Guilt. Pressure. Piles of dishes. ACK!
Since entering the wellness industry, I have notice that there are two distinct camps amongst Moms.
CAMP #1 I would never feed my kid THAT (insert one of the following: dyes, chemicals, sugar, meat, dairy, gluten) because I care deeply about my child’s health and wellbeing.
CAMP #2 Don’t tell me what to feed my kids you kale pushing evangelist. Life is hard enough already, and I turned out just fine living on pop tarts and cube steak. GO AWAY.
I began to dream about a middle ground for us hard working Moms (and Dads) who may simply want to do better. Perfection (and kale) not required.
Busy families deserve good food too and feeding our kids is no joke. We are never home. We live in our cars and in the field, or at the gym. We don’t HAVE TIME TO EAT SITTING DOWN, much less prepare a balanced meal.
WHY I AM HERE
To teach freezer meal and prep ahead strategies for all you Modern Moms who never slow down. Your freezer should become your new BFF, because sometimes it is the only way.
To give you support when your kids won’t even LOOK at the amazing home cooked dinner you made, much less try a bite. Don’t be coy….I know how it is. We have accidentally created a generation of kids who don’t recognize homemade food. We need to go back to basics and train your kids to LOVE your home cooking.
To encourage every single Modern Parent to take an hour or two each week to cook. To sit. To eat. It really does matter, and it is easy to forget.
While I am in interested in promoting healthy kids (of course) I am REALLY interested in your sanity and mine. Planning, preparing and eating healthy(ish) food should be a stress relief, not a Sh*t show. (sorry, but you know it's true sometimes.) In order to succeed, lets get a few things straight...
5 Steps To Creating Healthy Meals With No Time:
#1 Making healthy meals a priority…even if it is only a priority once a week!
#2 Believing in the above statement with your whole heart.
#3 Taking a small portion of each week to make a plan.
#4 Treating cooking, and meal prep as a joy, not a chore. I use it as my personal “time out”. Music, slippers, wine, Netflix, are all part of my arsenal to make this a reality.
#5 Realizing you're in charge of teaching your kids how to eat. Be Head Mistress of your kids taste training, and make school fun. You can’t just whack kids with a ruler and expect them to “learn”. Kids WILL become adventurous eaters if you lead the way.
So, no more Team Kale vs. Team I Turned Out Just Fine
Let's create Team Busy Families Deserve Good Food
Who's with me?
First, A little backstory.....
When I started my family I was so careful about what my babies ate. I followed all "the rules", we grew our own food, served tons of fruits and veggies and made things from scratch. I did things "right". However, something bizarre happened when my first born son became a toddler and entered daycare. Life got a whole lot busier and I was inexplicably excited to introduce him to some of my favorite junk food treats. I began taking short cuts at meal time and introduced a fantastically horrible array of junk food to him. This meant pizza and chicken nuggets were suddenly a choice at lunch, and boxed cookies were kept in the pantry for snacking. Before long, my green veggie loving kid was (shocker) starting to prefer the packaged food junk in lieu of my fresh homemade food. A little visual to drive my point:
Before: An awesome beige meal for my angels. Look familiar?
The slippery slope I was on eventually turned in to a big ol' messy landslide. By the time my daughter was born, my son was a full blown picky eater and the occasional packaged convince foods and "treats" had now become our mainstays. YIKES!
There was one more blow to be dealt, however.
A few months after I gave birth to my second child, I found myself in surgery removing my thyroid gland along with a cancerous tumor that had begun pressing on my windpipe. I was 33 years old with a newborn and a toddler, and I was so ill after my surgery I couldn't take care of myself let alone my babies. For weeks I was so weak and exhausted that I was terrified to be left alone with them. Suck-O.
Now I could eat up this whole page with all the research I did on thyroid cancer and how I think it is entirely preventable and caused by processed food, pesticides, and crappy environmental factors, yadda, yadda, yadda. Alas, I am not a doctor or medical researcher so I will spare you my lecture. But, I will say this:
If there is even the slimmest chance poor food choices will impact my children's health, I will delight in cooking for them every single day if it will save them from going though what I went through.
I knew the first step was kicking our junky, prepackaged livestyle to curb because ain't nothing good was coming out of those bags, boxes, and packages I was passing off as food.
Making the choice to change was the easy part.
Reversing the picky eating, figuring out what was healthy, and actually finding time to make everything from scratch was the hard part. The really REALLY hard part. I am not going to lie, it was a long haul. I STILL struggle with fussy eating and making family meals a priority. I now have enough proven strategies and methods and enough determination to make healthy and homemade food a daily reality. Plus, I LOVE it. My kids may or may not remember the hours I spent in a dance studio waiting room, but, I am pretty sure the hours laughing and eating together every night is going to stick.
Tara is a certified holistic health coach, professional dance instructor, and private chef in Portland, Maine. She specializes in non-processed freezer meals, batch cooking, and has spent the last 8 years figuring out how to feed a family of four while working full time and still having a life of her own! When she's not creating amazing healthy recipes and inspiring women to take back their kitchens, you can find her indulging in a glass of chardonnay on the back porch, reading trashy novels, and planning extravagant vacations her husband says they can’t afford. (But then they take them anyway, ha!)