Amanda Hilton - Amanda Hilton

Hello!

My name is Amanda Hilton

About me

Hello

I'mAmanda Hilton R.H.N.

Doula & Registered Holistic Nutritionist

As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, mother of four, and a Birth & Postpartum Doula, my goal is to give my clients the best birthing experience possible and to support them physically, emotionally and nutritionally from pregnancy through to postpartum. Choosing to become a doula occurred after my own complicated birth experience and difficulties with breastfeeding my children. Having the knowledge and experience of a doula to support me during these challenging times would have made a world of difference for me. Memories of a birth experience last a lifetime and can have powerful effects on a birthing person’s self esteem and confidence. I am committed to helping my clients feel empowered and supported as they experience birth and enter into their parenting journey.

My love for food and health lead me to pursue a profession in holistic nutrition. Being diagnosed with Celiac in 2012 really gave me the incentive to kick-start my own journey to holistic well-being and then share my experience and education with other individuals about the health benefits of natural nutrition. As a nutritionist, I evaluate my client’s nutritional needs by identifying symptoms that indicate health imbalance. Most importantly, I encourage self-responsibility by empowering my clients through personalized education and information.

During my time away from client support, I am supporting my four active children and my equally supportive partner. I love attending the various activities my children are involved in such as; hockey, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming. My children range from toddler to teenager, so I’ve experienced and learned so much about parenting along this journey as my family grows. I also enjoy running, yoga and curling up with a good book and a cup of herbal tea or a decaf latte.

It is important to me to take the time to connect with all my clients and learn about them as unique individuals. Click on one of my links to learn more about my services or feel free to message me to set up a free consultation so we can chat about your birth, baby, or health goals. I can’t wait to hear from you!!


What Is A Doula?

A Doula is…



A professional who is trained to provide support to birthing persons, their partners, and families through conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. As a doula, I empower my clients by providing evidence-based information, emotional support and physical comfort.

As A Doula, I Do Not…



Services

Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is one of the best ways to protect and promote good health.


Certifying Doula

As a doula, I empower my clients by providing evidence-based information, emotional support and physical comfort.


Free Consultation

Book a free consultation to find out if I'm a good fit for your health goals. Good fit for your health goals or birthing team.



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My Blog

Avoiding Birthday Party Food


Amanda Hilton / April 2019

Birthday parties are tough for us. Due to food sensitivities and allergies, my children and I follow a gluten free, dairy free and low sugar diet and we are also vegetarians by choice. So, when we are invited to a birthday party, which happens often when you have four children, we need to make sure we come food prepared.

Most hosts will have fruit and veggie plates available for snacking, which is great since my children are not at all picky when it comes to produce. But once the hot cheesy pizza hits the table or when it is time to serve up the cake/cupcakes, my children sometimes feel a bit isolated.

I leave it up to my teenage daughter to attend gatherings with friends and choose what foods she wants to put in her body. She is aware of what the consequences are if she eats something that her digestive system does not tolerate well. My youngest daughter on the other hand is too young to even really understand our limitations. And my kindergartener is way to smart for his own good. He knows to ask if something is gluten free or dairy free (even though he doesn’t know the full meaning of either).

To ensure that we are fully prepared before we go to birthday parties, I bake gluten free, dairy free cupcakes and make gluten free, dairy free pizza (we do eat some goat and sheep cheese, this is what I use for pizza) for us to bring with us to birthday parties. Do I feel incredible awkward bringing my own food to parties….YES, but I would rather feel that, then my children feel left out when all the other children are munching on pizza and cake and they wonder why they have nothing but broccoli.

Having a school aged child with food sensitivities is even more difficult. Special occasion days at school (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.) mean that special treats can be brought in for the class to share. This is tough for my little guy! I ALWAYS make sure I send something, since once at the beginning of the year, when it wasn’t our allotted snack day, my son had to go without because no one brought fruit or veggies. Everything had dairy and/or gluten. No worries, he had his lunch to fill his belly, but he didn’t feel so great about being left out amongst a room full of 5/6-year-olds.

Food allergies and sensitivities are a common struggle for many families. We live in a society where food is overly processed and what we once may have thought was a healthy snack (yogurt tubes, bear paws, gold fish, etc.) is really causing digestive distress in our children’s little bodies. Food allergies can be severe which may cause anaphylactic shock and allergy testing is done to determine the severity. But, some foods may have a less severe effect on the body but still cause unpleasant symptoms such as eczema, gas, bloating, loose stools, constipation, nausea, behavioural disorders, sleep disturbance…just to name a few. If you need help determining if you or your child may have a food sensitivity or intolerance, contact me at services@amandahilton.ca to arrange a free consultation to discuss the road to recovery for your digestive system. 

Laundry Labour

Amanda Hilton / April 2019

Who loves doing laundry? No one, right? I think it is more the thought of tackling the laundry pile then actually the work of putting the clothes in the washer. For me, the most labour intense part is folding the clothes and putting them all away.

We have 6 people living in our home (and two fur-babies), so having control over the laundry system is a MUST! Thankfully, I’m out of the cloth diaper stage but with a two-year-old… accidents happen. 
I generally do one load of laundry each night (that’s putting it in the washer and dryer and folding in the morning). This helps make the size of my laundry pile seem less daunting. I choose to do the laundry at night to save on our energy costs, after 7pm is off-peak time.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I like to adhere to a holistic lifestyle for my household. Along with creating my own body care products with my beautiful co-creator (my eldest daughter), we also make our own laundry soap. We have a lot of sensitive skin in our family and I like to avoid harsh chemicals like the plague. So, it just made sense to make my own All-Natural laundry soap. And, I must say, it is AMAZING! Our clothes are coming out clean, fresh and soft. I also use dryer balls in the dryer to fight static and decrease drying time which saves up money on electrical costs as well. Making our own soap also saves us money on purchasing very costly “natural” laundry soap, that may not be all that natural. Our homemade soap equals out to be about 15 cents a load and is completely save for our sensitive skin and the environment. I'm also super excited that winter is finally over (I hope) so I can start hanging our clothes out on the clothesline. 


Next on my DIY list is an all-natural stain remover… because with four children… stains happen!

All-Natural Laundry Soap
1 15oz bar of castile soap (I like the lavender and citrus ones for laundry), finely grated
1 cup washing soda
½ cup baking soda
½ cup citric acid

Are you interested in implementing holistic changes into your diet and lifestyle? Contact me at services@amandahilton.ca 

Mommy Needs Sleep!!

Amanda Hilton / March 2019

Sleeping arrangements in any household can be a tricky thing. Some people are pro co-sleeping and others avoid it like the plague. Co-sleeping is a very personal decision. I have read so many books and articles about both the pros and cons and it appears that the best outcome is what ever works best for your family.

In our home, after our fourth child was born, we had to upgrade to a king size bed because we have two co-sleepers now. Our five-year-old goes to sleep perfectly well in his bed after bedtime stories but every night like clockwork, he arrives in our bed to snuggle. Our two-year-old is the same, she goes to sleep in her crib after stories and some hand holding and belly pats. Then, before midnight each night, she cries for daddy to come get her because she knows he won’t put up the fight to try to get her back to sleep and just brings her into our bed instead. (To be fair, the time he did try, she vomited from crying and working herself up so much).

Alternatively, we could walk them back to bed, snuggle with them in their bed, sneaking out at our earliest opportunity, let them cry-it-out, hold the door closed while they kick and scream or try any other method that people reassure us will have them sleeping in their own bed in a week (and we have tried some of them without success). But, the reality of it for us is, we need sleep. We allow them to come to our bed so that we can get sleep, so they can get good sleep and so they don’t wake the other children with their cries and screams. Getting out of bed repeatedly to take them back to bed plus the effort of having to calm them down, all so we can repeat it in an hour, is not appealing to me and will not gain me any extra zzz’s through the night.  
Some nights are still very rough with co-sleepers. They often fight while half asleep as to who gets to sleep beside mommy while daddy snoozes on the other ¾ of the king size bed. I’m often left sleeping with my bottom hanging out of bed and my head on the end table and when I try to move them over, it is nearly impossible (I move one and before I can move the second, the first has already filled the space I made, all while they sleep). The youngest tosses a lot and often ends up sleeping sideways and let’s not even talk about the blanket situation.

Our two older children had their time of co-sleeping as well, thankfully not at the same time but at 14 and 11, they sleep soundly in their own beds through the night. In the end, I’m confident that we will not be having our little ones sleeping in our beds forever. Right now, I’ll just appreciate all the cuddles I can get from them (even if it is in the middle of the night) because they grow up so fast and someday, they will not be so accepting of mommy cuddles. 
Note: If you do choose to co-sleep with babies or small children, be sure to do it safely: put babies on their back, make sure heads are uncovered, ensure bed is firm, use lightweight blankets, avoid putting babies near edges or walls where they may fall off or get trapped if rolling, and keep sleep environment smoke-free



The Role of Nutrition in Breastfeeding


January 2019 / Amanda Hilton 

Nutrition plays a key role in breastfeeding moms. With all the excitement of birth and a new baby, it is easy to forget to consume nutrient-dense foods. Your only thought at this point is keeping your tiny human(s) alive. The postpartum period or fourth trimester is certainly not a time to deprive yourself of calories or nutrients whether you are breastfeeding or not. Your body has gone through a great deal of work and needs plenty of time to recover. Regardless of the type of birth you had, your body will require time, water and lots of healthy foods.


Preparation
Since caring for a newborn is very time consuming, it is essential to be prepared for the changes that are going to take place in your life. Making frozen dinner dishes before baby is born, such as soup, stews, and casseroles can be a life saver once baby arrives. Check out my services page for the Pre-Birth meal planning package that I offer to help you get prepared for when your precious little one arrives. It is also important to make sure you have lots of fresh fruits, veggies and raw nuts on hand for snacking. Making a big batch of protein balls to keep in the freezer will also be helpful. 



Breastfeeding
If you choose to breastfeed, it is important to make sure you are consuming enough calories to keep up your milk supply and energy. Some breastfeeding high protein and high fat (the good ones, of course) “super foods” that you should include in your diet are: oats, coconut oil, yogurt, avocado, eggs, quinoa, hemp seeds and almonds. If you are concerned about your milk supply and are hoping to give it a supply boost, some natural galactagogues that you could include in your daily intake are: oats, fennel, fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, brewer’s yeast, red raspberry leaf and hops. A simple lactation smoothie to kick start your day can be thrown together in minutes and will help keep your milk supply supple. 



Lactation Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup almond milk
Large handful or two of spinach
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp almond butter 
1 tbsp brewer’s yeast
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp spirulina 
1 date (pit removed)

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and top with crushed ice. Blend well and enjoy! 

Good fat vs. Bad fat
A mother’s diet has a significant influence on the fat content of her milk. Fat should not be restricted from infants or children under the age of two. At this stage of their lives, children’s bodies are building the necessary fat cells that will last them a life time.  It is important for breastfeeding mothers to ensure that they are consuming plenty of good fats to set up their children for health success. Foods such as avocado, coconut oil, eggs, yogurt, nuts and oily fish are great sources of omegas. When it comes to fats, trans fats should definitely be eliminated from everyone’s diet, especially breastfeeding moms. Trans fats found in processed and commercial fried foods will lower the fat content of mother’s milk. 

If you need support finding out what foods are right for you and baby or if you need some help preparing meals before baby arrives, message me to set up a consultation. I would be happy to help!




The Low-Down On Organic


January 2019 / Amanda Hilton


Anyone who has stepped foot in a supermarket knows that organic foods are becoming more readily available for consumer purchase. But many consumers are still unsure of the organic movement and whether it’s really worth the extra cost in the long run. After doing a slew of research myself, I chose to switch my family to a mainly organic diet 5 years ago. I’m not going to lecture you on all the horrible results I discovered about pesticides, herbicides, hormones, chemicals and antibiotics because frankly we all know how bad they are. My hope is to provide you with some info about how you too can make the switch to choosing more organic foods so that your family can get the most benefit out of what they eat.



EWG list
Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates a list of the twelve dirtiest foods and the cleanest fifteen. The “Dirty Dozen” are the twelve foods with the highest amount of pesticide residue and the “Clean Fifteen” have the least amount of pesticides (these are often foods with an outer skin that is removed before eating). Since the cost of organic produce can often be more expensive than conventional produce, a great way to start your journey to reduce chemical consumption is to buy only the Dirty Dozen organic and the Clean Fifteen conventional. The EWG list for 2018 is: (drum roll please!).

Dirty Dozen
  • Strawberries 
  • Spinach 
  • Nectarines 
  • Apples 
  • Grapes 
  • Peaches 
  • Cherries 
  • Pears 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Celery 
  • Potatoes 
  • Sweet Bell Peppers + Hot Peppers 

Clean Fifteen
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple 
  • Cabbage 
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peas, frozen
  • Papaya 
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Eggplant
  • Honey Dew Melon
  • Kiwi


If the cost of organic produce just blows your mind, you could try growing your own fruits and veggies. Setting up a small garden in your backyard or at a local community garden and planting organic seeds in organic soils is a great way to cut down on the cost of eating clean. If you are having a hard time finding a source for purchasing organic seeds, Seeds of Diversity Canada (http://www.seeds.ca/rl/rl.php>) has a resource list that contains a long list of mail order sources of heritage and organic seeds. If your thinking, “I don’t have a clue about planting vegetables”, put you worries to rest, most seed packets come with planting directions printed on the package back, detailing best planting dates, the depth at which to bury the seeds, and the number of days from planting to first harvest. Keep in mind that your garden is similar to having children, you can’t just leave it to fend for itself and expect it to grow in abundance. Gardens need tender loving care. Daily watering and grooming are essential but, all the hard work will pay off with the fruits of your labour.



Local CSA
If you are already writing off the idea of having an organic garden, because you are lacking the space or a green thumb, no worries, there are many Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) associations that offer organic produce at a great cost. Not only will you be supporting local farmers who strive to grow organic only, but you will be benefiting your family’s health too. As a Nutritionist and someone who loves trying new recipes, what I like about getting my CSA food share each week, is the variety. Sometimes we get new foods that we haven’t tried (like when we got the yellow watermelon that my daughter fell in love with) or foods that we should be eating more of because of their health benefits but I would forget to buy at the grocery store since it wasn’t on my menu list (hello beets!! They make the best juice!). A quick google search will bring up your local CSA directory and you can choose which one best suits your family.

Animals Are People Too
If there is only one thing you are prepared to do to make the move to organic, it should be to consume organic animal products. Not only will you help your family to avoid nasty antibiotics and hormones that are sometimes added to animal products but, organic regulations have standards for animal care. Organic eggs come from chickens who are fed a diet of organic chicken feed without other animal by-products, are free-range (have access to the outdoors), and are not given antibiotics. Organic cattle are also prohibited from antibiotics and hormones as preventative treatment and are not permitted animal by-products in their feed, 30% of their dry matter feed comes from pasture grazing. Yes, organic milk, eggs, cheese and meat are more expensive to purchase but this is because it also costs the farmers more to care for and feed their animals. To save a bit of money while still adhering to an organic diet, you could try going meatless several times a week.

Although eating organic can cost a bit more, it can profoundly affect your long-term health. I always recommend that infants consume organic baby foods as they are more sensitive to pesticides because they have immature nervous and immune systems. If you need help transitioning to a clean organic diet for you and your family message me to set up a consultation so I can help you reach your health goals.



Importance of Self-Care after Baby is Born

Amanda Hilton / February 2019

You’ve done all the hard work, right? Your baby is born, he or she is super cute and now you are preparing for cuddles, cooing, constant baby feeds, sleepless nights, dirty diapers and a whole slew of wonderful additions to your parenting life.

Amongst all this chaos, where do you find time to take care of the most important part of this new dyad – YOU?


The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup” rings true when considering the fourth trimester. You have just given birth and your little one needs you for EVERYTHING. You are so important to this little human. If you don’t find the time to take care of yourself, how will you be able to take care of your new addition (or other members of your family that rely on your constant attention, cue crying toddler who needs a kiss on his knee because he tripped over the cat).

Self-care during this time does not necessarily mean you need to book a weekend at the spa (although that would be lovely), it can be as simple as sitting quietly and enjoying a hot cup of tea (without having to microwave it four times).


Some other ways to get self-care:
  • Take a walk 
  • Get outside (absorb some vitamin D while you’re out there to ward off PPD) 
  • Have some alone time 
  • Take a shower or bath 
  • Have a hot cup of herbal tea 
  • Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water 
  • Rest/sleep 
  • Talk with friends/family 
  • Try to spend some alone time with your partner 
  • Ask for help with household chores and baby care 
  • Go to a support group for new parents 
  • Light exercise 
  • Meditation 
  • Journaling 

In order to find even an ounce of time to do any of these self-care ideas, you may need to ask for help. This can be difficult for some people because we feel as parents that we can do it all. You can still be an amazing multitasking parent while asking for a bit of help so that you don’t get burnt out.

Taking a few moments each day to ensure you have some self-care can also decrease the risk for postpartum depression. Maybe your partner works 60+ hours a week, your parents or in-laws live in another city or even country, your pre-schooler gave up nap time several months ago making babies nap time not an option for some self-care time, these can all be problematic when you are looking for some help to achieve some YOU time. But, where there is a will, there is a way. The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, the house does not NEED to be perfectly clean.

Sometimes it is ok to put your baby down in a safe place for a nap and curl up on the couch with your toddler while he checks out a cool colourful book or encourage baby to have some tummy time while you sip on a cup of tea. If you’re not the type to find relaxation in a messy house or with your children at your feet, you can look into a postpartum doula to give you a hand. Postpartum doulas vary in what they do so interview a few till you find one that can support you to the best of your needs. Some postpartum doulas even provide overnight service so you can catch some much needed zzzz’s through the night.

If you are looking for some additional support to help you get the self-care you need, whether it be a hot shower, warm meal, sleep, or getting through the book you started several months ago so you can finally find out what happened to the main character (or maybe start from the beginning because you can’t even remember his name, it has been that long since you’ve picked it up), message or call me and we can arrange a consultation to see if I can help you transition to having this wonderful new addition in your life.


Benefits of Having a Doula

Amanda Hilton / February 2019

Have you thought about adding a doula to your birthing team? Here are some reasons why you absolutely MUST! Giving birth, whether you are a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran at the birthing process, is a momentous experience. Having a professional support person in your corner can provide health benefits and a positive birth experience. Doulas provide physical, emotional and informational support during the prenatal, labour and postpartum periods.

Statistics Say...
Having a doula present during your labour provides you will 100% support in any form that you need it. According to the book, “Mothering the Mother” by Marshall Klaus, John Kennell & Phyllis Klaus, statistics show that with a doula present during birth there is:
  • 25% shorter labour 
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests 
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use 
  • 40% reduction in forceps being used in delivery 
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin use 

Why? Because a doula will give you informational support prior to labour to help you build the birth plan you need. A doula will prepare you for possible medical interventions and the risks involved with each and facilitate for you to advocate for yourself so that you get the birthing experience you want. A doula will support you physically to ease your pain naturally and help you emotionally to get through the hardest parts of your labour.


Health Benefits 
So, we see how a doula will help your rock your birth but you’re still sitting on the fence about why you need a doula. Here are some more statistics-based stats that show how having continuous labour support through doula care will benefit your health.
  • 9% drop in use of pain medication 
  • 31% less use of Pitocin 
  • 34% fewer negative birth experiences 
  • 40 minutes shorter labour 
  • 28% fewer caesareans 
  • 12% more spontaneous vaginal births 
  • Higher Apgar score 
  • Increased breastfeeding with prenatal and postpartum doula care 

If you are at all still unsure about why you need a doula, call or message me so we can discuss your birth goals and how, as a doula, I can help you achieve them.

Baby Poop 101

Amanda Hilton / February 2019



Baby poop can be so confusing. It can come in more colours than a rainbow! If you’re wondering what is the norm and what requires a call to your paediatrician…. Keep reading.

The appearance of your babies’ poop can vary depending on whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding. Healthy stools for a newborn breastfed baby should be yellow, seedy and runny whereas healthy stools for a newborn formula fed baby should be thicker and darker. No one loves to examine poop, but it is important to keep an eye on what your babies’ poop looks like because it can tell you more than you think.

Colours of baby poop can range from green to red to black and even white. Not only is it important to check out your babies’ poop (yes, I know, YUCK!) but also keep an eye on babies’ behaviour and mood. The following is a breakdown of the different colours and what they may mean for your baby.

Mustard Yellow – normal for infants (breast and formula fed)

Bright Yellow – could be a result of medication or food eaten by Mom in breastfed babies

Orange – if baby has started on solid foods, orange coloured poop can be a result of eating orange foods like pureed carrots. If baby is EBF (exclusively breastfed), orange poop can be caused by medication mom has been on or artificially coloured foods (orange dyes that have made their way into breast milk). Orange stools are generally not an indicator of something problematic but, if you are worried, call your paediatrician.

Red - breastfed babies may have tiny amounts of blood in their stool if mom has cracks in her nipples, this is not a concern and mom can continue to breastfed while nipples heal. If baby has started solids, red poop may be caused by certain foods (such as beets). Flecks of red are generally not a big deal. It may mean baby is constipated and straining too hard when pooping. Keep an eye on babies’ bowel movement frequency if this is the case. Bloody or bright red stools may indicate an infection, allergy, GI injury or other medical concern and this should be addressed immediately by calling your paediatrician.

Black – newborns will have black tarry stool for the first few days. If stool is still black by day three, it may be a sign baby is not getting enough nutrition or digesting milk properly. If baby in not taking an iron supplement or iron-fortified formula, black stools can be a sign of GI tract bleeding and you would need to call your paediatrician if this is the case.

Grey – If your baby is eating solids, poop may be grey depending on what your child eats. If baby has not started on solids, grey stools can be an indicator of a liver or gallbladder problem and you should speak to your paediatrician.

White – as with grey stools, chalky white poop can be a sign that babies’ liver is not functioning efficiently, and your paediatrician should be notified.

Dark Green – Sometimes the iron in baby formula can cause dark green stools. This is not a reason for concern.

Greenish Tan - Can be seen in babies who are teething or getting over a stomach bug. Greenish tan stools can be normal but if formula fed babies are fussy at feedings, this type of poop can be a sign of a cow’s milk allergy reaction to the formula.

Bright Green – If the stool is bright green and frothy, it could mean that baby is getting too much fore-milk, and not enough fatty hind-milk. Keeping baby on the breast longer can help with this one. Contacting a doula or lactation consultant to assist with breastfeeding can also be helpful.

As a mom of four and a doula, I have seen many colours of poop! Knowing what to be worried about and what is completely normal can help ease your mind when changing an “odd” looking diaper. Keeping a diaper diary can also help. Recording when your baby has a bowel movement, what it looks like, and what your baby had to eat (if they have started solids) can help you to determine if there is a problem and what may be causing it.

How Do I Get My Children to Eat Their Veggies??

Amanda Hilton / February 2019

Let me just start by saying….it isn’t easy! Like most things parenting, getting your children to eat vegetables can be a daunting task. It is something that is best if started early in life for it to be less difficult for you and your child but “it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks”. I’m going to share with you the tried and tested ways that will help you get your children to eat their vegetables.

When I had my youngest daughter, my life was very different from what it is now. I was a single mother, a mature student, working part-time, and knew very little about nutrition. Yes, I started my daughter out on rice cereal and veggies like you read in all the baby books, but from there…convenience became key for this very busy mom. We relied on granola bars, waffles, hash browns, canned beans in sauce, grilled cheese, and pasta (lots of pasta). As time went on, our family grew and I learned A LOT about nutrition and parenting.

Fourteen years later and many years of school, research and trial-and-error, as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with four children, this is what I’ve learned; starting children out on vegetables and not offering up all the processed junk, is KEY; being prepared is a lifesaver; getting the little ones to help can ACTUALLY be helpful and; there are sooooo many ways to sneak veggies into foods kids love.

Start at the beginning
Do my children always eat their veggies without a fight? Absolutely not! Dinner is challenging. But they do eat their vegetables because they know this is what they get, and they do not want to starve. Clients have said things like, “my four-year old won’t eat anything but goldfish, what do I do?”. Well, is your four-year-old taking your wallet, walking to the grocery store and purchasing goldfish? I think not. You buy the food, you make the healthy choices and your child will have no choice but to follow suit. Starting little ones out on fresh organic produce without adding sugary sauces or condiments can help them to secure a taste and liking for a variety of vegetables.

As they grow (which they do too quickly), continue to offer all sorts of vegetables, even ones that you may not appreciate. In our house, I’m not a big tomato fan but my youngest son will eat a pint of cherry tomatoes a day if I allow it. Variety is so important. Limiting sugar and processed foods is essential. Children don’t need added sugar in their diet and if you don’t give it to them at a young age, they won’t yearn for it as they get older. Reserve “dessert” items for special occasions like birthdays.

Be prepared
I know we are all pressed for time these days but if we have time for the newest episode of Grey’s Anatomy (OMG, did you see the last episode!!), then we have time to put together a healthy lunch for our children to take to school the next day (it seriously only takes me 5 min to make my SK’s lunch – cut up veggies, cut up fruit, and a sandwich with goat cheese and spinach – done!). As for dinner, meal prepping is super important when it comes to healthy veggie-rich dinners. Taking an hour on the weekend after the kids are in bed and while you are having your cup of tea (or wine, depending on how your week has gone), you can make a meal plan for the week and even prep some of the food you need. This way, you are prepared for each night and not relying on take-away or frozen pizza. I have become such a meal-planner that I’ve made it part of my job. When you contact me, we can set up a meal plan that works for you and your family and is mega healthy.


Helping hand
Getting your little ones (big ones too!) to help out at the grocery store and in the kitchen can actually be helpful (sometimes). Allowing your child to choose a new vegetable while at the grocery store, if you are brave enough to shop with a cart full of kids, can be beneficial to getting them to try new foods. At home, having your youngster sitting or standing next to you, safely, to help with stirring and pouring can make them feel important and may give them incentive to try the end product knowing that they helped make it. Sometimes, we let our 14-year-old make dinner all by herself and she loves it because she feels important. When the younger ones help, be prepared for a bit more cleanup afterwards. You can use that time to teach them about tidying up and make it fun. Helping hands in the kitchen does require a bit of patience but the kids will be pros in no time and you will be able to sit back and let them make you dinner 😊

Sneaky, sneaky
There are loads of books and info online that give you recipes to sneak food into your child’s meals. Butternut squash can be put into grilled cheese, veggies like zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower can be pureed into sauces for pasta, avocado (which is actually a fruit, but super healthy none the less) can be mixed into low sugar brownies or breakfast muffins. Do a bit of research and see what you can mix your veggies into so that your children are getting all that they need. Raw veggies are very important for proper digestion so continue to offer those up too. Making fun food presentation or a side of hummus for dipping can be helpful to get those veggies in their tummies.

Sometimes we need a bit of help and as with most things, results won’t happen overnight. But you too can get your children to eat their veggies (and even enjoy them too!). Send me a message if you would like to set up a consultation so I can help you achieve your health goals for you and your children.

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