As a mother of 3, I know all too well the struggles that busy mothers face when it comes to our own health. It is easy to place all of our attention and care on the health of our children, that in effect we neglect our own nutritional needs. Skipping breakfast, having two dinners, snacking while packing lunches…sound familiar? Luckily, with 4 simple tips, I have developed an ideal formula to get busy moms back in tune with their own health needs.
1. Breakfast. In true ‘supermom’ fashion, the mornings are so focused on our children that if we even attempt to sit down and share breakfast with them, it only proves scattered and hectic. You can barely coerce them to finish their food, let alone enjoy a meal for yourself. Or, if you are able to eat at the kids’ table, you may end up having the mischievous Breakfast #2 at the office or once the kids are off to school. To avoid these challenges, create a plan for yourself. Mothers who love to spend time in the morning sitting with their kids at the breakfast table can enjoy a small bowl of fresh berries along with coffee or tea. Then, save your actual breakfast for your commute to work or once the kids have left. Something easy and portable is best, such as a breakfast bar that is high in fiber and protein. KIND Snack’s Madagascar Vanilla Almond Bar, with 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and only 4 grams of sugar, is your best friend. Pair it with an 80-calorie Greek yogurt for a complete and enjoyable breakfast. Another quick and easy idea is to throw a handful of organic blueberries in a baggie, mix it with a serving of KIND Grain’s Gluten-Free Granola (be sure to measure!), and use that to top off your Greek yogurt once you’re at the office. A third option that takes away unnecessary morning stress is hard-boiled eggs. To really prep, make a few at a time as you get the kids ready, as they keep for up to 3 days. Pair your egg with a few Fiber Rich fiber crackers and piece of fruit, and you’re good to go.
2. Snacking. Once your kids get home in the afternoon, its practically protocol that they have a snack. So naturally, we hop on the bandwagon and snack with them to catch up on the day. It’s important that this afternoon snack be kept finite and controlled. We want to avoid the mindless hand-in-bag syndrome! In this case, a KIND Bar filled with protein and fiber is ideal, or 2 Fiber Rich fiber crackers with 2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges. An apple with a single serve 80-calorie packet of Justin’s Almond Butter will also do the trick.
3.Dinnertime. Come dinnertime, the ‘Devil Dinner’ issue arises: are you just feeding the kids their dinner, or are you eating as a family? Often young children eat before 6pm, and mothers want to eat with their partner, which may not be until 8:30 or 9pm. If you try to eat with your little ones and then sit with your spouse, you may accidentally end up eating a second dinner. In this situation, you need to know yourself and ask the question: “If I eat with the kids now, can I really sit here later on and not eat?” If you have that discipline, great-eat early. If not, prepare for what’s coming. It’s okay to say to your kids, “I’m waiting for mommy/daddy to come home”. Or, have a small bowl of cut-up raw veggies with no accessories (guacamole, hummus, dressing), for that draws you in to keep eating. Then later on, when the kids are asleep, sit down and have an enjoyable, balanced dinner with protein and healthy fats. Amy’s Frozen Organic Meals, which are low in sodium and calories, are a great option; I love to serve them over steamed vegetables for a filling and nutritious meal.
4. Packing Lunches. Its 9pm. Your kids are asleep, you’re tired, possibly even a little stressed, and its time to pack tomorrow’s lunches. This is quite the popular time to start snacking. When those night hungers strike, avoid an over-indulgent snack session and plan for success. Take a Chobani Greek Yogurt Bite (Mint Chocolate Chip is great) and freeze it before eating. This is a great option because it takes some time to eat, making it somewhat of a project-no mindless snacking involved. Something else to have on hand is sliced turkey; I always recommend keeping a couple quarter-pound bags to grab whenever I need. It’s a great source of protein, and definitely not something you have trouble putting down.