A Day in the Life of Feeding My Kids
Being a pediatrician and having three boys, I know what it’s like to have a busy schedule. Most parents I speak with have a full plate of responsibilities all week long, and then on top of it they need to add in making sure everyone gets fed. And not just that, but they need to make sure everyone is being fed nutritious foods so they grow properly and stay healthy. I’ll share with you a few of the tips and tricks that I use to help ensure that I not only get my kids fed throughout the day, but that I help provide them with the nutrient-rich foods that their growing and developing bodies and minds need.
My goal is to ensure that my boys get three healthy meals per day, along with some good snacks. Here’s how I handle some of these meals and snacks during the day:
- With school mornings being as hectic as they are for most parents, I do as much as I can the night before. This helps me ensure the morning will run more smoothly and we can get out the door on time. I lay out their clothes, put backpacks, socks and sneakers by the front door, pack healthy lunches and even prepare a healthy breakfast by scrambling eggs (simply reheated next morning in microwave) or put a whole grain cereal box on kitchen table and milk on lower shelf of the fridge (so my kids can reach it themselves) to help them get the high-quality protein they need to start their morning off right.
- By packing school lunches the night before, we don’t have to feel so rushed in the morning. To put together a healthy lunch for the boys, I am sure to include a fruit, veggie, protein, whole grain, and a source of dairy, such as a serving of milk, string cheese, or yogurt. You can pack milk in a thermos to keep it cold, or pack lunch money so your kids can buy milk at school.
- When we come together for dinners in the evening, I may not always focus on spending a lot of time making an elaborate meal, but I do try to ensure that we are getting our nutritional needs met. Most parents feel pressed for time to get dinner ready, but you can always make some healthy meals that are quick, such as whole grain pastas, baked chicken, and salads topped with protein sources such as beans or nuts. Additionally, I always give my boys a glass of milk with their dinner, so I know they are getting high-quality protein and nutrients. Each 8-ounce glass of milk provides nine essential nutrients including 8 grams of high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D that they need for proper growth and development.
- To keep my growing boys happy with their snacks I try to make sure that we have plenty of fresh fruit on hand, yogurt, string cheese, and milk or chocolate milk. Chocolate milk “counts” as a serving of dairy and provides the same nine essential nutrients as white milk.
We are all busy and making sure our kids get fed nutrient-rich foods may seem like a daunting task since we do it so many times per week. But if you can make a list of some of the healthy items to keep on hand in your refrigerator, it will become easier and quicker. Opt for nutritious and simple so that you can meet their growing needs, keep them satisfied, and not feel overstressed while you do it!
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