I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Debbie Comish to talk about her experience as a member in Happy Eating Club. Debbie is a super mom, a day care provider and a blogger over a Lunching Daily. I was really excited to listen to Debbie’s feedback, because her experience in Happy Eating Club changed her approach to mealtimes for the little ones in her care, her big kids at home and even her own eating as well. Here’s what she had to say about Happy Eating Club!
1. Why did you join the program?
Last spring, I became very aware that my youngest daughter and some of the children I care for at my home daycare were becoming increasingly dependent on bread products and cheese, so I decided we needed to make some changes to the meals being served both at home and for the daycare. My goals were to reduce/eliminate processed foods, eat a wider variety of whole grains and increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables that we were eating, but I wanted to make sure we had fun doing it! I joined the program because I realized that these changes might be difficult for the kids and I wanted to make sure that I had the background knowledge to support the kids through the changes and to make it as positive and fun as possible.
2. How soon did you start to implement Happy Eating Club strategies and see changes?
Some of the strategies I started to implement right away and I was amazed at how quickly I saw results, but one of the big changes for me was that I started to understand the science behind eating. For example, one little boy would happily chew up carrot sticks along with all the other kids, but then spit them out before swallowing, because of my new understanding about texture I started to cook the carrots sticks and he immediately started to actually swallow them.
Another example is that all of the kids, except one, love frozen blueberries, so I serve them often. I just assumed the one child who didn’t like frozen blueberries simply didn’t like the flavor, but then I started to wonder if it was the coldness or the texture, so I gave her fresh blueberries and she gobbled them up.
The big lightbulb moment for me though was that kids (and adults) can learn to enjoy a food. That it’s not just a like or a dislike to that particular taste, but that food preferences can change. I’ve seen this already with my daughter, the daycare kids and even myself. Experiencing this first hand was a real eye opener for me.
3. Did you find flexibility of the virtual program to be valuable to you? Why?
Flexibility was the key for me to even be able to entertain the idea of signing up for this program. We are a busy group. I spend my days with 5 young children and have 3 children of my own, all of whom have their own needs and schedules. We are busy like most families and what I do with my time is not always my decision, so being able to access information when I had some time to myself was critical.
Having my own home daycare presents some unique variables. A larger group of kids than your average family, children from families with their own unique food habits, beliefs and preferences etc., so the information that speaks to me the loudest right now might be totally different than the information that speaks to me down the road. Having the ability to access the information over and over again is such an advantage. Certain pieces of information are going to be more relevant at different times and being able to go over the information brings new information to light depending on what is going on at that time. I may not have a toddler who refuses to try anything new today, but next month that may be exactly what is going on. Information I may have overlooked or that might not have been relevant to our situation at that time all of a sudden becomes very useful.
4. Were the written program materials helpful to you?
Absolutely, the more I see something the more it sticks. Having written materials that support the podcasts made putting the tools into practice so much easier. I, by no means, expect to have perfect eating habits. I do expect, however, to continue to make positive changes and to celebrate even our smallest successes. The written materials help support me along the way.
5. Did you feel the program provided opportunities to get individualized answers to questions that you had specifically about your children?
I was so impressed with Cindy and her willingness to answer our questions. She not only answered quickly but with so much care and thoroughness. You really know that she is so passionate about helping families have happy and healthy food experiences.
6. Would you recommend the program to other families and child care providers?
Without hesitation! Anyone who is interested in improving their own family’s eating habits or those of the children they care for would benefit from the wealth of knowledge that is provided in this course. Not only that, but being able to ask questions that personally relate to your own unique situation and get professional, detailed and caring answers back is invaluable.
My point of view is that healthy eating is a journey. There will always be growth and change. Change in the kids that are in my care, in me, in science and the in environment. Healthy Eating Club has given me the tools to make the journey a much more comfortable ride.
Are you ready for better mealtimes? Happy Eating Club is enrolling now and begins on March 7th. Use promo code: chewchew20 to save 20%.
Debbie is a proud wife, mother and daycare provider. She spends her days enjoying all the people in her life and creating beautiful food at Lunching Daily.