” Mom, can I have a snack?”
If your kids are anything like mine they are constantly asking for snacks. This was never really a big deal, just pack them some Goldfish or a granola bar and send them on their way.It was quick, easy and good for them… so I thought.
The shocking realization came after one doctors visit last year where the pediatrician told me, in a not so subtle way, that my kids were going to be fat. Fat and unhealthy unless I changed their eating habits. But Goldfish and granola bars where healthy right? Was I really letting them down that badly?
Ok, I admit, I was a lazy lunch maker. After working all day, I would usually make them a quick PB and J the next morning (in a rush of course) or they would buy school lunch.
Like I have said before, I was never good at moderation, especially in terms of food. But I did not want to pass my bad eating habits along to my kids. I didn’t want them to struggle with weight the way I have. I wanted to teach them that they don’t need dessert, a cookie or a snack all the time.I wanted them to know food is not a reward, and eating is not an emotion.
After my rude awakening I made a decision to make my kids a good, healthy lunch every school night. I came to discover that most of what I was feeding them was junk, chemicals and void of nutrition. How could I have gone so wrong? I embarked on a search to teach myself all I could about feeding them right, moving away from packaged food, like the Dr. suggested, and making more at home.
And….here comes the overdoing it part. I was cooking all the time, every recipe I thought they would like, but in the process I was exhausting myself. Most of what I made went uneaten ( to many veggies, to cheesy, to crumbly, you get the idea)I spent my weekends in the kitchen instead of with my kids. How was that really teaching them anything?
Since than I have narrowed down the field to a few snacks I make once a week to put in lunch boxes. I also now have a rotation of healthy lunches my kids will actually eat.I am not spending all day in the kitchen. Although, I try not to give them packages snacks sometimes you just have to make some trade offs. I still wrestle with guilt when I don’t have the time or energy to cook, but I also freed up some play time and ” me” time in the process.
Does anyone else feel this kind of nutritional guilt? If so how have you made adjustments? How do you find balance between convenience vs nutrition?. Would love to hear from you…