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Food and Kids – Guest Cheyna Palmer. Episode 3

This week we are talking to Cheyna Palmer about  feeding our kids and feeding ourselves.  Cheyna has been a registered dietician for seven years. She works for the Heath Department, in a clinic and in the hospital setting.  Most her days are spent taking care of her two kids and getting ready for her new arrival.

Ideas for After school Snacking

First, find out if they are eating school lunch.  You can also let them snack after school and then move dinner back.  Another option is to eat dinner early around 4 and eat a snack around 7.  Lastly, Cheyna suggests packing your kids with a 200 calorie snack and have them eat it before they get home.

After school Snack Ideas

Serve your kids lower calorie snacks if dinner is close. If your kids are eating carbohydrates their body will digest them very quickly. Peanut butter is a great snack that  will last a long time.

Other great snack ideas:

High calorie snacks (peanut butter, no bake cookies, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, string cheese) will stay in your kid’s system longer.  No bake cookies are a great option.  Beth’s family calls them “Grandma Millward Cookies.”

Grandma Millward Recipe

1/2 c milk

1/2 c butter

2 T coco powder

2 c sugar

Place everything in a saucepan and Cook to soft ball stage

Take off heat and add:

1/2 c peanut butter

Mix all ingredients until melted

Then add:

3 c oats (either instant or non-instant)

1 t vanilla

Place by spoonfuls on parchment paper and let cool.

Dealing with a picky eater

Don’t make food a bad food or a good food.  Keep all food the same!  Cheyna recommends the book, Feeding with Love and Good Sense, by Ellyn Satter.  She recommends you don’t push food on kids.  Sometimes kids get labeled as a picky eater and they live up to the name. When we force kids to eat a food, it becomes a battle.  Kids can go 1 or 2 years without eating a food before they will eat it again.  Some research shows it can take 20 exposures before a kid wants to try it.  Keep putting the food on their plate and let them choose what they will eat.  At the dinner table, give them 1 or 2 things they will eat.  If they won’t eat anything for dinner, you can give one other small option (maybe a piece of bread.)

Snacks for teenagers

You want the snack to be high in calories.  Offer them a  fruit with a protien and fat (for example, cheese and trail mix, some chocolate, yogurt, and no bake cookies.). Great idea: Have a sandwich bin in your fridge, with all the fixings to make a sandwich.  So when your teenagers come home hungry and are looking for something, they can quickly fix a sandwich.


Cheyna discussed diet soda vs regular soda.  Artificial sweeteners gives your body a false sense of sweetness.  There has been a link between artificial sweeteners to larger waist circumference.  If you have diabetes it would be better to drink diet, but she recommends non- diet drinks for the rest of the population.


Recently there has been debates whether milk is good for you.  Cheyna highly recommends drinking milk.  Your body can only absorb 300 mg of calcium at one time, milk has 330 mg per one cup and 8 grams of protein and is fortified with vitamin D ( vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed.)

Weight loss

We asked Cheyna if it is calories in and calories out that determines your weight loss.  Cheyna explains Macros:   Macros are the three different food groups that provide calories to the body. 1. Protein: signals you are satisfied first.  So add protien to kick your hunger early. 2. Fats: stay in stomach longer (your stomach won’t empty as quickly.) 3. Carbs: digest quickly.  You can manipulate your macros so you don’t get hungry as quickly

Social Media and Body Image

Social media lumps heatlh and beauty together.  We need to separate those two.  When your doctor says you need to lose weight, he/she is not saying you are ugly.  We need to give an example to our kids that we are working out to be HEALTHY.  If we want to lose weight and be healthy, we need to be consistent with exercise and eating healthy.  There is not one specific bad food.

“If you don’t take time to be healthy you will be forced to make time to be sick” Unknown 

We need to keep up on our health, but not be obsessed.  Social media can be positive. It  celebrates all different body types.  We need to celebrate our different body types too.

Another book recommendation: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Cheyna’s Mom challenge: REALLY think when you are about to eat something: if you are really hungry? If you are, think about what you really want to eat. Plan your meals.  Sit with your family and plan together what you are eating.


2 Comment

  1. My B-town ladies, you are hilarious! I found this podcast thoroughly enjoyable and informative. I love how Chenyna’s so low stress about food. I get anxious about planning meals and freak out when we’re eating too much ‘bad food’. But I’m going to change the way I talk about and think about food. I hope it helps my kids see that all food has a purpose and we can choose what food will best serve our needs. I love the topics and the goal of Family Loooking Up! It gives me hope and courage to know that I’m not alone. Thanks again.

    1. Thank you so much Bethany! We loved her low stress approach as well. It’s made me re-think a few of my preconceptions about food. You are very much not alone! Thank you so much for joining our community and helping to make a difference!!

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