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Grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking and cleaning is a big time investment for mamas. It can easily take more than an hour each day and even longer during a pandemic. Add in a picky toddler and it's enough to stress you out for days.

But don't give into the anxiety, mama. Agatha Achindu, a certified Integrative Nutrition Coach, says parents shouldn't worry about what kids are eating just yet because toddlers are merely flexing their independence.


"Now that your child has started walking and is beginning to speak, they are developing a sense of independence and have the consciousness to act upon it," she says. "If you want them to eat more healthful foods, fill your refrigerator and pantry with what you believe are healthy, nutritious food options."

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And while it can be time-consuming trying to figure out healthy eating habits, Ali Fedotowsky-Manno, former Bachelorette and busy mother of two, swears by two tricks to get her kids to eat better foods.

For starters, Fedotowsky-Manno puts healthy foods in smoothies. "Smoothies are your best friend," she says. "My kids love it! I mix foods like spinach, cauliflower, strawberries and they never know it. Honestly, I've never met a kid who doesn't like a smoothie. You can also make it in advance, freeze it and thaw it out when you need it."

Another go-to healthy eating hack Fedotowsky-Manno follows is keeping soups around at all times. Her go-to choice? Campbell's Well Yes! Sipping Soups because it has added vegetables already blended in. "Instead of grabbing chips or an unhealthy snack between meals, we eat the tomato and sweet basil soup and it's been such a lifesaver."

And for her own self-care between meals, Fedotowsky-Manno prioritizes taking supplements to boost her immune system and working out while caring for her little ones. "You have to make your health a priority, not only for your children, but yourself. And don't think of working out as a chore. It's a gift! Not everyone can physically move their body, so enjoy it and take advantage of what your body can do."

And that's something mamas can follow—pandemic or not.

I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."

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