Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thing One and Thing Two

I have had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus Eight not just once, but twice.

And, seriously, the woman makes my life seem like the Disney Channel.

Whenever we're experiencing a bad eating day, I return to her comments about meals. She offers some good advice.

First, she does not serve snacks -- at least she hadn't when they were under 2.5 years.

While we do not do this at our house, I do limit snacks greatly. It would be easy to let them eat and eat because right now at this age, that is what they want. We do snacks at the same time every day: about an hour after breakfast and as soon as they wake from nap. These times, I feel, prevent overeating. I usually pick nutritious snacks, but sometimes I cave to something more convenient. The yogurt-covered raisins, to me, are a decent choice. Yesterday they had eco-friendly crackers that are a spin off of animal crackers and they LOVED them, too. Shame I do not have more.

Kate also doesn't have time to fix a different meal for all eight of her children so she fixes one meal for all.

As I wrote yesterday, this is the plan I am trying to get to at this point. I read long ago that children should be able to eat what you eat by age 2. I think all children are different, though, and that we're going to be closer to 2.5 before we get to that point.

Kate and Jon have a rule that they have to be able to eat all of their dinner before any of the kids can have seconds of anything.

I think this is a great rule, but so far we aren't enforcing it. Once J and L understand that concept, we will enforce it for sure. I do hate getting up and down a hundred times in a meal. Even if I think I've brought everything to the table, I haven't.

As far as giving each one a different food that they will eat: I am trying not to do that. This means sometimes Jadyn will have a dinner she will devour and sometimes Liana will have a dinner she will consume quickly. I always make sure there is one thing they both love.

Most of the time Liana is the pickiest in that she only likes plain pasta and I haven't been able to get her to eat pancakes, French toast or waffles. She, on the other hand, loves edamame, but Jadyn won't even consider it. But, aside from breakfast when I will give Liana a bowl of Cheerios instead of whatever the rest of us eat, I do not make two kinds of veggies each night or two kinds of pasta.

Last night they had buttered Rotini with some dried out chicken I had messed up. Jadyn loves sauce, but I really need Liana to eat more carbs. Of course, they rejected the chicken, but I had nuggets ready in case. Then later, Dan and I ate the rotini with the chicken and sauce it was cooked in all day in the slow cooker.

Our best meal all around: Homemade pizza.

Here's our bread machine recipe that I have adapted from various others:

Pizza Dough

1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Water
2 T Olive Oil
3 Cups bread flour (I sometimes use half whole wheat)
2 T sugar
2 teaspoons yeast (or a whole packet of the smaller ones)

The machine does the hard part in 1.5 hours. Then I roll it out, dust the greased pan with cornmeal and top it. Lately, I've actually used spaghetti sauce since I had that leftover and it worked great. I cook it at 375 degrees until it is golden brown and crisp.

I have been making this weekly because it is such a hit with all of us and I love that I know what is going in it. Deceptively Delicious would have you hide spinach puree under the sauce ... and I hope to try that next time.

To be fair here, I am going to alert Kate to this blog post. It's not common journalistic practice to just reuse information like this, but I know you will all appreciate the advice and I'm sure she will be glad to help.


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4 comments:

Bastet said...

I love watching Jon and Kate Plus 8! The kids are adorable and I have so much respect for the amount of patience and understanding they have for the kids but also with themselves. I think it is great that they are allowing a tv crew follow them through their everyday lives. Plus they are in Central PA!

Getting toddlers to eat is very tough...We decided early too, that our daughter would not get a "special" meal, and would eat what was on the table. We also only do a small snack in the afternoon after nap. We follow this routine to keep consistent with her day care.

The Pizza sounds yummy, but I don't have a bread machine. :(

marta said...

Oh, I do hate dealing with food and meals and menus and cooking and paying attention to nutrition and good eating habits and all that...it makes my head spin.

But you've got great ideas here and I'll try to incorporate a few in my life. If I don't collapse at the sight of my kitchen.

Shelli said...

I don't give Aidan snacks either. His meals are usually a bunch of snacks. He's so picky.

Stacie said...

Kate amazes (and kind of scares) me.