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Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig’s trick for getting picky kids to eat healthier

Many parents start out serving the healthiest food they can, but find kids become pickier (and less interested in veggies) over time. Hartwig admits that's even been the case in her house.

Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig’s trick for getting picky kids to eat healthier

Melissa Hartwig changed the way many of us eat. The co-founder of Whole30, Hartwig is also mom to a 5-year-old son, and last year she launched Whole Mamas, an online community supporting women in all stages of motherhood in as they navigate their family's nutritional needs and everything else.

On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, sponsored by Prudential, Hartwig tells Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about becoming a single mom as a new mom and why the world needs Whole Mamas now.

Hartwig's son was born as Whole30 was becoming a cultural phenomenon, and shortly before her marriage ended. For many people, juggling such huge personal changes while riding a wave of professional success would be enough to drown them, but for Hartwig, it was her inspiration for lifting other women up.

Along with Stephanie Greunke, a registered dietitian (R.D.) with a master's degree in nutrition who specializes in prenatal/postnatal health, Hartwig began to reflect on how pregnant women are so vulnerable to information overload and conflicting opinions from experts, friends and even strangers."I had access to all of the top doctors and nutritionists and researchers and registered dietitian and midwives like I had more information than ninety-nine percent of the population. And I was still overwhelmed," she explains.

"I still felt like there was a lot of fear-mongering and I completely underestimated the amount of input that other people would feel like they deserved to have in the life of you and your family and your unborn child," continues Hartwig. For her, the best way to cut through the overload was to choose three or four sources of information that she could trust and tune out the rest.

Later, Hartwig and Greunke set out to create a trusted source of information for other mamas. She believes that by introducing real, whole foods early, and not leaning on sugar and quick fixes, parents can set their children up to have a healthy relationship with food, one that will last a lifetime.

And the seed of that relationship is planted at the dinner table. "I think eating meals together with your child from a very early age and family mealtimes are really important," says Hartwig, who believes in the power of letting kids take part in making meals, too. "Like my son had a little kiddo kitchen set and was helping me chop and prep food and his meals very early on," she explains.

Many parents start out serving the healthiest food they can, but find kids become pickier (and less interested in veggies) over time. Hartwig admits that's even been the case in her house, and says the trick is to keep trying. Kids' tastes and preferences are constantly evolving. If your child hates a certain food in March, they might like it when it comes back on the menu in May.

"Last week he loves sweet potato. This week he doesn't like it," she explains. "So [I'm] constantly reinventing and bringing food back in maybe in different ways or with different dipping sauces."

According to Hartwig, you can get kids to eat just about anything if you serve it with dip and a toothpick. Even whole, real foods.

To hear more about Melissa Hartwig's experiences in motherhood and advice on nourishing our children and ourselves, listen to The Motherly Podcast, sponsored by Prudential, for the full interview.

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As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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