It happened. You went from bouncing back from your post-baby weight body to “hello, Mom Jeans.” Your baby became a child and suddenly, you realized your kids diet differs from yours. You are meticulous about the food pyramid, the number of juice ounces you serve your child and know that the “size of your fist equates to a serving size of chicken. But, are you applying the same principle to your own meals? Do you add salt, butter and sauces to your food and limit to your kids?
Below are the 6 most common reason kids are making you fat.
- The Clean Plate Club requires family membership. Used to be, little Timmy could not leave the table until he ate all his food–liver, peas and milk not withstanding. Today, we are encouraged to teach children, and ourselves, to listen to our body. Do we feel full? Are we hungry or simply bored? Do we go too long between meals that we are ravenous by the time dinner rolls around?
Speaking of rolls…
- Are you serving and eating paired foods because that is what you were taught? Meaning, do you have garlic bread with pasta? Have you given your child a desert if he finishes his lunch? Can you eat the hamburger without fries? For decades, we were told that we must have multiple foods and paired foods to become a meal. In reality, following the USDA food guidelines, which is super easy with their online calculator, allows you to input your foods and it calculates the quantity needed, your physical activity, percentage of food groups and what portion are empty calories.
- Are you munching on candy bars while your kid is eating a granola bar? Sure, children should be allowed some indulgences — after all, you’d be having dessert every day, too, if you had that metabolism — but it’s important to understand and adopt smart eating habits the whole family can practice. Even if you’re setting a good example, it doesn’t mean much if you aren’t eating healthy too.
- You are picking, testing, and finishing their food. It’s our job as parents to test the food; we must know if it’s too hot, fully cooked, too salty, overly spicy….the list goes on and on. We have been known to sneak a taste, bite or sample as well as finishing the last morsel or two of Susie’s jelly sandwich. Not to mention, the treats from pre-school parties, trick-or-treating or play-dates. These add up. A couple hundred extra calories every day equates to half to one pound per week. Fat. It’s a sneaky, sneaky thing.Related read: 5 Healthy Food Habits Your Child Will Cheer About
- You buy fast food for the kids because you are pressed for time..and end up eating fast food too. . Sure, in a tight economy it’s a lot easier to grab McDonald’s when the kids need a quick meal. But don’t do it all the time. If Junior wants to grab a burger with his friends, make a healthy family meal for dinner when he’s home.
- You settle in to mindless eating..They’re parked in front of the TV computer or PlayStation. Or, if your kids are at a sporting practice and your in the stands, the result is the same. Time-passer treats–those snacks we don’t really need but always have when there’s nothing else to do. Next you know, a bag of chips, a couple of doughnuts or a bowl of cereal is gone.
Are your kids making you fat? Nope. You are making you fat. Take control of the situations in your environment and enjoy the moments with the kids. When you plan healthy snacks and focus on meal prep, you’ll be less likely to engage in any of the tricky habits listed. A great read is Why Kids Make You Fat, by Mark McDonald. He digs deep into the issues and solutions that include diet, exercise and lifestyle behaviors.
In the meantime, put down little Janie’s almost-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich and save yourself the extra 100 calories. You’ll be glad you did.
Have your kids made you fat? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you and possibly share your story in an upcoming blog. Visit PersonalBabyProducts.com and PersonalizedKidsPlates.com to stay up-to-date on topics, tips and articles written especially for parents. We welcome you to share, repost and re-tweet our news, ideas and stories with your social media network. Or, simply subscribe to our RSS feed or newsletter below