Healthy Living for Busy Moms- 3 tips for Success
Moms struggle every day with healthy living options. You may not have time to cook a nutritious feast for our picky little eaters. You may struggle to find alternatives due to nut allergies or gluten sensitivities. You may also be wanting to shed a few of those remaining pounds you acquired while carrying your precious bundle of joy. Let’s face it. Healthy living for busy moms seems like an impossible feat.
The 3 steps to be successful are quite simple.
- Moderation is Key
- Have healthy options available
- Be sneaky
From my experience with healthy living, the hardest part for people to grasp is moderation. Most people assume a diet means no sugar, no carbs, or some other grand restriction that they just know is not an option for their lifestyle.
The reality is that healthy living means making better choices.
Try limiting the number of canned goods and frozen foods you make for your family in lieu of fresh produce.
Limit the number of sweets you purchase at the grocery store. As a single mom, my son shops with me and he now knows he can choose 1 sweet (cookies, ice cream, donuts, etc) each week. Since this 1 item has to last him for a whole week, he now tries to make it last rather than binging on the whole box at once.
Moderate your portions. While a healthy meal should be between 400-600 calories, it is more important to concentrate on what you are eating than the calories themselves.
The best method I have found to gauge portions is my own hand. A palm-sized portion of protein is essential to your meal. This can be any protein such as poultry, beef, fish, eggs, lentils, or beans.
Another healthy essential is 2 fist-full portions of raw or cooked veggies. I like to have salads with most of my meals. It’s so easy to change the flavor and not get bored by adding different veggies and using different dressings.
A meal should also include a healthy complex carb. Brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or legumes are great choices. This portion should also be fist-sized.
Lastly, a healthy fat should be included. This can be in the form of salad dressing or cooking oils such as coconut oil or olive oil. You may even want to try an avocado spread.
The key to moderation is that you allow yourself to cave into temptation occasionally, but make a serious effort to stay on track with positive choices. You will be surprised how easy it is to bypass the sweets when your body doesn’t need them for energy any longer.
Have Healthy Options Available
Most people fail and healthy living because they don’t have any healthy options available.
Be prepared with easy finger snacks such as banana chips, string cheese, grapes, and sliced veggies.
A great way to do this is to plan a meal prep day.
Simply set aside 20-30 mins after getting your produce home to chop your veggies into snack containers. Lettuce can be chopped and drained into a large bowl so that you just serve a portion for each meal.
You will be surprised how often you will reach for the healthy options if you don’t have to cut or peel when you are in a hurry.
Our children tend to model positive actions we take. If you begin eating healthy snack options in front of them, this will encourage them to want to try what mom is having for her snack.
For our finicky eaters, you can hide many veggies into the foods we already eat.
Try shredding carrots into tiny pieces and mixing it into spaghetti sauce. The red sauce blends so well with the orange carrots that most kids won’t even notice the color.
You can even switch out the pasta with a healthy spaghetti squash for a super nutritious spaghetti dinner.
Probably one of my favorite finds is Black Bean Brownies. Frankly, both my son and I love these so much better than any cake brownie – ever.
Carry these small successes into healthy lifestyle options as well.
You can easily ask your child to play a quick game of Simon Says where you work in some jumping jacks or sprints.
Maybe go for a walk looking at nature and make a game of it. How many unique flowers can you find? Snap a picture if you take your cell phone and you can even look these up later for more together time.
If your kiddos are game, make an at home work out room with exercise bands and a balance ball. It doesn’t take a lot of money or equipment to make working out at home fun.
Healthy living doesn’t have to be a struggle for busy moms. Teach your children to use moderation in serving size and allow an occasional treat. Model for your kids your healthy choices in both meals and lifestyle. Lastly, make sure you have healthy snacks available that both you and your children can enjoy!