Dinner Rotation: May-June

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on May 6, 2015

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I’m still loving my dinner rotation. I cannot tell you how much easier it has made dinnertime around here. I’ve made some changes for spring include replacing soups and chilis with grill items. One of our favorite simple meals to grill is turkey burgers served with sliced avocados, tomatoes and red onions. Little D finally graduated to eating the meat instead of just dipping the bread in ketchup. I didn’t know how much more of that bread phase I could take!

I’m still working on making some of the recipes better. Two that have really come along are Tuna Casserole and Chicken Fettuccine. The secret with the tuna casserole is using crushed crackers for a topping. And I now use this technique for making chicken breast tender to put in different dishes like fettuccine or salad. And if I have time and remember, I also brine it.


When I’m satisfied with our dinners, I’m going to turn my focus on lunch and breakfasts. If you have any interest in reviewing the book that will contain the final dinner recipes email me at raisehealthyeaters@gmail.com.

Two different eaters

I’m reminded all the time what two different eaters I have. Sometimes the kids will squabble about their food likes and dislikes. We were eating fish when Big A commented on how Little D is the only one in the family who doesn’t like fish. Then Little D asked me if I like macaroni and cheese and I said yes. Then he said to Big A “You’re the only one who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese.” (He knew his daddy likes it!). That’s when I asked them to stop because it’s not cool to talk badly about other people’s food.

Remember that learning plate that worked so great with Big A? She totally got the message it sends — that kids are learning about food and this takes time. Not Little D. One time I asked him to put something on the learning plate and he said, “that means I don’t like it.” Then I said, “you’re still learning about it, bud.” But he just looked at me like I was crazy.

As I’ve mentioned before, Little D has always been a late bloomer. He’s still pretty resistant to trying new food even though he just turned 6. When his sister was this age, she really started to branch out. I believe resistant kids like him need even more experiences with food to feel comfortable. So we’ve been cooking a lot together and I always explain what I’m doing as much as I can. He likes to “snap” sugar snap peas and push out edamame soy beans like a rocket.

The thing is, my little guy had a huge appetite from birth till about three years old (see this post as an example). He used to get up in the morning and go straight to his high chair and wait for me to serve him! And although his appetite decreased, as is typical during the toddler years, it is slowly going up as he gets older. And I have the feeling that hunger is going to override his resistance. That is, if I don’t cater to him. I will keep you posted on whether my theory pans out.


Check out my guest post at La Petite about spring cleaning family meals.

A new study shows kids eat more when stressed especially when food is used as a reward or tightly controlled.

Some food for thought on whether demonizing food (gluten is the example here) helps or harms our relationship with food. 

Over at Yummy Mummy Club dietitian Sarah Remmer explains the problem with allowing kids to graze on food. 

A must read guest post by Rebecca Scritchfield at Real Mom Nutrition on when enough is enough when it comes to weight stigma and health. 

Jill Castle blogs about why healthy food doesn’t guarantee a healthy child.

In this post at Scary Mommy one mom has had enough of smug parents of non-picky eaters (targeting a celebrity chef!).

Have a great rest-of-the week!


Real Baby Food Review, Giveaway and Fajita Salad Recipe

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on May 1, 2015

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If your still in that baby or young toddler phase, I’ve got a book for you. It’s called Real Baby Food: Easy, All Natural Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler written by Jenna Helwig, food editor for Parents magazine, with help from Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD.

What you will find, in addition to fresh, nutritious and easy recipes for babies and toddlers, is top notch information organized by age (6 months to 3 years). Natalia Stasenko is up on the latest and greatest science and it shines through in this book. There’s information on food allergies, how to introduce solids, strategies for picky eaters and other nutrition tidbits.

An important part of this book is its emphasis on taste training — exposing baby to as many tastes and textures as possible. This is a time children are very open to food so Real Baby Food helps you take advantage of it. click to continue


What Dr. Oz, The Food Babe and The Anti-Vaccine Movement Can Teach Us  About Nutrition

April 29, 2015
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There’s a new skepticism in the air about health claims. I can feel it. It started around 2011 with the discovery of a fraudulent study linking the MMR vaccine to autism, fueled more recently with the measles outbreak. Then, in 2014, researchers found more than half of Dr. Oz’s health claims were not supported by […]

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Easy Spinach Pancakes [Recipe]

April 24, 2015
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I woke up on St. Patrick’s Day wanting to make something green for breakfast. So I searched Super Healthy Kids’ site and found this recipe for No-Dye Green Pancakes. I used my Blendtec to blend the spinach, yogurt and other wet ingredients, mixing it with flour. The kids really went for these. But what surprised […]

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DHA for Kids: The Complete Guide for Parents

April 21, 2015
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This is a post from 2009 updated and rewritten to reflect the latest research As a parent, you’ve likely heard about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for kids. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and its less-talked about partner, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). You can find DHA in fortified food products, seafood, and offered up conveniently […]

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Picky Eating: What’s Missing in the Nature vs. Nurture Debate

April 14, 2015
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I posted this article on my Facebook page: An Open Letter to the Moms Who Judged My Kid’s for Being Picky Eaters and got lots of great feedback. But I soon realized that while I like the article’s no judgment message, its overall takeaway may be one of helplessness. That’s because if picky eaters are born […]

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How to Make Homemade Ranch Dressing Kids Will Eat [Recipe]

April 10, 2015
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I’ve tried everything when it comes to making homemade ranch dressing. I can’t even count how many “ranch spice” mixes I’ve experimented with. I’ve made it using yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream. The thing is my ranch lover (Big A) will have none of them. She tells me her favorite is Granny’s ranch dressing. And […]

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Why I’m Neither For Nor Against Kid Food

April 6, 2015
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This is The Feeding Diaries, an ongoing series about the feeding escapades in my house. Every year we go to Red Lobster for a family member’s birthday. This year, Big A announced she wanted to order lobster. I suggested we share the big lobster meal and she agreed. I was ecstatic to find her opting […]

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Two Giveaways: Amanda’s Big Dream & First Bites

April 1, 2015
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I have two great books to briefly review and giveaway. The first, Amanda’s Big Dream, was mentioned in my post about talking to kids about weight. And the second, First Bites, is a cookbook for babies and toddlers.

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5 Words That Will Instantly Calm Your Parenting Worries

March 27, 2015
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“You’re doing everything you can.” This is what Little D’s speech therapist said to me last fall, when she could tell my anxiety level was rising. These words — and the lesson they taught– have stuck with me ever since. Those 5 words popped in my head once again when a reader asked: “How do […]

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