‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dinner: Modern Family Style

The modern family is hard to define; single mother, single father, divorced, separated, 2 kids, 5 kids, swingers... Maybe not. An interesting article crossed my path recently about the modern child often eating 'split' dinners or two dinners. Since family meals play an important role in health, let's discuss this trend.

The main reasons identified for children eating two dinners or 'split' dinners were due to sport games/practices, or having dinner at the mother's house and then again at the father's house (this is assuming divorce or separation.)
First things first: Sport games/practices. Most active people involved in organised sports, adults and children alike, are at the mercy of their team. Sometimes practice or games are at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm... Meaning we have to 'pre-meal' and 'post-meal'. For many parents, these meals may be given on the run, which is not ideal for several reasons:
  • Priority is on convenience rather than nutrition
  • Meals are likely eaten in a hurry rather than enjoyed in a peaceful, calm setting
  • Meals eaten on the fly usually mean that the child is eating on their own, missing critical parental 'modelling' behaviour
Things to help combat these issues:
  • Have healthy and nutritious snacks/small meals pre-prepared (depending on the child's age, have them help you prepare)
  • Carve out 15 minutes for your child to eat their meal/snack at the table before leaving, or get there early and have a 'picnic' of sorts
  • To avoid missing parental 'modelling' eat a small healthy meal/snack with your child
Some easy, healthy, nutritious ideas for before sports games:
  • Peanut butter with fruit (apple, banana or other)
  • Peanut butter sandwich with sliced fruit
  • Plain low fat yoghurt with sliced fruit added
  • Flavoured low fat yoghurt
  • Dried fruit and nuts (trail mix - easily made at home)
  • A small bowl of cereal with milk
  • Cheese and crackers (try melting the cheese for a 'nacho' effect)
  • Cottage cheese with dipping veggies (celery, carrot, bell pepper)
  • Hummus with dipping veggies
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Egg on toast
  • More on snacks here and here
These may be useful in combination if you have an older child who requires a larger 'pre-meal'.

Scenario number two: Half a dinner with mum and half with dad. In many ways this is easier because it is less likely rushed and both parents will likely eat with the child (parental modelling, good stuff.)

Some tips for success:
  • Communication is key
    • What is the other parent serving?
    • What has the child has already eaten?
    • Is it better for the child to have a full dinner with one parent this night and switch out the next time?
  • Plan ahead and keeps the kids clued in
  • Healthy meals are important
    •  Both parents should serve healthy choices (goes without saying)
    Here's to the modern family, whatever it is!

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