Laura M. Rosch, DO
Dr. Rosch is a mom of a 12-year-old daughter and 7-year old boy/girl twins, a board-certified internist who works at Central DuPage Hospital Convenient Care Centers in Winfield, IL, and an instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Downers Grove, IL.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I did not have much trouble with feeding my children until they went to preschool. There they learned vegetables were “yucky.” For example, my eldest child would eat an entire cup of mushrooms as a toddler at home, but once she went to preschool, she would not touch them.
I think that if foods are cut and arranged to look beautiful, children are more likely to be interested in eating them.
My kids also loved to dip their food in things before eating it. I would use yogurt, ranch dressing and pureed fruits (and sometimes would sneak in vegetables) as a dipping sauce for cut fruits and vegetables.
I also found that my kids loved foods that were frozen. Frozen grapes are still one of their favorite snacks, it’s much better for them than Popsicles!
As soon as my children could sit upright independently and manage their airway, I would give them bits of frozen fruits. I remember starting with frozen blueberries. I learned about this from another mother who had given the frozen fruits to her children as they were teething. Her children were much younger than mine at the time and were able to manage these treats. I was more cautious, and I cut my children’s grapes into smaller pieces and gave this to them when they were around 18 months old.
How do you recharge your batteries? I quickly realized that my children absorb all my emotions. If I am stressed, they get stressed.
I could not stay up all night for several days in a row with sick children and function well. The lack of sleep and muscle aches that resulted would make me irritable. I had to dip into my savings and hire help. With the twins it was even more important that I got help and plenty of sleep. I would say I greatly underestimated how much help I would need.
The smartest thing I did was to have a happy, energetic and loving pair of arms to hold my children and play with them so I could get some much needed rest. Having twins at age 44 was tough, and it took me much longer to recover physically than it did with my first child. I was lucky I had the resources. I would tell anyone who is pregnant or planning to have children to make sure that they have several wonderful people as support for the first three years. My sitters were my angels! The other thing I learned to do was cut back on my responsibilities outside of the home. For a physician, that was tough. I thought I could just keep on working the same schedule I always had! But having children is just like having to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I did have to let some things go but then I was able to pick them back up later when my children went to grade school.