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How a Busy Expert on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Makes No-Fuss Meals

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At work, Stephanie Middleberg, RD, has a lot on her plate.

She’s the founder of Middleberg Nutrition, a New York City-based health and wellness practice, curates events at the 92Y, and is constantly tapped for her nutrition advice for publications like Cosmopolitan and Shape and on national television. She’s also the author of The Big Book of Organic Baby Food and the brand new The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food, out this August.

And the professional specialty that shines through in those titles—getting little ones to eat healthy—is totally personal, too. “With a six-month-old and a three-year-old, it’s all about getting healthy food on the table quickly, so our meals are under five ingredients without much fuss,” she says. “We stick to a weeknight shuffle. Monday nights are roast chicken, Tuesday nights are slow cooker night, Wednesday nights are fish, etc. It works because I don’t have to overthink my food options. I save the creativity for my clients.”

RELATED: 15 Delicious One-Pan Meals for Fast, Easy Dinners

Sound like she’s got it all figured out? Get more of her tips and tricks to living well with little ones, below.

Stephanie Middleberg

How Does Stephanie Middleberg Live a Nutritious Life?

What’s your go-to breakfast? I have three favorites: Smoothies, make-ahead eggs in muffin tins, or avocado toast. All things I share with my son.

Your go-to workday lunch? Leftovers from dinner or an avocado/egg salad. I probably make this at least once a week. I mash two Handsome Brook Farm eggs and half of an avocado and add in seasoning like salt and pepper or Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. I either pair it with crackers or put it over greens.

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Everything Bagel Seasoning

Your go-to workday dinner? Slow cooker! My husband and I do a slow-cooker dinner at least twice a week. We prep it in the morning so it’s done when we get home. My other workday dinner for the family is baked salmon made with a maple syrup and coconut aminos marinade. I bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

What’s the one food you always have in your fridge? SunButter and yogurt.

The snack you always have with you when traveling? Pumpkin seeds and roasted chickpeas and SunButter packets. (My son has a nut allergy.)

RELATED: The 7 Best Natural Nut Butters

Your favorite food indulgence? Chocolate (which I have every day) and pizza!

Stephanie Middleberg

How often do you exercise, and what’s your workout of choice? Two to three times a week (I wish it was four to five), and I do a combo of running, barre classes (I love Xtend Barre right by my apartment!), weight training, and swimming on weekends.

How do you stay active outside the gym? Chasing my three-year-old son! Outside-the-gym activities are my favorite. In the summer I love to go paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, play tennis, and go hiking. I don’t get to as much as I like, but these will always be my favorites.

What’s your go-to tool for managing stress? My personal mantra is to not let “the perfect be the enemy of the good.” I’m constantly reminding myself of this. I also call my mom. She has a great way of calming me down by saying the right thing. It’s often just as simple as hearing me and validating how I’m feeling.

How do you express and spread love? Kindness and listening.

What does it mean to you to “live consciously”? To be in the moment, especially around my family. I try to put my phone down to be free of distraction. To slow down and savor small moments.

Which healthy habit do you wish you had more time for? Sleep! My daughter is waking up these days at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. and I can’t get myself into bed before 10:30 p.m. After the bedtime routine for my three-year-old, I need some time for work emails and time to just unwind.

Lightning Round

Meditation or massage? Massage.
A hot shower or a soothing bath? A hot shower.
Almond butter or peanut butter? Almond butter
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
A long run outside or a dark spin class? Long run outside.

(Photos: Stephanie Middleberg/The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food)

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