Ashley Smith Pediatric Dietitian public
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Veggies & Virtue: Feeding Help for Faith-Based Families

Ashley Smith - Pediatric Dietitian & Picky Eating Expert

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My mission is to help normalize that feeding your family is a hard job. And yet, amidst your everyday efforts, I want to encourage you and equip you with the hacks and know-hows you need to find ease around your child’s eating habits. I know you may feel internally anxious about what you are offering your kids and like it’s unattainable to get your child to eat enough variety. That’s why each episode outlines feeding basics that build upon one another to promote the nutritional balance and f ...
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show series
 
In today's episode, I share a real + raw recap of why I have chosen to pause the Veggies & Virtue podcast. To all of those who have supported this show, thank you. It has been a joy connecting with you in this way. I look forward to continuing to support you on: my social @veggiesandvirtue my site Veggies & Virtue and through my one-on-one services…
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This week, we are talking through - How do you handle adding variety when your child has a small “Love it (foods)" list? Particularly at dinner, this can be challenging to know how to navigate our child's nutritional needs (and/or our perception of them) with what as a family we have on the menu. We want to make one meal that everyone enjoys, and y…
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On today's episode, I am telling you the meal planning mistake I made last week! I use my own free weekly meal plan for simple, healthy meal ideas for my family. But what I failed to do was actually work through step one from my Meal Planning Playbook. The good news is, as I share on today's episode, we can always course correct midweek and learn f…
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On today's episode, I go over a topic that has come up a lot lately over on social. And that is - Do we let our kids choose? This could be choosing what's for breakfast, when they have another snack, or if they eat any of their dinner. Each of those items is, in fact, a choice. And with that, if our child isn't the one choosing the answer/outcome, …
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On today's episode, I am sharing with you three of the steps outlined in my Meal Planning Playbook. You can use these three things to take my free weekly meal plan, or whatever meal plan you choose, and make it work better for your family. The key is to remember that a meal plan is only a useful tool if it works for you (not the other way around). …
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Welcome to this episode where we dive deep into the common challenges parents face when their children want more food before finishing what's on their plate. Today, we're going to explore real-life scenarios shared by parents, starting with Erica's experience. Erica opens up about her two-and-a-half-year-old, who insists on more bites even before c…
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For this week's free, family friendly meal plan, we are talking about how to take any meal idea and make it healthy, a fan favorite, and full of the foods you already have on hand (or actually want to be buying)! You can use my free meal planner and grocery list to get started here. Or you can purchase my Meal Planning Playbook for a 20-page guide …
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On today's episode, we delve into the world of toddlerhood and the ever-evolving nature of food preferences. I share a question that came from Jennifer M., a parent navigating the exciting yet sometimes challenging journey of feeding a 16-month-old. Jennifer brings forth a common concern: how to address the principles of the Division of Responsibil…
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Need quick, easy dinner ideas that are nutritious for your whole family? Look no further! On today's episode, Ashley is sharing her dietitian mom take for a week's worth of effortless dinner ideas. Use the healthy dinner themes to make your evenings stress-free and full of delicious, nutritious goodness. Here is what is on the menu this week: DAY 1…
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A few years ago, I saw the idea shared to leave simple love notes on each of my kid's bedroom door on the days leading up to Valentine's. Little did I know that this would become one of my kid's most favorite traditions - and something that "sticks" year-round (literally - they leave the little notes up as long as they can!). So, grab your scissors…
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Fueling your family just got simpler! In this week's episode, we've got a no-nonsense meal plan packed with easy-to-make, wholesome dishes – from veggie-loaded spaghetti to salmon fillets. Join us as we break down practical tips for busy moms to ace family nutrition without the fuss. Simple, tasty, and doable – because every meal should be a win! S…
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For this week's "take 10," a mom submitted this question for our weekly group coaching call. She asked, "Packing a school lunch for my kindergartener has become stressful. I worry about him getting a nutritious lunch that is fulfilling to get him through the rest of the day, but he always comes home with most of his lunch untouched and his love it …
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Do you know what the week ahead has for you? Sometimes, we have a general idea about our family’s busy schedule, kid’s activities, and late work meetings. But add to that variable like winter weather, kids getting sick, and a whole host of other unknowns, and it can feel overwhelming as a mom to know how to prepare for real life. That’s why this we…
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Hey, moms! Welcome to "Episode 169: Nurturing Nutrition & Kids' Tastes in the New Year." I'm Ashley Smith, MPH, RD, LD and your family's Christian Dietitian. I am here to accompany you on the journey of creating meals that not only fuel your child's health but also cater to their unique taste preferences. This episode is a treasure trove of actiona…
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On Mondays, us mamas are going to gather and pray + meal plan for the week! That's right, whether you need a drink so that you can fill your cup or an easy meal idea to insert into your family menu, these Monday episodes are going to give you the encouragement you and your family need in the upcoming week. I believe - When we plan…we feel a sense o…
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I know many of you may be getting ready to shop some of the holiday sales, so I wanted to share this list of 30 tried and true favorites for kids ages 2-10. In this episode, we chat about: 10 of my favorite food-related stocking stuffer ideas 10 of my favorite food- or cooking-related gift ideas 10 of my kids' favorite general gifts from over the y…
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It seems like everyone has something to say about how other people eat...including at holiday gatherings. Whether your child eats too much...or too little. Sits barely at all...or never seems to finish. Fills out their festive outfit well...or is still fitting into last year's. Friends and family alike often make comments prematurely about how much…
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On Monday's episode, we discussed the risk factors, signs and symptoms, and how to check for iron deficiency in your child. In part II of this interview, with Angela Dodge, we are going to discuss: How to improve iron intake from foods first, including with picky eaters The best options for iron supplementation, if needed How to monitor and evaluat…
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If you have a picky eater, you have likely wondered (or worried!) whether or not they are getting enough macro- and micronutrients in their diet. Because if they are eating "enough (calories)" and their growth is tracking appropriately for their age, you may have been given the advice to just "wait it out." But even when a person's caloric needs ar…
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On Monday's episode, we first addressed a listener's question: Should moms be taking a supplement? Today, we are going to be talking through part two of this conversation with Ayla Barmmer, MS, RDN, LDN. For almost 20 years, Ayla Barmmer has advanced the health and empowerment of thousands of clients, patients, peers, and mentees by fusing her expe…
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On a past episode where I was talking about a new hair care routine I wanted to try, a listener submitted a question asking: Should moms be taking a supplement? I knew as soon as the question came in, I wanted to have Ayla Barmmer, MS, RDN, LDN on the Veggies & Virtue show to talk about all things supplements. For almost 20 years, Ayla Barmmer, MS,…
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We made it through Halloween! Now, begins one of the best times to begin neutralizing sweets and treats in our homes. While our kids already have candy top of mind, take the opportunity to role model an intuitive eating approach through regular opportunities to enjoy candy, including having it as dessert with dinner. By reinforcing food freedom ove…
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Whether it is the week before Halloween or a typical weekend of kid's activities, I have no doubt this is a lie that you have both heard and probably bought into yourself. That's why, on today's episode, I want to arm you with an accurate understanding of the relationship between sugar and behavior and how we can set our kids up for less of a sugar…
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I know you don't need the dietitian to tell you this, but… The sugar ramp up is here! Halloween is less than a week away, and I know like many moms, you are probably wondering how to handle all the candy on the horizon. Whether it be amidst the runway between now and trick or treating, the seeming rampage on the night of, or how to taper after thei…
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Don't come at me for borderline cussing with the title here. Instead, tune in literally and figuratively to an analogy that perfectly illustrates what it can often feel like when navigating the landmines of unpredictable yet endless candy in October. I know for many moms, this isn't something we feel confident nor natural doing. How are we to raise…
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It is that time of year when moms everywhere begin wondering (or worrying!) about how to handle the upcoming season of endless candy and added sugar. It can feel like a real nightmare, and yet, it doesn't have to be. Because as we discuss in this episode, you might feel like you have no vision or plan for how a "healthy" Halloween season should loo…
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Is it okay to sneak healthy things into our kid's food? Whether it be in healthy muffins or a meatball, I know firsthand how tempting it is. We feel like our best option is often to sneak healthy foods in the foods our kids do willingly eat, all in the name of "getting" our kids to eat the foods that they otherwise won't. But is this best practice?…
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Do you feel defeated trying to get your kids to eat more vegetables? I hear from client after client, "I want my child to have a more colorful diet."And yet, beige wins the day for a lot of kids. So while there are a lot of nourishing beige and brown foods to give us all the fall feels, today's episode is going to boost the vibes as we enter into a…
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Are you worried about your child not getting enough protein? If you, like many parents I speak with, feel like your child exists on carbs alone, this episode is going to give you some simple suggestions for ways to boost protein in the meals and snacks you are likely already offering. I share 8 ideas to boost protein without relying on meat or sand…
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Do you ever wonder what some of the best staples are to have in a kid-friendly kitchen? With the ease of getting just about anything delivered on our doorstep in a matter of two days, it can be hard to really discern what we need from what we want. Outside of patience and maybe item #6, I don't think there is anything you must have in order to make…
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I hear from a lot of you that you want to start a garden at home, but you are intimidated to even start. Even if your kids are easy to please and just want time outside as the weather cools off, you are likely wondering about where to have an at-home garden, what cold-weather crops will grow the best, and how much added time and energy an at-home g…
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Feeling the hustle and mental heaviness of all there is to manage with back to school? Between early mornings out the door, packing lunches day after day, and attempting to get dinner on the table amidst everyone's busy schedules, it is a lot. That's why, in this week's episode, we are going to hone in on how the freezer can make your back to schoo…
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Have you ever seen those color-coded fridges and swooned over how beautiful they look? Of course, we probably all have. But the second our eyes aren’t taking over due to the aesthetics of it all, the logical side of our brain usually steps in to actually see all the reasons that just doesn’t make sense for the everyday mom. What we crave in those f…
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Your kids backpacks have been bought. Their new pencils have been sharpened. Their new shoes have likely been tied once or twice. And their lunchbox may have already been packed, sent, rinsed, and repeated. But have you circled back since sending your child(ren) off to school to look not only at what they will need while there, but what you and you…
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Are your heart-strings being tugged on a bit extra with all of this Back to School prep? I get it! Because whether it is adjusting to the new norms of a school year or sending your children off to school (maybe for the first time!), this is a big transition for everyone. So let's talk about not just what to pack in that brand new bento for a first …
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Worried about how meals and snacks are going to go as your kids get back to school? Let's lower the stress you have and your child may experience as back to school approaches with these five simple steps. These are easy-to-implement prep steps that will familiarize you and your child with what challenges might otherwise arise once school is underwa…
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School supplies lists are being mailed out, and most families are seeing sale after sale pop up on the things that you may "need" for the upcoming school year. So, on today's episode, I share with you the 5 best things to buy for lunch packing specifically. Sure, there are a lot of novelty items out there (these are my favorites!), but you don't ne…
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Are you running out of ideas for what snacks to take to the pool? Well, whether your summer is still in full swing or you are wrapping up to get ready for back to school, you will see how this episode offers you five simple strategies to healthy kids snacks. Because whether you want something that will satisfy your kids requests for snacks all afte…
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Do you have somewhere specific you reach every time your child asks for something to eat? Chances are, whether you send your kids to get their own snacks or you are there administrating the activity and offering, you and your child know how to operate on autopilot when it comes to snack. If your autopilot approach to snacking is helping offer more …
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Do you have a picky eater who isn't willing to touch or taste anything new? Do you feel sad seeing how many fun eating opportunities your child misses out on because they refuse to explore the foods being offered? Do you teeter between requiring no thank you bites and surrendering in utter defeat at another dinner that went to waste? If you answere…
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Are you one of the many moms asking me, "Is there such a thing as a healthy hotdog?" Because whether you just found yourself standing in front of the summer sausages at the store stocking up for 4th of July barbecues or are looking for guidance on how to approach processed meats, like hot dogs, within your home (and elsewhere!), this episode is goi…
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Want tried and true tricks to picking the perfect watermelon? Get the four key things you ought to look for in this episode! I translate the infographic that gets over a million views a month on my pinterest into audio that you can pop in your ear next time you are at the store and standing in front of a barrel of watermelons. Because whether you a…
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Today is the official start of summer, and while your summer bucket list may be full of fun adventures with your family or maybe you feel the chaos of having kids home all summer, we all recognize that the season is yet again changing. So, whether your real life “summer” coincides with the one on the calendar or not, I want to take today’s episode …
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I am excited to have today's guest, Lauren White of The Intentional Edit Podcast, back on the show to be talking about all things summer organization. Lauren White is a mom, former teacher turned business owner and professional home organizer, and simplicity enthusiast! She is passionate about being organized, efficient and helping families find si…
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Do you struggle with how to resume normalcy around what, when, and where you and your kids eat after returning home from a summer vacation? Depending on your own relationship with food, maybe you find it hard to face the two extremes of being in "vacay mode" with endless trips to the ice cream store and your kids' diet being void of a vegetable to …
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Motherhood demands convenience! So why do so many of us feel guilt or shame around reaching for those cute and crinkly packages, that offer a reliable crutch and a consistent product we know our kids will eat (without a fuss)? Because, convenience foods are most often associated with those foods found in convenient stores, like chips, cookies, cand…
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In episodes one and two from this four-part series, we talked about: Consistency and how not incorporating variety in the small things can add up to aversions elsewhere in the diet of picky eaters (part one; episode 134) Crutches and how we can stunt our family's growth and/or our child's development when we lean too much on a given love it food (p…
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Listen in for part 2 in this four part series on how your child's snacks may be perpetuating picky eating and poor nutrition and what you as the parent can do about it. This episode dives into those foods that we may find ourselves using as a crutch. It is normal and natural to find ourselves doing so, but we can't rely on these staples the same wa…
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In this four-part series, I am going to spell out four of the most common mistakes I see with snacking and its ties to picky eating. We so often know these issues are happening but can't identify exactly what can be done about them to improve our child's picky eating and add variety to their diet. That's why, I am going to go over 1) what is happen…
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Do you feel like your child is snack-obsessed? Does the idea of less structure and a different routine this summer make you wonder how you will ever put an end to the requests for another snack? Do you wrestle with getting your kids to eat a well-balanced meal because all they ever want are the pre-packaged snack foods from the pantry? These are co…
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