As a mother, I find it interesting when my friends complain on social media about how they struggle to eat healthy. That it’s just too hard. And they express their frustrations at not being able to lose weight.
It’s so worth it
Then I see these same people pander to their children nagging for the wrong foods. Or how little ‘Susie’ doesn’t like a certain food so they just give her an unhealthy version instead.
The reason I bring these two things to your attention – is that as parents we often complain about unhealthy habits we were taught growing up and yet we are continuing the cycle by doing the same to our children.
Surely if we are in the thick of it, living day in day out, frustrated with a habit we wish we never had, why would we not do what we can to ensure our children don’t go through the same experience?
It can be hard. But it is worth it in the long run. And it can also be easy. I look at my friends whose children eat very well and the one thing they all have in common is they started healthy eating habits as soon as their children went onto solids. And they stuck with it consistently.
Be smart about it
I find we sometimes get drawn in to the media and advertising telling us what we should feed our children. From chocolate to sweet biscuits – these items are not a good regular staple to have as part of a regular diet. They should be occasional foods.
I remember a conversation I had with one mother who said eating healthy is expensive. I beg to differ. This same woman would constantly buy her children fingers buns (approx $1.50 each) for a total of $4.50. Not only will this high carb food leave her children more hungry afterwards because it doesn’t contain a good amount of healthy fats, proteins or fibre. But I can get 1 kilo of apples for less than that and the children will get at least 2 apples, but the apples will also leave them feeling satiated and in a better mood.
Mindset is the key
A lot of this comes down to mind set. You have to be in the right frame of mind that healthy eating is not expensive. And you have to look long and hard at how you are spending your hard earned dollars in comparison. When I used to own a shop I would have people question the price of a healthy product and I would always say to them “well it’s cheaper than a bottle of wine and it’s going to do more good for you than one too”
It’s also important to have a good support network and make sure other family members are on board and respect your boundaries around teaching your children healthy habits. Another friend of mine would get reprimanded by her husband because she spent too much money on the weekly food shopping. Shopping that was needed and nothing extra like magazines etc. But it was ok for her husband to get his expensive slab of imported beer each week whilst criticizing how much she spent on the food, nappies and wipes. It’s always good to talk with your partner about any changes you want to make and get their feedback and buy in. Make sure you are making them part of the process too.
All this means nothing if you do not want to change. You have to actually want it for you and your family. When I see people trying to eat better to lose weight and they are struggling I remind them that “you have to want to lose the weight more than you want to eat the chocolate bar”.
Healthy habits start at home
At the end of the day – healthy habits start at home. Why not give your children the best possible chance in life by doing a little bit of hard work now, to save them a lot of hardwork and pain later in life. You will also find that by focusing on helping someone externally, you will end up helping yourself and it will be a lot easier. Because I know you all want the quick fix magic pill, but life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Bibi Lafleur is a single mum of three who has been getting Dinner Sorted for over 6 months and says it has made her life so much easier. She is also working on her new venture (Wellness Biz Network) and has found that not having to meal plan or shop for ingredients has given her more time to work on her business and spend quality time with her children. Bibi also loves the variety of healthy food her children are eating each week and still feels like a hero in the kitchen as she still cooks the meals. Which gives her great satisfaction. Especially when the kids say “Mum this looks like Master Chef”