In an ideal world, I’d cook a nutritious meal for my son every night.
My world is not ideal. I’ll bet yours isn’t either.
So how do we feed our kids?
I rely on a combination of quick meals I can prepare (which aren’t always balanced) and restaurant food. I’m a little ashamed to say Connor and I eat out more than we eat at home.
Why? I’m stressed, lazy, not in the habit of cooking – take your pick. I understand the importance of nutrition in a child’s development. I understand the importance of a family eating together at home.
But home-cooked meals elude me on a regular basis.
My guilt level rose a little recently when I saw this article on Yahoo about a family of four that was fasting from junk food. They’ve gone more than 100 days and counting.
Good for them, I say. But I read that the mom stays at home with their two young daughters. OK, that’s an unfair advantage from the start.
In my household (and probably yours), we don’t have a stay-at-home parent. It’s just me, and I’m always running, it seems.
The family in the article – the Leakes of Charlotte, N.C. – eat “no refined grains or sweeteners, nothing deep fried, only local hormone-free meats and organic fruits and veggies, and absolutely nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package with more than five ingredients listed on the label,” says the writer, Piper Weiss.
Oh, shut up. Don’t you hate to hear about families that seem to be perfect in one area, like feeding their kids?
I hope Connor, who is 11, grows up to like healthy food. He’s not a junk food addict by any means. He likes fruit and even some vegetables.
But his diet is hit or miss – just like mine. We have some good nutrition days and some bad ones.
I could learn to cook better and do it more, I suppose, but I’d have to make sacrifices in other areas. Where?
So I’ll keep intending to prepare hot, sit-down meals (like I enjoyed as a kid). Maybe I’ll do better for a week or so. But I’ll never be able to go “junk food free” for 100 days or more.
I tell myself I’m doing a good job educating Connor, teaching him sound values and spending time with him – but only a so-so job feeding him.
Three out of four isn’t bad, is it?
Educate yourself about nutrition and model healthy eating habits for your kids. Prepare balanced meals at home when you can, but realize you’re juggling a lot of balls. Cooking won’t always rise to the top of your priority list.