Food for a Threenager

52113835401__5227311C-2B1E-42DF-A58B-2FE2F4BD32B4Am I the only mom out there that cringes with the thought of making her threenager meals? Seriously! How could something so cute, innocent and sweet turn into the dreaded ‘food monster’?

When Memphis was little, she LOVED all food. She happily ate all the baby food she could handle and thoroughly enjoyed my homemade, creative concoctions.

Enter the terrible twos.

It was around two-and-a-half that we really noticed a difference in her eating habits. She went from being a fruit and veggie lover to a dairy, meat and carb fanatic, practically overnight. No matter how I tried to hide them, she always picked around the veggies or just outright refused to eat it.

Enter the threenager stage.

Although we have only been at this stage for a little over a month, it’s been an interesting experience to say the least. Rage, loud screamed ‘NOs’ and tears suddenly turned up mealtime. My parents (our amazing childcare during the workweek) began to hear ‘I already had that’ followed by the pushing of her plate away when her leftover dinner lunches were placed in front of her.

#seriously #fml #yourethree

What I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that getting mad or upset over the demands of the diva isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be that parent who gives in, but at the same time,  I also don’t want to take away the concept of family dinners, especially conversations between the three of us while we eat our dinner.

What do we do?

We offer our daughter lots of option at breakfast and lunch time. Toast, apples, yogurt, strawberries and eggs is not an uncommon breakfast for her. One day, she’ll be all over the eggs and yogurt, the next day she won’t touch it but will eat all of the toast and fruit. At lunch, she has a ‘main’ and a few side options of fruits and veggies or some almonds. Dinner time is non-negotiable. What mommy cooks is what Memphis is given and there isn’t much wiggle-room.

Where she eats is up for some debate. During dinners, she has the option of her highchair or sitting at the table with us on one of the dining room chairs. On the weekends, we are pretty flexible with where she eats her breakfast and lunch. Her picnic table, ‘picnics’ on the floor, her highchair or the couch is a new option.

Snacks are huge in our house right now. It doesn’t help that I’m 40 weeks pregnant and love to snack. Watermelon, almonds mixed with chocolate chips and rasins and cheese and crackers make the top of our ‘must have’ snack list.

These are just some things that work for us. I’m not sure if they are the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to deal with threenagers and their food freak-outs, but it’s how we choose to deal. The beauty about kids is that nothing will be the same for long and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, they’ll find something new to challenge you on and you’ll have to start from scratch all over again. Thankfully, we have an amazing community of moms who are able to talk us through different situations, to make mistakes and learn from them and to support one another ❤

Advertisements

Always Learning: A Place for Authentic Learning in the Summer

IMG_1624.JPGIt’s summer. The idea of learning and teaching is such a difficult concept to comprehend right now as we spend our days with our kids lounging by the pool, playing at the parking and just enjoying summer. We hazily make an effort to quiz some mental math facts or maybe work on a worksheet or two, but aren’t really surprised or phased when the work gets pushed aside for a water balloon fight or when the kids take one look and run in the opposite direction.

What we need to remember is that there is a good chance the kids are still learning. What?! I know! Seems crazy, but it’s true!! It’s all about how you approach the summer and it’s events or actions that makes all the difference.

Authentic learning is learning by doing and it involves learning things that pop up in everyday happenings and situations.

Take, for example, grocery shopping with your 10 year old. In grade 5, students are learning how to add and subtract more complex decimal numbers and are reiterating the concepts and importance of estimation. Why not have your child mentally add the items in the cart and compare their total to the cashier’s total? Discuss their findings with them. How close did they come? Do they think this is an accurate way to stay in a budget? The questions are endless.

Another example is baking. Baking is AMAZING when it comes to fractions. Doubling or tripling or reducing a recipe by half means you have to add, multiply or even subtract fractions. I even bake with my three year old. We count, learn about what goes into our food, the importance of filling but not overflowing etc.

We are proud Canadians over here and Canada has just turned 150 years old. There is a ton of trivia and information circulating everywhere about Canadian culture and history. So many authentic history or geography questions can be asked or answered totally dependent on the grade level of your student. From discovering provinces and territories and their histories on family vacations, to experiencing  some of the amazing pow wows and aboriginal cultures of Canada’s first settlers, to learning about different plants or insects on a nature walk.

Authentic learning is everywhere. So maybe skip the worksheets today, quiz the multiplication questions later and dive into some awesome family fun. It’s an opportunity for you to share the things you know or for you to learn something new yourself. Whatever it is, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Happy learning,

Richelle