Let’s talk about kid food. I think of kid food as the food most of us remember eating as kids, or those items we often see on the “kids menu” at restaurants. You know them well too: chicken fingers, grilled cheese, goldfish, mac and cheese, etc. All those yummy items often are filled with added sugar and fats that are fine for growing children (in moderation, of course!) but can wreck the diets of adults and, often, parents. As a mom of three boys, I make good-for-you meals for the whole family most nights. However, kids should be kids, and mine also dig into ‘kid food.’ more often than I care to admit. And, yup, just like the kids of most of my clients, they don’t always finish their plates. Those yummy crumbs are left staring at me but guess what…..I don’t cave. And neither should you! All too often in my practice I hear about parents finishing the leftovers of their kids, and that is one of the very first things I change. Your kids’ food is NOT your food. Wanna know why? Keep reading…
I make this recommendation so often that I did some research and, sure enough, a survey on behalf of Nutrisystem showed that 81% of moms with young kids eat leftover kid food. Because of this, more than 1 in 3 moms feel less healthy than they they did before they had kids!
That’s a lot of moms, and it doesn’t include other caregivers or dads!
Many parents who eat leftovers off of their kids’ plates think it’s harmless. A pancake here, a few chicken nuggets there – what damage could it do? What they need to realize is how many calories those little nibbles can add up to over time. Even just a small amount of kid food per day can result in over a hundred more calories per week, which can completely overthrow your weight loss efforts.
So, what can you do to prevent this mindless eating? I’ve got a few ideas:
- If you eat it, plate it – Reaching your weight loss and health goals is ALL ABOUT controlling your portions. If you are going to pick at your kids’ food, then put it on your plate and make it count as part of your meal. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.
- Eat with your kids! – Family meals are GREAT for bonding. Plus, eating your meals with your children will make you less likely to be hungry enough to eat off their plates.
- Serve your kids food that you would eat! – Remember how I said I make healthy meals in bulk for the whole family? You should too! Most of the time, feed your kids food that you yourself would eat. This not only cuts out the urge for you to snack on kid food, it also teaches your kids the types of food they should be eating to live their healthiest lives.