Chrissy, from Lemon Tree Passage, is married to Scott and they have two children together, Jace, 5 and Jai, 3. Chrissy is also a proud bonus mum to her stepson Jack. (more…)
Does your child suffer from anxiety or frustration? Is your child a victim of bullying? (more…)
Plus, for the rest of the family: Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salsa
This week I had a slight change of plan. Instead of attempting another recipe for my daughter, I had a brainwave about getting her to try some new fruits. I also embarked on a new mission – getting the whole family to eat a more healthy dinner.
My daughter has always been happy to eat apple, banana, strawberries and grapes, but there is such a wide variety of delicious fruits out there which I felt I should re-introduce her to, so I decided I’d get her involved in preparing a smoothie for me and dad. I wasn’t holding out much hope of her trying the actual smoothie, however, I figured that somewhere along the way, I may be able to get her to try some of the fruit we were preparing.
While I was getting the fruit out, I threw some positive subliminal messages into our conversation about the fact that her best friend loves eating all these kinds of fruits (not sure if she does but hey) and how I used to love eating this fruit when I was little. Next, I laid out a couple of pieces of fruit I know she likes on a little plate and next to those I put one blueberry, one piece of melon, one raspberry, one piece of watermelon and one piece of peach. She wasn’t uttering the words “I don’t like that” yet… so far so good! Next I suggested to her that if she tried a little of each, just a tiny teensy bite, then I would high five her (she loves getting a high five). I also explained to her that for each high five she got, she would get a sticker and once she had got 20 stickers she could get a little reward at the shops (like a magazine or colouring book). Her eyes brightened, she liked this idea! Then I panicked – I didn’t have any stickers! Some quick thinking and I came up with my own version of stickers (see pic below). I’m no artist but I drew little hands on the paper to denote each ‘sticker’ earnt and it seemed to do the trick.
I told her she could eat her favourite fruit first, pointing to the fruit she usually eats (to build her confidence) then try the rest.
After eating her usual fruit staples first, she told me she would lick the other fruit. I saw this as positive progression and rewarded her with a high five and a sticker when she licked each fruit (however, I had plans!). Because she responded really well to the high fives and stickers, I said that if she tried a teensy bite of each piece of fruit, she could have another high five and sticker. It worked! A teensy bit it was, but she took a bite of each.
The next day she actually came to me and asked me if I was going to make another smoothie, so I let her help me prepare the fruit again and attempted the same method of getting her to try each piece and got the same result – so with a bit of perseverance, I’m hoping the bites will get bigger!
Next on my agenda was a healthy meal for the family…
Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salsa
Preparation time: 20 mins / Cooking Time: 15 mins
For the Salsa:
4 ripe plum tomatos, chopped or 12 cherry tomatos, halved
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and diced or some chili flakes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
For the chicken
1/2 cup non-fat plain yoghurt
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the salsa:
1. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion and pepper
2. Chop the avocado and sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of lime juice to keep it from browning. Add the avocado and remaining lime juice to the bowl and toss to combine. (This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.)
For the chicken:
1. In a small food processor, puree the yoghurt, red onion and lime juice to make a yogurt marinade.
2. Transfer the marinade to a shallow bowl or plastic bag. Add the chicken and coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours (I marinaded for about 2.5 hours).
3. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken on both sides until cooked through.
5. Serve the chicken with tomato-avocado salsa.
This recipe was really easy to prepare and I chose to serve it with steamed beans (which I am proud to say I grew in the garden) and asparagus.
Verdict from the family:
My husband said he felt like he was dining in a fancy restaurant it tasted so good and my 12 year old son ate almost all of it too (this was after complaining while I was cooking it, that there were too many ‘weird’ ingredients.) Even though I do say so myself, it tasted REALLY good and I would highly recommend this recipe. The salsa can of course be used in other recipes and it would taste great with some corn tortillas! I put a little of the chicken on to my daughter’s plate too, and tried the high five/sticker technique here, but she looked at me like I was pushing my luck! Oh well, keep trying!
19/01/12 – Sheryl Downey, Medical Herbalist & Iridologist Writes:
Well high 5 to you Saffron!! Most kids respond SO much better to positive reinforcement (high 5, stickers, book) than to negative reactions (eg: eat your dinner or you will be going straight to bed!). Especially at this age, this technique is fantastic as she gets a reward straight away (high 5) a visual reward (sticker) and a reward down the track to remind her what she gets if she keeps it up! I use a similar method with rewards, but i get my daughter (5 years old) to choose what she wants from a magazine or draw a picture of it so that she remembers what the long term goal is!
Smoothies are a great way to get great fruit and veg into kids… here is my morning smoothie that i make for my girls and I:
3/4 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.. etc..)
1-2 cups water (depending on how thick you like it)
1/2 banana (makes it creamy)
1 tspn of LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almond meal)
1/2 tspn of slippery elm powder
1 tspn of spirulina (makes it green and enriches with vitamins & minerals, the girls love it green!!)
1 serve soy protein powder
Blend with a stick mixer, can also replace some water for ice cubes for a cooler, thicker drink!
Getting kids involved in their food is so important. Whether it be to have a garden so they can see it growing and know where it comes from, or getting them to help prepare food (age appropriate) or to put dinner on the table and get them to dish out their own plate of food. Getting kids involved in food, and to be aware of what they are eating, is one of the many keys to help have a healthier next generation! Keep up the good work!! Cheers Sheryl
To be a successful parent, we need to nurture our children’s spirit, not constantly criticise and beat them down in the name of good behaviour, or as it is often put, ‘for their own good”. One of the most important ways in which we can build up (and equally, knock down) a child’s spirit is with the language we use. For a child to know that they are loved and cared for, no matter what, we need to use clear, positive, non judgemental language. This is not always easy, especially when a child is being particularly annoying. However, a calm and consistent response to inappropriate behaviour will, in the end, be the most effective way of dealing with it and modifying behaviour. (more…)
Remember your relationship with your child and their self esteem is more important than homework. (more…)