Eating in: Mealtime is family time
Chris Worthy Upstate Parent
Feeding children at home can quickly become a bat tle of wills. Simpson ville mom and pr ofessional bak er J en E vans has de veloped a f ew str ategies to make mealtime enjo yable f or e veryone, while still feeding her family a healthy diet.
Evans is the mother of tw o childr en, ages 5 and 2. She also eats a vegan diet – all of her baked good are vegan – and she avoids gluten and soy in her own food. Evans’ son was diagnosed with autism and has some sensor y issues with f ood t extures, which can require further creativity in the kitchen. But rather than seeing hurdles, Evans stretches her creativity.
“It took a lot of r esearch to find things he likes,” she said. “I didn’t push them to be vegan. He lik es fruits and v egetables galore. My daught er will eat an ything I put in front of her.”
What works for Evans? Patience and thinking outside the box.
Don’t f orce the issue. E vans doesn ’t make her children eat a ne w food if they don’t like it, but she does continue to give them oppor tunities t o tr y it. “W atching their eyes light up when trying something new has been great,” she said.
Be consistent. “A lot of parents tend to give in to the will of the kids,” Evans said. “As y ou pr ogress, childr en’s tast e buds change. My 2yearold loves broccoli. She eats a lot of gr eens, but that comes fr om consistency.”
Jen Evans prepares vegan stuffed shells at her home in Simpsonville. The stuffing was made from a mixture of cashews, tofu, nutritional yeast, spices and spinach to replace ricotta cheese. NATHAN GRAY/UPSTATE PARENT