One part of our command station is the nutrition chart. Most of you are probably thinking, what’s wrong with this woman that she actually needs this kind of chart to function well? I know I know. I have issues. Moving on.
On our fridge I have a small white board. It’s not pretty, and it’s low-tech, but it works for me. I just attached magnets to the back using double sided foam tape (I love that stuff). It’s a great location because I pretty much have to see it as I’m preparing or cleaning up meals, and I can easily take a moment to mark off which foods the kids are eating.
I started this chart for Jaron when he was a baby when I decided I wanted to make sure he was getting what he needed and realized that pregnancy had caused a major failure in my memory abilities. Even now, the kids will simply not get a well rounded diet if I’m not diligent about this. Stupid hormones and aging process. 😉
There are basically 3 parts of the whiteboard. Of course, this is after sevearal modifications as kids’ needs change or as I figure out what does/doesn’t work for me.
Food Group Serving Charts: A section for each kid showing how many grains, veggies, fruits, proteins, and dairy products they’ve eaten for each day of the week. Food groups on left side, days of week across top. On the very right side I make a note of how many servings of each food group they should be getting daily. For example, Jaron should get 2-3 servings of veggies every day. Look at Monday. Whoops! 🙂 For Sami, it’s a bit different, I don’t need to mark how many servings a day, but instead just check of whether she got her 1/4-1/2 cup of grains for the day, for example.
To set up my charts, I go to babycenter.com and look at their nutritional information by age group: Infant/Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler on up. It’s actually a great resource, with tons of articles about nutrition related issues for each stage.
Reference: Around the time tracking servings became necessary, I had a hard time remembering how big the serving size really was. For toddlers, it’s about 1/4 the size of an adult serving. Right now, my chart has a section for that info for Jaron. I have also used that area for recording what foods the baby had been introduced to already or what was next on the list. But I’m kind of winging it right now.
General/Grocery Notes: Since it’s on the fridge, it’s a great place to jot down things I need to get at the store. If I don’t write them down right away, I forget. I also use that area for things like meal ideas or different kinds of foods I want Jaron or Samantha to try.
That’s it! It seems more complicated than it is. We aren’t consistent using this system. Mostly I start in on it again when I notice Jaron eating far to0 many pb&j sandwiches or far too few veggies. I used to try to get Aaron or people watching the kids to mark stuff down, but it wasn’t really happening and I quickly realized it didn’t matter that much anyway. PLUS it’s important to note that the TRENDS and general nutrition that your kids get over the course of a week is more important than making sure they get every last bit of scheduled food every day. Because, you know, THAT would be anal retentive. HAHAHAHA!
Let me know if this information is useful to you!