I'm not big on resolutions, but I do like the idea of making a few goals as we head into the new year to help set my family up for healthy eating and mealtime success. To me, that comes down to a few simple, yet actionable, steps that I can take each week. Here are my 3 food goals for 2017:
I will try not to assume that my children won't like something.
I often prejudge a meal and assume that L won't want something that I've made that she either hasn't liked before or she hasn't had before. That's not fair and I think too many times, it conditions her response—if I assume she won't eat it and don't approach the meal with positivity, I think she picks up on it and dismisses whatever the food is. Instead, I plan to try to let her decide for herself by letting her serve herself and simply explaining what the food is and what it might taste like.
Focus on variety.
I get into a rut of buying bananas, apples, and clementines, especially in the winter when our Midwest produce isn't always awesome. That very quickly gets boring for all of us, so I plan to keep up with my goal of buying two items, at least, of produce each week that I didn't buy the week before as a simple way to add in variety. Because the wider range of foods I have on hand, the wider range of nutrients we're all eating—and it's just more fun!
Exposure, exposure, exposure.
Since we have a new eater in our house, my goal is to continue to introduce her to a wide variety of flavors and textures to give her a large foundation of accepted foods. This way, when she hits the inevitable stage of food refusal when she's 1 or 2, we'll be starting from a place of lots of foods to choose from. (And when she does refuse those foods, I'm going to keep offering them again to ensure that we don't winnow her accepted foods down to small!) This usually has a nice bonus: L is more likely to want to eat foods she might not otherwise if she sees her sister eating them. She recently ate a pile of cold roasted sweet potato!