Child Nutrition Tips for the Working Mama
I am a working mum, as I am sure many of you lovely readers are. Because of this, I am extra careful about trying to instill good nutrition and eating habits for my son. This post contains some things about child nutrition that I keep in mind 🙂
Many children and families today have busy schedules. These make it hard to take a seat right down to homemade meals a day. Indeed, I haven’t had the time or energy to cook more often than only once or twice a week!
As a result, many kids’ diets involve tons of convenience and takeout. It is always a concern that these foods are unhealthy. Unhealthy food has a negative effect on children’s health, which can continue into adulthood. Consistent poor eating habits will even become lifelong diseases. As a working mum, its always so difficult to walk the fine line between the practicality and convenience of getting takeout versus healthy eating and proper child nutrition for Little J.
There are studies that prove that healthful eating has many benefits for youngsters. It can:
- Stabilize their energy.
- Improve their minds.
- Even out their moods.
- Help them maintain a healthy weight.
- Help prevent psychological state conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
- Healthy eating can help prevent many chronic diseases. These include obesity, heart condition, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Around half all Americans have one or more of those illnesses, and that number is rising with lack of proper child nutrition and the unhealthy food choices that many of us make!
In addition, healthy eating habits are more likely to remain with you if you learn them as a toddler, when the toddler has less of an opinion one way or another! That’s why it’s important to me to simply teach Little J good habits now. It’ll hopefully help him persist with these eating patterns later in life. This may help them avoid developing chronic diseases like those listed above, as a toddler or even later as an adult.
Path to improved health
There are some ways I tried to encourage Little J to eat healthily. They include:
1. Start with breakfast
I believe in starting the day right! Eating a balanced breakfast with protein is a good way for Little J to start out his day because protein helps him stay fuller longer.
Since my mornings are often hectic, I tend to reach for these for healthy, on-the-go breakfasts:
- Egg sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
- Greek yogurt.
- Peanut butter on whole-grain toast.
- Hard boiled eggs, toast, and an apple.
2. Make mealtimes a priority
Sitting down at the table as a family is a crucial part of establishing healthy eating habits. My husband and I always make it a point to sit down and have mealtime with Little J. It’s not quite just enjoying the time eating together. For us, mealtimes also are an opportunity to:
– Provide comfort
Children thrive on routine. Little J knows his routine for bedtime, for childcare and for meals. Knowing that he will have dinner or other meals with his mama and papa helps him feel safe.
I try to talk together with Little J, trying to get him to communicate with me (because he has a slight speech delay that we are working on). When he is older, I’ll work towards showing interest in what’s happening in his life and telling him what’s happening in mine. Mealtimes together is a source of comfort for Little J and builds stronger connections among the family.
– Monitor their eating habits
Kids have strong dietary preferences and show them during mealtimes. By observing Little J’s preferences during mealtimes, I actually came up with a way to encourage him to eat vegetables! (Proud mama here, Little J eats everything on the plate with mama’s encouragement 😍🥰 )
I use mealtimes to observe what and how he eats, correcting his use of utensils as well, since his fine motor skills aren’t too amazing just yet. In this way, I constantly see if there’s anything I can do to encourage better habits.
3. Set an example for your child
I make every effort to eat healthy foods myself, because that means Little J will eat healthier, too. Personally, I avoid obsessive calorie-counting and refrain from talking negatively about myself, in order to provide a good example for Little J. I also eat lots of vegetables and deliberately show myself eating the things that Little J has never seen before so that he feels more reassured about eating things he is not familiar with. One more thing I try to do is to avoid the use of electronic devices at the dinner table 🥰
4. Get your child involved
When I shop for groceries, I try to get Little J to assist in the buying of groceries and choosing foods to eat. I name the colourful food items for him and talk a little about each. When he starts to understand and identify more, I hope to teach him the way to read a food label so that he understands more about nutrition. Hopefully, this will help him take some ownership in what he eats in the future.
Other posts about parenting and nutrition (though not necessarily about child nutrition haha!):