Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Fruit, Faith and Fun

Lately, mornings have not been going as well as they could in our home.  In thinking about why, I recognized that I have been slipping with evening and morning routines, so I decided to get back on them!

Part of what we are trying to train Luke and Nina to do is eat healthy.  Simple?  Not with two finicky eaters that seem to protest anything that is not carb nor cheese!  My peaceful attempt at a solution?  I try to get produce in them first thing in the morning when they are very hungry and my patience for their protests is the greatest.  Or, I should say, I had been trying...  Lately, caught up in deadlines for contract work, more often than not, I have been working in our home office first thing as they wake up, sneak out to the kitchen and grab something starchy instead.

So, my fix?  This week, I went back to prepping at night to lay some fruit out on the table first thing in the morning.  Then, the kids are greeted with a welcoming array of fresh fruit to be squeezed, sliced apples and/or pears, defrosted berries and whatnot, along with a faith-based book or two for morning prayer and reading together and, as of yesterday, a bonus (which I will get to in a minute.)

This works!  (Well, to be honest, it works to a degree: Luke still doesn’t eat much whole fruit.)  Nina happily scoffs down some sliced fruit or berries and Luke, despite refusing most whole fruits, loves to juice oranges and will drink what he juices to get his morning fruit vitamin fix.  And, as the kids and I sit together, we share in some Faith First prayers, songs, chats and readings in lieu of morning Mass, which just wasn’t working for us recently.

Now what about the “bonus”?  The photo might give you clue.  It’s a Surprise Toy or Activity of the Day.  By putting out something, on the table or in the living room, that the kids that have not seen in a while, I almost guarantee that after our fruit breakfast (and our subsequent carb one), they will be thoroughly engaged in the toy or activity.  This affords me the time I need to finish up whatever computer contract work I had started on my computer prior to their waking.  And, so our morning start on a more positive note and our rhythm moves along in a way we can march to together.

Will this all continue to work?  Time will tell.  But, it works for us now and that is what is important.

If you’d like to share in what works for you (on any topic) and to read what works for others, please visit the links at We Are THAT Family.  And, also, if you’d like to share your own experiences about morning routines, healthy diet strategies, meeting work and kids’ needs all at once, etc. I would love it if you would leave a comment and/or link below. 

Thanks and have a blessed day!


Lisa said...

Good post. We struggle a lot with mornings too. Sleep deprived mommy drags herself out of bed and fixes the two starving grumpy kids a bowl of cereal most days.
It's good to hear your mornings are going better.

emmacourreges said...

I just struggle with any sort of a routine at all and I am realizing my daughter must have one or her life implodes, never knew a three year old could explode or implode but mine can. So I am very terrified about starting one but I know I have to for her well being! Good job though sounds like you are doing awesome!

Elizabeth Brand at comcast dot net said...

Here's an idea that just came to us as a great gift. It is a way to help our picky two year old work her way through a plateful of food that she isn't interested. It's Table Time Storytelling! It's fun for the adults too as it provides us with regular mental exercise. I'll start the ball rolling this way: "Take a bite and Daddy will tell you about the Baboon and the Balloon." Daddy will now have to make up the story on the go, and will occasionally turn it back over to me. As soon as a bite is consumed the story comes to a suspenseful stop (even ordinary things said with a dramatic tone have great effect--my daughter's eyes bulge). We know she is done when even a story won't coax her to eat. My one year-old-enjoys the drama as she cheerfully works her way through twice the food her sister eats. Try it sometime!


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