TBONE13 11/23/2010 7:28AM

  got take the good with the bad !!

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That's it, I've had it!! It's soooooooo ON!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My twins are gonna go through Mommy's potty training school!!! Starting NOW! My girls are 2 yrs & 2 months old, so I think they are old enough... But the real motivating factor is that they love to strip.... Buck naked. Always best out of mommy's sight, of course. Then they proceed to pee and or poop on the floor. Not cool!!! One time, one of them even brought me a little "present" in her hand, holding it up to me and telling me it was "yucky!"

Ok, so enough is enough. I bought 2 potty seats over the weekend. I also bought a big box of diapers, and am shooting for that being my last diaper purchase for them.... Maybe wishful thinking, but I'm gonna try!

Dear other SP mommies, please, please, please share any potty-training tips with me!! Last time I potty trained someone was 6 yrs ago with me son (my special-needs son, Aiden, is no where near being ready even though he's 4), so I'm a little rusty! And are girls different? What have you done to get the ball rolling????

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.... Mommy is on a mission!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 11/22/2010 8:44PM

    I didn't start till 3 years with each of them because I didn't want to deal with accidents. Can you get some of those pull-up trainers (diapers they can pull on and off)over there? I also bought those cloth diapers with the plastic on the outside off ebay that you can just wash. Otherwise charts and reward system seemed to work.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 11/22/2010 10:22AM

    Give them a treat when they go. Star on a chart on the wall something simple like that. Also, i let my girls read a book when they say on the potty. Something fun to do while they are sitting there.

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LAUROCHKA 11/22/2010 7:03AM

    I don't have any kids so no tips I'm afraid but wishing you Good Luck!

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