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Dinnertime Dilemma

A friend asked me the other day, “What do you feed your boys?” Both of us being Mothers of a toddler and a preschooler, she is struggling with getting her toddler to eat anything other than meat. I, on the other hand, can’t keep up with my toddler’s (Brayden’s) demand for fruits and vegetables (not that that’s such a bad thing, I just have a hard time getting enough protein in him – and Zackery for that matter – to keep their little tummies full).

I began listing off all the things I’ve offered for meal times and snack, to both my boys. To my amazement, the list was quite long! I must admit they don’t always enjoy eating what is put in front of them, but I try my best to mix it up.

Zackery is pretty good about trying new things, and he really is the only 4-year-old (this I still can’t believe) I know that asks for artichoke and refuses a hot dog. Brayden is at the stage where he wants to do it all himself. I am always trying to find new foods I can give him that he can hold himself, take a bite, and not end up choking on. His favorite thing to eat right now is frozen peas (I think it feels good on those teething gums), but he did very much enjoy a couple of ritz crackers today at snack.  

What foods or snacks do your toddlers and preschoolers enjoy? Any suggestions on quick, easy, kid-friendly ways to get them to eat protein? I look forward to getting some comments!


Happy Being Me

The other day I found a chance to relax (I know, right?) and watch one of my Tivo-ed episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her guest was Bob Greene, talking about his new book and lifestyle program 20 Years Younger. Bob says his program is “a practical, science-based plan for looking and feeling your best as you age. The cutting-edge program details easy and effective steps we can all take to rebuild the foundation of youth and enjoy better health, improved energy, and a positive outlook on life.” He continues by saying “you can look and feel younger by revamping four areas of your life: exercise, nutrition, skin care and sleep.”

It was interesting (and inspiring) to see 20 of Oprah’s Ultimate Viewer’s take on the 2 month challenge. Armed with Bob Greene himself, and a team of experts to help educate, guide and support them, these 20 women learned about the 4 pillars mentioned above: exercise, nutrition, skin care and sleep.

Watching with an open mind from the comfort of my own home, I too learned the basics of a healthy lifestyle based on those 4 areas. Now I mean no disrespect at all, and I applaud anyone and everyone who has followed or even tried the 20 Years Younger program. I remember Bob Greene saying that if you aren’t at a place in your life where you can fully commit to all 4 areas, then you should wait to start the program, which is exactly where I’m at right now! I can’t compare myself to someone who’s ready to take it on.

Acknowledging myself for being aware of my circumstances, and tapping into my sense of humor, I decided to take a closer look at my life in the areas of exercise, nutrition, skin care and sleep.

Yes, I exercise, if you consider chasing around a pre-schooler while carrying a 25 lb baby. And let’s not forget the constant up, down, up, down…

Yes, I eat, in between fixing a plate of broccoli, dinosaur chicken bites and pasta wheels (Zack eats pretty well – and probably healthier than me!) and feeding Brayden a gourmet selection of whatever I have pureed in the freezer. Who knew that a grown woman would need her food cut up into bite sized pieces? I must say I’m getting pretty good at feeding myself with my left hand while I’m feeding Brayden with my right.

Yes, I do use soap when I get to take a shower every now and then.

Yes, I know what sleep is, but I think it’s been about 4 years since I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep without interruption. WOW!

All in all, I can’t complain. So I don’t run 5 miles and lift weights for 30 min every day. So I eat a little feverishly and don’t always make the best food choices. So I don’t exfoliate and apply a nightly rejuvenation mask every evening. So I still get up several times a night to take care of my boys. I am the luckiest woman in the world to be the Mother of Zackery and Brayden and the wife of Will Zimmer.

Someday, I will be ready to take on the Bob Greene ’20 Years Younger’ challenge with full gusto. But for now, I’m “just” Mom and I’m happy being me.

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