Am I Feeding Toddlers or Monsters?

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like the kids know you are exhausted
so they are intentionally bringing out their inner monster? 

I had one of those days this week, but now, I know why.

The kids got up extra early, 5 am, bad start to a bad day.  I brought them downstairs, put them in underwear, put on a movie, gave them each a sippy cup full of apple juice and a snack cup of cereal, made my coffee and settled down on the couch.  Within an hour every toy had been strewn about and I had to preform multiple boo-boo kisses because they kept tossing each other off the couch.  My head was pounding and my coffee was getting cold.  Both kids are hungry again, so I go to the kitchen to get some refills and reheat my coffee.  I hear a thud, Jacob's daredevil leap off of the table to the couch went wrong, more boo-boo kisses are distributed. I spent the rest of the morning running kids back and forth to the potty, cleaning up accidents and issuing timeouts.  My headache was getting worse, my coffee is still in the microwave.

Lunch time rolls around, the kids are begging for food so I throw together peanut butter and jelly, quick and easy. They devour it.  Sticky fingers are wiped.  Then they ask for more.  Back to the kitchen, reheat coffee again, cut up apple slices.  Another thud, rush back, more kisses issued, another timeout. Just noticed Sonic the Hedgehog is on, when did they learn to use netflix?  More craziness ensues, from 5am to 5pm, messes everywhere, didn't prep dinner, didn't do laundry, no crafts, no reading time. Poor Dominic is having a bad day, he hasn't had a single uninterrupted meal all day.  I haven't eaten at all.  I chugged my cold coffee.

What went wrong?

What can I change?

The next day 5am happens again, not cool.  Bring the kids downstairs, Chris gets his underwear, Jacob gets a cloth diaper, skip the movie and hand them each a book.  I am tired, but today I am going to play my best Super Mom roll and make breakfast.  I scramble eggs, cut them into stars, serve with toast and a sippy cup full of milk.  The kids sit and eat every last bite, I feed Dominic, then have some coffee.  The kids are civilized, no boo-boo kisses, cars are everywhere, but they are playing with them not throwing them at each other.  We have cheese and grapes for a snack. I get some chores done, we design felt robots, do some color sorting games.  They even clean up so I can vacuum the playroom.

Lunch time rolls around, I cook up some french toast, because it's what they asked for.  I add some yoghurt to dip in because kids like to dip, the food is eaten, sippy cups are filled with water.  The kids are happy.  We dance to some Less Than Jake and act like a bunch of goofballs for a bit.

Early afternoon we turn on the TV, I put on Bob the Builder, Jacob falls asleep, Chris watches quietly then asks me about making compost piles, so we talk about where garbage goes while I feed Dominic. Jacob gets up and they both play nicely while I prep dinner, Dominic naps peacefully.

What was the difference?

Food.  They ate good nutritious, low sugar foods and drinks on the good day and Fruit Loops on the bad day.  Did you know the first ingredient in Fruit Loops is sugar?  Avoiding sugar eliminates the crazy sugar highs and lows.  They focused on their tasks instead of just tearing things up and bouncing off the walls.

Quality activities.  We didn't start the day with the TV, we started with books, they were still sleepy so they happily curled up on the couch with their books.  The nutritious food made them more focused so they actually participated in craft time and enjoyed it.

Cloth trainer.  Jacob is potty training, he has good days & bad days.  He knows he is wet, he asks to go potty, they go on and off like underwear and I'm not cleaning puddles all day, cloth is a good transition for kids who aren't quite ready for underwear. 

Do you find what your child eats influences their behavior?  What foods do you avoid? What else do you have in your routine that helps keep chaos at bay?

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1 comment:

  1. I know what I eat influences my behavior, so it makes total sense it would affect theirs! Glad you recognize that and you can plan ahead to keep the sugar monsters at bay!