How to Stop Eating Your Kids' Leftovers and Start Eating Well

How to Stop Eating Your Kids' Leftovers and Start Eating Well

One mom shares how she learned to stop eating her kid’s leftovers and start eating well.

By: Lorraine Allen

It can become a real challenge to eat well when you’re home taking care of a toddler, surrounded by all those finger foods, with so little time to take care of yourself. I found myself serving handfuls of fish crackers, dry cereal, cheese bits, and apple slices all day to my kid, and it was really hard to make sure I was eating three regular meals, not just snacking on her leftovers. All. Day. Long. I was so busy making things like mini meatballs and cutting grapes in half, I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten three healthy adult meals in the same day. Once, I ate eight mini banana oat muffins and two pickles -- and nothing else until 9 p.m.! I soon realized this was a problem, and I wasn’t feeling great, either. So I decided to find easy ways to eat more healthfully.

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First, moms need to carve out our own time to eat. In the same way that it’s hard to go to the bathroom or have a conversation without an interruption from your little one, just accept that your mealtimes might include them, but they still need to happen. In fact, I found real value in showing my child that her mom needs to eat FULL MEALS, regularly. Because mommy is a grown-up.

The next thing I needed to do was make sure these meals, though they might be quick, were not just a pile of kids’ finger foods -- or what’s left of them -- as convenient or appealing as that might be. It can be quite simple to feed yourself well, really, if you just make the extra effort and remember that you need good food to be healthy, too. So when I made little meatballs, I just started making several larger ones for myself, for example. When I peeled and cut cucumber for my kid, I made myself a whole cucumber salad, throwing in some extra veggies, and put it aside for my next REAL meal. And if I gave my kid a slice of cheese for her lunch, I made sure to make myself a cheese sandwich, mustard and all. It really only takes an extra minute or two when you prepare your toddler’s food to think of your own health.

In the end, I realized that I could easily make healthy food for both of us. I just had to make sure to buy extra, take the time to make adult versions and portions, and not graze all day on kiddie snacks.


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How do you eat healthfully while home all day with your toddler?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 5-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

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