How to Eat like a Yogi #2: Go at your own pace

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Source: Pixabay

Hope you all liked the previous post from the new ‘How to Eat like a Yogi’ posts! If you haven’t seen it, have a look here.

Our second little tip relates closely to the first, because it is still about listening to your body.

#2: Go at your own pace

We are all constructed differently, which means  we learn at different speeds and some may be able to achieve more while others less.

Important thing is to understand there’s no problem with learning faster or slower than others, it doesn’t make you worse or more special either way.

Sometimes we might not be aware, but certain words can make children anxious about what they eat, for example…

When little Tommy hears Aunt Sally say: “My girl started eating cabbage when she was two and

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Source: Flickr

now she eats all kinds of vegetables”, he might feel that he is worse off by not liking cabbage even though he’s already 4 years old.

Focus on the positives and the improvements. For example, talk about how little Tommy originally was scared of fruits but now strawberries and apples are his best friend.

OR, talk about something else (such as school, friends, their favourite TV show). Remember, we don’t want to make too much of a big deal out of food.

Let children develop at their own pace, and try to refrain from comparing two children. Every child is unique and should be treasured for who they are 🙂

-R.L.

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No Recipe Nutritious Snacks Ideas

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Source: Flickr

I bet we’ve all seen those amazingly complicated snacks that parents prepare for children, which require hours in the kitchen.

The fact is mums and dads are terribly busy, and though those snacks may look amazing, many people just don’t have the time.

So I thought I’d sort a list of quick nutritious snacks that require minimal preparation or can be easily bulk prepared before hand. These yummy, yet quick ideas will keep your kids satisfied without you reaching out for processed snacks and drinks!

  1. Fresh fruit (probably the quickest option)

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    Source: Pixabay

  2. Pure nut butter + toast
  3. Roasted nuts + dried fruit
  4. Veggie stalks (bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, celery) + hummus
  5. Yogurt + berries
  6. Cup of milk + cocoa powder (remember to choose the ones with no sugar)
  7. Cheese + crackers
  8. Oats + milk
  9. Cheese + toast
  10. Peas + corn + butter
  11. Fruit + Nut butter
  12. Boiled eggs (these can be pre-cooked and kept in the fridge for a few days) + salt & pepper OR soy sauce
  13. Smashed avocado + canned tuna + crackers
  14. Baked sweet potato chips
  15. Seaweed (try to get ones that aren’t flavoured to skip the sugar & flavourings)

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    Source: Pixabay

  16. Roasted chick peas or broad beans
  17. Popcorn (buy natural ones and slightly flavour them yourself w/ butter or salt)
  18. Fruit & yogurt popsicles
  19. Homemade fruit smoothie (bananas, dates, cooked sweet potato/pumpkin are all good natural sweeteners)
  20. Edamame beans (The frozen ones only need 2-3 minutes in the microwave and they taste great salted or eaten as they are)

 

If you have any other good suggestion, please comment and let me know!

-R.L.

How to Eat like a Yogi #1: Listen to your body

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Source: Flickr

Firstly, I must state that this is not a ‘detox’ or ‘diet’ blog post. I’m trying to share a way of approaching food which I have learned from my yoga practice.

What is a yogi? 

A yogi is a person who practices yoga.

So, how do you eat like a yogi? 

In short, eating like a yogi means approaching food in a relaxed and positive manner.

No strict guidelines like you MUST NOT eat something, or HAVE TO eat something.

I’ll be splitting some main points into several posts, so you can slowly think about them and maybe apply them in your family to see if they work out.

#1 Listen to your body

In yoga, there is no right or wrong. Because the person next to you can do a handstand, it

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Source: Pixabay

doesn’t mean you should be pressured to do so in any way.

Teach your children to listen to their internal cues, such as how hungry they are, when they are full, whether they are ready for a new food. If Max, whose sitting next to your child likes to eat carrots and beans, he/she by no means needs to be pressured to eat those foods too.

Everyone is unique and will feel different everyday. Maybe today you can do the splits, but tomorrow your muscles might not feel comfortable to do so, and that is OK.

Today, little Tommy may feel like potatoes, and tomorrow he may not even want to see them. Tell your child that it’s OK and it’s good that he is learning to listen to his body.

Remember that it’s alright if your child’s preferences change around and their hungry today and not tomorrow. The best skill they can learn is to listen to their body and do what they feel is right.

-R.L.

Tip #6: Embrace Diversity

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Source: Gratisography

This has two main objectives:

1) Making diversity the new norm

If you want kids to be more accepting to new foods, change ingredients around often. This teaches children to be adaptive and flexible.

Think of a person that has lived in several places (like me!). I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, which means I’ve met and seen many different people from different cultures. When compared with my peers, I am more accepting and understanding of different traditions, religions etc.

Something similar goes for food. If you child constantly sees new combinations and foods appear on the dinner table, they will gradually understand that CHANGE is OK, and it’s not that scary. They will feel more at ease with new flavours and stepping out of their comfort zone.

2) Creating interesting meals

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Make meals interesting and something to look forward to! If it’s oats with blueberries today, why not add some cocoa powder and bananas tomorrow? If you made chicken avocado sandwiches today, why not change it to cheese and avocado toast tomorrow?

If children find meal time more interesting, they will generally be more excited about it!

Things to keep in mind


165050612.jpgMake sure there’s at least one food that your child will like
. This makes your child more comfortable with meal time, and assures you that he/she will be eating something. When children feel more comfortable, they will be more likely to try other things on the table.

Even if your child likes one dish a lot, be mindful of how often you serve it. You want to teach them to have a balanced and versatile diet and not rely on only one type of food. Serving it once in a while will also keep them excited about it, rather than getting bored of it!

-R.L.

Tip #5: Dividing Responsibility at the Dinner Table

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Source: Danielle McInnes (Unsplash)

During meal time, parents should be in charge of WHAT, WHEN & WHERE to eat, while children are responsible for HOW MUCH and WHETHER OR NOT they want to eat.

As a parent, carefully plan the family’s meals so that you’re not giving in to ‘short-order cooking’.

You want to ensure that there is something everyone prefers, but also new foods to keep things interesting.

You also want to ensure that meal time is free of distractions and that snack times are well planned so they don’t affect your child’s appetite.


 

Your child, has the responsibility of deciding whether they eat and how much they eat.

There should be no ‘one-bite’ rules, and no force feeding.

You can however, teach your children how to monitor their internal cues for when they are full and express their preferences in a polite and more positive manner.

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Source: Hero Nutritionals

The above has been drawn from Ellyn Satter’s books on happy and healthy eating.

-R.L.

Tip #4: Play with food

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Play chess with your veggies!  |  Source: Pixabay

Yes.

Let them play with it!

Mush it, touch it and maybe lick it. This is especially useful for younger children when they’re still exploring things around them.

If they’re not allowed to explore the food and figure out themselves that it’s safe to eat, they’re unlikely to be putting it into their mouth.

So give your kids some freedom in exploring new foods, and maybe even get them involved in the kitchen when you’re decorating the cake or topping the breakfast oats.

Other Fun Ideas:

  • Make star shaped and heart shaped sandwiches with cookie cutters
  • Make animals out of dough
  • Use a mini ice-cream scoop to make little watermelon or rock melon balls
  • Make traffic-light eggs by slicing capsicum horizontally and cracking an egg in

I recently came across Jacob’s Food Diaries, which is a really amazing inspiration for parents! The Melbourne mum Laleh started making these amazing creations to make healthy food fun for her son Jacob. I think it’s a great example of how we can create a positive relationship between children and food.

 

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Source: Jacob’s Food Diaries Facebook Page

This may look all a bit too much for busy mums, but sometimes just adding a bit of colour to your child’s food can make a big difference!

-R.L.

Zucchini Almond Fritters

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These gluten-free almond zucchini fritters are quick to whip up and amazingly tasty! Adding the almond meal not only helps the fritters stick together, they also add a natural sweet taste. They are really simple to make, so I would always recommend getting the kids involved.

Ingredients
1 medium zucchini
20g almond meal
1 egg
a pinch of dried basil
salt
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Method

 

Coarsely grate the zucchini, add a pinch of salt and set aside. Meanwhile, beat the egg and add mix in the almond meal, basil and black pepper.

Squeeze out as much water as possible out of the zucchini with your hands and kitchen paper if required. It’s OK if there’s still a bit of moist, but do try your best to get the water out because it will prevent the fritters from falling apart.

Add the zucchini to the egg mixture and fold together.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, scoop the mixture onto the pan, lightly pressing into a  1 cm thick round patty. Cook the zucchini fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are slightly browned.

Serve warm, topped with yogurt, avocado, or anything you fancy!

-R.L.