before/after lunchboxes

Before & After Lunchbox

Love It, Like It, Learning It Lunchbox:

Love It Foods: Beanitos Mac n' Cheese puffs, blueberries, orange slices

Like It Foods: cheese slices, turkey breast

Learning It Foods: purple carrots, cherry tomatoes

 

Before & After Images:

Observations of an Apprehensive Eater:

My two year old is pretty excited about these "Cheetos." Mind you we actually have never had Cheetos in our house, she is aware of what they are apparently from the world around her. While I still consider actual "Cheetos" a fun food we save for when she may be exposed to them out and about (say with her older cousins, at a party, etc.), these off-variety by Beanitos offer a great alternative. I know the cracker/crunchy+salty element of every meal is usually the first or second to get eaten, right alongside the fresh fruit. So it matters to me how healthy these snack cracker options are. With Beanitos having a more natural ingredient list than the original Cheetos, plus the added nutrition of being made from beans, these are a safe "sometimes food" for anyone who craves these cheesy puffs.

P.S. Just for fun, a little fact about me -- When pregnant with Claire, I was OBSESSED with Cheetos! Being so nauseous in the early months, I most definitely gave into more cravings than I would like to admit to. I guess she tasted them in the amniotic fluid and has been hooked ever since ;-)

 

Disclaimer

Veggies & Virtue received no compensation for writing this review. However, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means Veggies & Virtue will earn a small commission when purchases are made using those links. For more info, please visit the Veggies & Virtue disclosure page.

 

 

Before & After Lunchbox

Love It, Like It, Learning It Lunchbox:

Love It Foods: Babybel cheese, Annie's Homegrown farm crackers, nectarines

Like It Foods: mango, (golden) raisins

Learning It Foods: blanched green beans

 

Before & After Images:

Observations of an Apprehensive Eater:

Knowing how much your little one will eat is a never-ending wonder. I would've guessed my 2.5 year old ate much more than this, but clearly -- she didn't.

While it is important to provide adequate amounts of nutrient-dense foods for your kiddos, it is equally important to equip them with the self-efficacy to decide if and when they are full. This is one of the hardest things for me, and I presume other fellow moms, to relinquish control over. We assume we know better than our kids how much their bodies need to eat to feel full, satisfied, and well-nourished. How backwards is that?!

While there are a lot of things we as parents DO know better than our kids, how to regulate their appetite and food intake is not one of them. In posts shared on the Division of Responsibility in feeding, I address the expert approach first introduced by Ellyn Satter that addresses this very issue. In Satter's evidenced-approach to raising "competent eaters," we have to remember and remain confident in our role/responsibilities as the parent versus those of the child. If we don't, how many food wars will we have at each meal, each day, for all the years to come?

Too many.

So instead, let's heed the advice of Ellyn Satter that reminds us of how our kids know their bodies better than we do:

"If you follow the division of responsibility with feeding and activity, she will eat, move, and grow in the way that is right for her. She can even make up for her mistakes in eating. Raise your child to be competent with eating. Rather than reacting when she eats a lot--or a little--keep your nerve, hang on to structure, and preserve her sensitivity to her internal sensations of hunger, appetite, and satiety. She will  do well with her lifetime of eating much as she needs and weighing what is right for her body."

Before & After Lunchbox

Love It, Like It, Learning It Lunchbox:

Love It Foods: Annie's organic cheese bunnies, smoked salmon, organic raisins

Like It Foods: organic apple slices, peas

Learning It Foods: organic cucumber circles, organic red bell pepper strips

 

Before & After Images:

Observations of an Apprehensive Eater:

This is a pretty "made with staples" lunchbox. We almost always have frozen peas, smoked salmon, some sort of cracker, raisins, apples, cucumbers, and peppers on hand. It helps me to know a few options for lunches that require close to no effort or energy to assemble, especially on those days when I either need to make it to the store or we only have -2 minutes to make it out the door with a bento box in tow. 

Since we have these items around our house often, most are familiar to Claire (even if not a current favorite). Like many kids, vegetables are not a very preferred food for her. So today, I asked Claire what shape she wanted the cucumber and peppers in. Circle or sticks, strips or chunks. This was a small, simple way to give her a sense of control and power over what she was being offered while still following well within the Division of Responsibility in feeding framework. I had to cut these veggies either way, so it was no added work on my end to ask her first what shape she would like them in today.

The result? A small nibble, or in our world, a BIG step towards ongoing food exposure and acceptance!

 

Disclaimer

Veggies & Virtue received no compensation for writing this review. However, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means Veggies & Virtue will earn a small commission when purchases are made using those links. For more info, please visit the Veggies & Virtue disclosure page.

 

Before & After Lunchbox

Love It, Like It, Learning It Lunchbox:

Love It Foods: organic raisins, apple slices, pretzel thins

Like It Foods: sliced turkey breast (from Costco), carrots

Learning It Foods: apple cheddar cheese (from Trader Joe's), bell peppers

 

Before & After Images:

Observations of an Apprehensive Eater:

She took a bite of the cheese! Plus, she ate part of the turkey. That makes me happy.

Why? Because she is a creature of habit with cheese. She loves sliced colby jack, shredded cheddar, and babybel rounds. Otherwise, anything that shifts too much from those are often left untouched -- even string cheese?! But in attempts to expose her to variety, I like to see if there are other options she may be open to at least exploring. This apple one is such a tasty fall treat in my opinion; it is a seasonal item at Trader Joe's I wanted to try. and am so glad I did. Even if Claire never took to it while we had it, I am glad she at least took a taste. Remember, sometimes the biggest progress is in the smallest, unsolicited bites.

As for turkey, this one is hit or miss. Since this turkey is a more natural option to traditional lunch meat, I would like for her to become more familiar with it and favor it. We rarely ever have lunch meat around, so this becomes an easy, affordable option for adding some protein to her lunches. Even if it is just a like it food and something she doesn't eat a ton of, I find comfort in how protein-packed it is. One ounce of meat equals 7 grams of protein, so for a child her age (almost 3), that provides almost half of her daily protein needs.