The following is a piece by guest blogger, Stephanie Frese. Interested in guest blogging? Visit us here.
Kids. They’re so picky. My 9 year old is the pickiest eater ever. He’s always been like that. For a long time I ate what he would eat. Fast forward through many years of gross, processed food and I had gained a ton of weight. I knew better, but it was just easier. Mom life is hard enough without the added worry and stress of multiple meal preparations. My husband and I work opposite shifts so I didn’t need to cook dinner which I was grateful for because, I will admit, I hate cooking and I’m not good at it. So here I was weighing way too much and not happy but, my kid was eating so it was ok.
Then I got pregnant with my daughter and had a serious wake up call. Diabetes type 2. And, this wasn’t just because I was pregnant. Diabetes runs in my family. While I did have gestational diabetes with my son I simply thought “it went away” after I had him.. NOPE. At some point I became a diabetic and didn’t even know it. My entire life had to be revamped, and I was scared to my core. I was on Google like it was my second job and I knew I had to make big changes.
How was I ever going fix myself and make my family eat healthy?? After way too much internet research and self-induced stress, I simply decided to go back to the basics. I started to introduce more fruits and veggies to my son. My husband was a huge supporter with all of this. He is the cook in our family and we started to make a plan.
Every Sunday became Meal Plan Day.
I would wash, cut, and “bag” our fruits and veggies and he would cook our healthy meals for the week. We made 2-3 meals a week each Sunday.
While this was working for us I quickly discovered it would take much more effort to get our son on board. So as we ate heathy meals I would try to encourage him to try our meals. Naturally, most of the time he would say it’s ‘gross’ or he doesn’t like ‘the smell’.
Even with us meal prepping, there was a lot of wiggle room for meals that were not prepared or accounted for. With my husband’s work schedule that left me with a kid who wanted “kid food” we were back to square one: considering how to stay healthy while feeding my kid too.
That’s where I came up with fun ideas like “chicken nugget salad” and “meat loaf muffins.” I make the kids nuggets, Mac and cheese, and some veggie that they won’t eat but it makes me feel better for offering it. Then I’ll take the nuggets and cut them up and put them in a salad so I’m not eating complete crap.
No, not great protein BUT better than what I could be eating. My “meat loaf muffins” are meat loaf.. but instead of making an actual loaf, I put them in muffin tins and put ketchup on the “adult” ones (my son does not like ketchup). Proof you can add whatever veggies you want to keep it healthy. My son likes to eat these with mac and cheese or tater tots.
I try my hardest to keep us all tied to eating the same meals or close to it. My daughter is now 11 months and she is a super good eater. As a mom I know that she will become picky at some point, but I am hoping I don’t make the same mistakes I made with my son and give in to her.
It’s a learning process and I am determined to not lose the battle against the typical processed ‘food’ with her that I did with my son.
I’ve learned that healthy doesn’t have to be difficult and I’ve learned that simple adjustments to kid-friendly foods can be great for adults and vice versa. I’m not a rockstar chef and I don’t have intense meal plans or recipes. I’m just a regular mom trying to make it work with my two kids in the most simple way possible.
So cheers to chicken nuggets over lettuce with a side of Truly. Motherhood is hard but food shouldn’t have to be!