Parenthood-induced Malnutrition

When I was little, I always noticed that my mom saved the best food for my brother and I – the drumstick, the most ripe and delicious fruit, etc.  She also never finished anything she knew we’d want to eat.  My mom is, no doubt, an awesome and devoted mother, but I think there is something about being a mom or a parent that makes you naturally want to save the best for your kids.  It seems very primal and Darwinian.

My kids are now almost 22 months and I waslooking around for something to eat for lunch and concluded that there wasn’t anything to eat.  Then I really looked and realized there was actually a lot to eat, but that I didn’t want to eat the homemade pasta sauce my kids love or the fruit that they go crazy for, or the broccoli I know they’ll eat with dinner and in eggs for breakfast.  Instead, I boiled some noodles for lunch because my kids don’t like this particular kind that much.  While eating my noodles, I realized that I have developed terrible eating habits since my kids started eating solid food.  I get home from work at 5:30PM and my kids eat dinner at 6PM.  I’ll pick some leftovers off their plate, but don’t eat dinner at 6PM.  Then, after my kids go to sleep at 7PM, my partner and I usually clean up, do housework, catch up on work that was left undone since we left work at 5PM, and relax.  Dinner usually happens when I realize I haven’t eaten yet, which can happen at anytime between 7PM and 11PM and sometimes doesn’t happen because I’d rather go to sleep.  Dinner consists of whatever can be thrown together and even though our kids eat food we would eat, we almost never eat “their” food.  They, in fact, have their own shelf in our fridge.  (Update: For dinner tonight, I ate a few bites of their leftover grilled cheese, and a chocolate chip cookie.)

I was probably the healthiest of my life when I was pregnant because it felt very, very important to make sure everything I ate was organic, whole grain, natural, etc, etc.  Now, since my kids are barely nursing and eating a ton of solid food, my priority has totally shifted to making sure what they eat is as healthy as what I was eating when they were growing inside me.  When I am feeling very organized and work is not too busy (a rarity!), I’ll make massive amounts of food on the weekend that lasts through the week, but lately, I’ve either been starving or buying lunch at work and then eating random things like crackers with peanut butter for dinner.

I think my current “dinner” scavenging could be the theme of a food network reality show!  Maybe I’ll try to improve on my eating in the new year.

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One Response to Parenthood-induced Malnutrition

  1. Larissa says:

    I so sympathize! I have the same bad eating habits. I’ve been trying to plan meals using a recipe planning app, including the boys’ lunches for school, and that has made thing better—at least, there’s always “adult” food in the house, and when I plan meals, I try to plan things that we all like. And they’re able to eat more textures that we like now that they’re three, so more of the food is everyone’s. But a whole week will often go by before I realize that I haven’t eaten a single vegetable in days. And there’s so much amazing fruit in our house, but I never get to eat it!

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