If I Ate As Well As My Kids, I’d Be the Healthiest Mom at School Pickup
I eat ice cream for an after-school snack while my kids eat veggie muffins.
What did you have for breakfast yesterday? I made each of my four kids fried eggs (and not just any eggs — these are farm-fresh from my own coop) served over a very delicious yet nutritious kind of toast that I’m sure to always have on hand, then I topped the whole thing with aged cheddar, melted just enough to produce glorious strings when those rascals took a bite.
Now guess what I had.
I ran out of time. It was either whip up a fifth egg sandwich or get to school on time, but both weren’t happening, so off we went.
But before I start sounding sacrificial, let me be clear: I probably could’ve made a quick egg sandwich if I’d been thinking about it even a few minutes ahead of time. (Or I could’ve made a whole batch in the oven ahead of time.) But my own breakfast simply wasn’t on my radar. It’s less a question of time than habit.
And speaking of habits, I’ve recently discovered something: It turns out that I’m basically a sugar addict.
While I dutifully bake pan after pan of healthy muffins for my kids to snack on — think my kids’ favorite low-sugar muffins, double chocolate muffins with five kinds of fruits and veggies, banana muffins sweetened with honey and oatmeal-cranberry-chocolate chip muffins — I tend to reach for something not quite as healthy for myself. Ice cream. I eat a bowl of ice cream.
Meanwhile, the kids have brain-boosting chia seeds in everything and so much spinach snuck in so many places that they’re giving Popeye a run for his money. I always stock our fridge with plenty of fresh fruit (because we’re all are supposed to aim for a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables each day), and I’ve usually made a batch of something like fruit and nut protein balls each week. But do I eat them? Nope. I don’t want to “waste” them.
And don’t even get me started about lunches.
My kids eat pinwheel pizzas slathered in marinara sauce which just happens to be loaded with pureed vegetables. I’ve been known to pack lasagna cups full of that same sauce, and I rarely let a Taco Tuesday go by without throwing the leftovers into a pie crust and sending Taco Pop Tarts off to school.
Meanwhile, I lunch on dinner leftovers. Every. Single. Day.
What in the Ina Garten is going on here?
When it comes to food, to putting effort into eating well (fresh, healthy AND creative dishes), I can’t seem to muster the energy to treat myself like a houseguest. Or, you know, like one of my kids. I’m definitely one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do parents when it comes to eating.
But now I’m saying that’s about to change.
There was a time when I started my day with hearty avocado toast or a nice green smoothie. A temporary nod to my own health and happiness. I’m not saying I will be able to swear off ice cream entirely, but wouldn’t it be nice to treat myself as well as I would a friend who stopped by unannounced? (Because heads up, I already know that I’ll be here tomorrow.)
Taking three minutes to prepare my own breakfast might be one little healthy habit I can start and stick with.
We’ll deal with lunches later.