At the beginning of the summer Liv had her first ear infection. She was complaining of ear pain for a few days and we went for the wait and see method because she was still in a good mood and distractable. She had no fever and was over all happy. By the 4th day it had gotten worse and she woke up crying, so we went to the doctor.
My pediatrician is not an over medicator. She wouldn’t prescribe meds if she didn’t think it would necessary. Livi was crying pretty hard because of pain and she had an infection. Dr. Rubin said if she wasn’t crying so hard she wouldn’t prescribe any.
We made it 2 years and 8 months without meds. A pretty good run. I will admit that I felt guilty she got sick and had to be put on meds, but it is what it is. I read after that 80% of ear infections are viral and will clear up in 5-7 days. That means meds only work 2 out of 10 times. I wish I read this before, but now I know.
A few weeks later she was complaining of ear pain. This time I went right to Herb Pharm garlic oil drops for a few days and it went away, but her complaining of ear pain again made me have a realization about her food.
I was letting her get away with way too much food wise. Sure, what she was eating wasn’t horrible as the way food goes, but I wasn’t making her eat her veggies because she really put up a fight. I finally just said to Danny, why are we letting her get away with this? I wouldn’t eat this way myself, so why am I letting my child?
I’ve written before how picky Olivia was from early on, but I am sure I played a part in it. I’m sure I was worried if she was eating enough, so I just gave her her staples. Just so you know, her staples aren’t terrible. Eggs, meat, sprouted bread, fruit, chia pudding, nut butters. They definitly are nutritious foods, but the constant snacking was building up and the actual meal times were depleting. She wouldn’t eat dinner and then ask for something later on and we would say yes. Even if it was fruit, what kind of meal is just fruit? It’s not.
I was going to buy the book French Kids Eat Everything, but honestly, I just read the reviews and got a good enough idea of what it was about. I know enough about food and nutrition to know what she should be eating. So we started enforcing meal times. She eats breakfast, lunch and dinner and 1-2 snacks a day (usually 1 is at school…). No snacks after 3 when it gets close to dinner. If she really, really is hungry she can have carrots or some blueberries (or a similar fruit), but that’s it.
We also made a rule that she has to try everything, atleast one bite. Now, we are reasonable with this. I don’t expect her to eat a salad, so we will just give her carrots and a slice of pepper or something like that. I aim for 2 different veggies at dinner. I also am conscious of making things like zucchini muffins, putting spinach in eggs and adding greens to a smoothie. Every little bit counts. Ya know what, after a few days of this she puts up less of a fight. It’s still not easy, but it gets down.
Being honest, it’s not perfect, but she is doing SO much better. Sometimes it takes her 2 hours to finish her veggies, but they are eaten before she can even ask for something else after dinner. (Well, let’s be real, she’ll still ask.) We have made great strides and I have to credit it to me and Dan just not giving in. Dan is a good partner and totally on board. He is really good about staying on top of her.
Food is SO important to me and there is no reason why I shouldn’t be feeding my kids the way I feed myself (and Danny). There are no exceptions. Veggies need to be eaten. We are really doing our best and I can honestly say that now. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
We talk a LOT about food and how eating in a healthy way makes you strong. I’m careful not to say a food is “bad”, but just explain why we have to eat lots of veggies and other foods to make us feel good and give us energy. Livi already likes to say every morning that she’s strong because of her carrots. It’s rubbing off and I hope if Dan and I continue to model healthy eating habits then she will follow.
Just another note, please, please don’t tell your kid that they can eat [insert junk food here] because you don’t have the energy to fight with them. That is totally sending the wrong message and they’ll try over and over again. Stand strong. They’re worth it.
I would love to hear your philosophy of feeding your kids. Any tips are welcomed too!
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