Updated: Jan 14, 2022
If you haven't read Dragon Mama's self care check in yet, read here.
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Ironically, moms spend a great deal of time thinking about what their little dragons are eating and making sure they have healthy meals, while not prioritizing their own healthy eating. It makes sense though. Once all the kids' food is made (which may be something different for each kid,) we sometimes don't feel like spending time to make ourselves something good for us. Or, sometimes there literally isn't time because you need to get yourself out the door, or get work done or laundry done. . . you name it. Today, I didn't even remember to eat lunch. I did however, eat a few bites of the kids' lunch leftovers and snuck some candy. (Although I am very lucky that if my husband is home, he cooks most meals so I eat pretty well.)
Also, mothers tend to underprioritize their own health. Everyone else's needs come first, am I right? Self-care is prioritizing your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If you start to think about it, you may go down the rabbit hole of mom guilt. You may tell yourself, "well the kids' needs are more important." I'll just have a Danish while doing whatever it is the kids want at that moment. It's not about putting your needs above theirs. It's taking time to put value to your own self care and make sure it happens, not at the expense of your children but so you can be a healthy mom for your children.
If you are already eating a healthy diet, I applaud you. You are setting a great example for your children, and I'm sure you are feeding them well also. If not, its time to take the first step and start somewhere.
This is not about weight, but if you would like to start a weight loss journey, I hope this is a catalyst to start! This is simply about eating healthier today than you did yesterday. Focus on one meal first. For example, make a commitment to eat a healthier breakfast on weekdays. Or, if all your meals are pretty balanced, commit to cutting down your sugar intake. (I know I'm the first one to tell the kids, I think you've had enough sugar today, and go around the corner and eat a Sees candy.) It can also be, promising yourself to add some new healthy foods to your diet. If you want to add Kale into your diet I am including a recipe below!
Whatever you choose as your goal, here are some tips to eating healthier when you are at home with the littles.
If you want more time to eat a healthier breakfast, freeze healthy breakfasts ahead of time. We do this for our kids all the time. My husband makes big batches of oatmeal banana pancakes, whole wheat waffles and French toast, and we freeze them. Its super easy for me to warm them for breakfast for the kids. (My husband is an exponentially better cook than I am.) I also usually add some fruit or yogurt, which is also quick and easy. You can eat what the kids eat, or have time to make yourself something.
Which brings me to my next tip, buy frozen fruit and vegetables. Its already washed and cut (although you can rinse again,) it lasts longer and it takes seconds to defrost in the microwave. I buy frozen blueberries, strawberries, mangos and sometimes cherries (all organic) every week. * Disclaimer, I am not aware if frozen is more or less clean than fresh or more likely to be a source of recall. Please do your research before making a nutrition choice for your family.
Oatmeal is a superfood and can be made quickly in the microwave. Food for thought.
Of course you can meal prep, and make all your lunches ahead of time for the week. If you do this, Awesome! It's not for me, but I do have some lunch tips. The first is, eat leftovers from dinner for lunch. If you had a healthy dinner the night before, presto! healthy lunch.
Big bagged salads from wholesale food stores like Costco are usually a great buy and tasty. Put a couple prepared things in a bowl and you're done. If the dressing has too much fat or sugar, you can always use your own. Again, disclaimer on whether these premade salads are "cleaner" or as safe as if you prepared it yourself. I do not have stats on this.
Plan your dinners the day you grocery shop. While you make your list or compile your Instacart, desig . your menu so there's no "what are we going to eat for dinner days?" which often end in takeout.
I know one reason I grab cookies or chips is because it's quick, easy and good. But, there are plenty of other easily grabbable nutritious snacks like a cup of low sugar Greek yogurt, string cheese, a bag of precut apples, a prepackaged bag of nuts, a protein bar etc. Make sure you buy these.
Look for healthier desserts. If you crave dessert like I do, there are many healthy options. A bowl of fruit is sweet treat. Popcorn is a great option if you want a bit of salt. Look for more healthy dessert recipes from me soon!
Every diet has a somewhat varying version of healthy. Some people are non dairy, gluten free, low carb, etc. However, there are some foods that a majority of diets all agree are beneficial. One of those is Kale. According to the mayo clinic, "Kale is a nutrition superstar due to the amounts of vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese it contains." Read more here and here. (If you have kidney stones, have a thyroid problem or take blood thinners or any other condition you are concerned about, check with your doctor before adding kale to your diet.)
Also, Kale is green. The perfect color for March right? Lastly, many people are doing meatless Mondays now or meatless Fridays during the Lenten season, and this is completely vegetarian.
My husband and I adapted a recipe from Williams and Sonoma to make it more hardy and a little spicy!
Cauliflower Kale White Bean Soup with Toasted Pine Nuts (made with air fried cauliflower and kale!)
*If you don't have an air fryer, you can roast the vegetables in the oven. However, to roast both the cauliflower and kale, it can take over 50 minutes to do both. If you are considering purchasing an air fryer, check these out on Amazon. Not only are air fryers quick, but by most measures, air frying is healthier than frying in oil. It cuts calories by 70% to 80% and has a lot less fat. One study shows that air frying lowers the amount of acrylamide (which may be cancer causing) in fried potatoes by 90%. Read more here.
1 large bunch of organic kale. We bought a 1lb bag. We used about half of it.
1 head of organic cauliflower. We used one 12 oz bag of florets.
1 medium onion
1 can of white beans
6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of organic ginger paste
64 ounces of organic vegetable broth
4 tablespoons of pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes