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Hey y’all! Wendy Jo here. We’ve been talking about feeding with love this month and decided to share our thoughts on comfort foods as well as some favorite recipes.

Can you think back to when you were a child and remember the one (or many) things your family ate that bring you warm and fuzzy feelings of love? I grew up with a mom who could truly cook, and she cooked almost every single meal. My memories of eating out are few and far between. I distinctly remember her spaghetti with meat sauce, cream of turkey over biscuits, chili, stuffed peppers, banana and pumpkin bread, and homemade tapioca pudding. Comfort foods (for me) at their best! There are a lot of factors that go into creating a connection with food – from the environment in which you ate the food in, the people around you, and the food itself. In my opinion, comfort foods get a bad rap which they don’t really deserve. Many people tend to think of comfort foods as “unhealthy.” However, feeding with love means that these foods can actually bring us nourishment as well as comfort. Every population around the world has some form of comfort foods.  It’s not a bad thing! It’s a connection thing.

Comfort foods tend to be the favorite foods from one’s childhood, or else linked to a specific person, place or time with which the food has a positive association, as in: “Grandma always made the best mashed potatoes and gravy, they’ve become a comfort food for me.”

Let’s Take a Look at the Research

First, let’s define comfort food.

Did you know comfort foods can actually improve health of seniors? Perhaps make your family and grandparents my pot pie recipe (Linked below)! =)

For me (Wendy Jo), comfort foods are those that make me reflect on times and meals that they shared as a family or experience. It’s important for me to share that love of food, cooking, and savoring a meal with my family.  I hope one day my daughter looks back and remembers the wonderful feelings and memories we shared around our table. These foods represent our family experience. And, I hope that will never include worry over counting calories – just counting wonderful memories and letting her own internal regulation system guide her in eating all foods.

Mom’s Stuffed Peppers

Let me share with you one of the very first meals my mom made for my daughter. And I make it for her still. To me, this recipe for stuffed peppers is comforting…it is nourishing…it is healthy…it is made with love. And this recipe (that clearly has had lots of use over the years) is one to double! Make a batch for the freezer, too!  You can make it with quinoa, lentils, or keep as is. We prefer red bell peppers to the green, but my mom always uses green. I hope this becomes a family favorite for you, too!

Fellow Dietitians Share their Comfort Foods

It was fun to see what some of my fellow dietitians had to share when asked about their favorite comfort food recipes. Take a look:

Lindsay Livingston over at The Lean Green Bean shares her recipe for slow cooker meat balls and baked oatmeal french toast sticks.

Lindsay Janeiro, behind Nutrition to Fit shared her recipes for Zucchini Noodle Summer Corn Chowder and sheet pan chicken and veggies.

Betsy Ramirez shares her mom’s meatloaf recipe.

The Gourmet RD shares her classic chicken noodle soup.

We also loved the Fearless Flying Kitchen’s white chocolate and raisin cookie and Kara Lydon’s dark chocolate almond butter and sea salt cookies.

Love Rosanne Rust’s addition from Chew the Facts with her pasta cici.

Must agree with Beautiful Eats and Things with her addition of grilled peanut butter & banana sandwiches and cheesy broccoli mac & cheese bites.

Always a muffin fan, so thanks to Amy Gorin for sharing her cinnamon muffins.

Of course, what’s comfort food without Mac & Cheese? Thanks Jessica Levinson for her recipe and Food with Judes recipe, too.

Tracee Brenner shared that her daughter’s favorite recipe is her cashew pesto dip.

BLW Foodie/Dietitian Mama

We follow a lot of fellow BLW bloggers, but I must share that one of our absolute favorites is MJ & Hungryman! Min is absolutely fabulous at documenting this incredible foodie journey with her adorable son and we also appreciate her excellence in recipe development! Check out her delicious recipe for eggplant lasagna roll-ups. And of course look at how yummy her son’s plate looks, too! We are big EZPZFun plate fans!

My Favorites

If you haven’t figured it out yet my absolute favorite comfort food to make is my homemade pot pie, which I make with all sorts of variations (see picture). Leslie makes her mom’s pot pie recipe as well. There’s just something so comforting about the hearty meat and creamy veggies in that lovely crust.

Truth be told, I hope Miss A leaves my home loving many of our family dishes and thinks of us when she bites into shrimp with polenta or homemade pizza or chicken and dumplings or her great grandma’s Swedish brown bread! We believe in savoring a variety of foods, and I love sharing with her family favorites that have been passed down to me over the years. There is something special about passing down a recipe from generation to generation.

Tell us your favorite comfort food?