#128 - Making Kids Nutrition Easy with The Lean Green Bean

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC November 18, 2020

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Making Kids Nutrition Easy with The Lean Green Bean

In this episode, you get to hear from Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian (RD) and mother to 3 beautiful children. She started a food blog back in 2010, completed schooling to become an RD, and eventually shifted her focus to being with her children full time. Lindsay currently uses her blog and her Instagram page as a way to teach parents that healthy eating does NOT have to be complicated or expensive. She shares tips and tricks for surviving life with 3 littles, cooking with kids, food prep, and more! 



Making Kids Nutrition Easy With The Lean Green Bean

Lindsey, a registered dietitian, embraces various roles - a devoted mother, an enthusiastic food blogger, and a champion for those facing sensory processing challenges. Through her blog, The Lean Green Bean, Lindsey graciously offers a variety of recipes that are perfect for kids while giving an authentic glimpse into the joys and challenges of motherhood.


Sensory Challenges In Lindsay's Kids

Lindsay's children face significant challenges with loud noises and repetitive behaviors, such as hitting, kicking, and excessively chewing on their sleeves. One illustrative example is when Lindsay's child repeatedly bangs their head against the back of the couch or the wall. 

It's important to note that these actions have no intention to cause harm; instead, they occur persistently and interchangeably. For instance, Lindsay's son used to find joy in striking a box with a hammer or a hockey stick, relishing in the repetitive motion.  

While these behaviors might seem unusual to others, they are a part of the sensory experience that helps Lindsay's children navigate their world. As a result, Lindsay actively works to create an environment that supports her children's needs.


Sensory Needs Fluctuate

As a parent, Lindsay understands the challenges of discovering optimal sensory strategies for her child. She has observed a considerable fluctuation in her child's behavior daily; some days, minimal effort is sufficient to maintain his composure

In the past, Lindsay used to wait until the most challenging days came before rushing to catch up. However, she now takes a proactive approach by identifying and tackling the less demanding days, preventing tasks from piling up and the ensuing challenge of regaining control.

Currently, Lindsay is facing a challenge concerning her youngest child, who requires much patience, focus, and energy daily. As a result, her tolerance towards her other two children has been diminishing.

Lindsay strives for a harmonious balance, giving her children equal attention. Interestingly, after gaining knowledge about supporting her eldest son's sensory needs, Lindsay has noticed a few sensory-related traits in her youngest child. 

However, unlike her two sons, her daughter does not face the same sensory challenges. Setting aside dedicated time throughout the day or on weekends has been crucial to ensure her daughter receives her undivided attention.


Balancing Work And Sensory Needs

Despite the challenge of working with active children running around, Lindsay firmly believes in the transformative power of empowering them in the kitchen. From as early as 16 months old, she involved her children in the joy of cooking, fostering the development of invaluable skills and independence.

Finding the right balance between efficiently assigning tasks to her children and maintaining Lindsay's productivity has always been a delicate art. Even at three or four, Lindsay's little ones were already measuring ingredients and scooping muffin batter under her watchful guidance. 

As they grew, their capabilities expanded to include operating appliances and lending a hand with household chores. With each passing day, Lindsay witnessed her children blossoming into capable helpers while ensuring her productivity remained intact. 


Involve Children In Meal Preparation

Meal prep can be approached as something other than an all-or-nothing task. Lindsay suggests pinpointing the particular aspect of meal preparation that presents the most significant challenge for you.

Once you've identified the specific aspect, you can direct your attention towards it and engage your child in that particular task. By dividing the preparation process into smaller, more manageable steps, you can encourage their participation in meal preparation.

Involving children in meal preparation provides essential life skills, enhances their sensory abilities, and cultivates a sense of ownership and pride in their culinary creations. Moreover, this invaluable experience can transform a daunting task into an enjoyable and engaging activity.


Final Words Of Wisdom

Lindsey urges parents to actively seek out extra resources and stand up for their child's needs without hesitation. With unwavering commitment and determination, parents hold the key to helping their children flourish and overcome any obstacles they face. 

Parents may meet their child’s sensory needs by involving children in meal preparation, nurturing confidence, and developing crucial life skills. Embrace the journey wholeheartedly, and let your child's sensory needs be a catalyst for developing healthy eating habits and creating lasting memories in the kitchen.  





While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/l, AC, CPRCS, and Jessica Hill, COTA/L, CPRCS are Harkla's in-house Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) and Certified Primitive Reflex Clinical Specialists. They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. They specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Jessica and Rachel are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Jessica and Rachel, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.

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