Dealing With Cravings
Hankering. Munchies. Sweet tooth. Whatever word you choose to describe a food craving, it's all the same. As much as I want my kids and me to eat healthy, we still have cravings. The idea of not giving in to my craving is depressing, and I really don't need anything else to be depressed about. I try to stay positive, count my blessings, and teach my kids the importance of eating healthy food. The name of two guys in Vermont who make ice cream stays on my mind.
I've got one more month to push me and my kids into healthier habits so that I can say, at the end of the Fit Family Challenge, "we did good." In the past month, we have eaten veggies a lot more during the week. As you can see from my pics, my usual lunch at work is a salad either brought from home or bought at the hospital cafeteria. My afternoon snack is usually yogurt with berries. One day at work, I was really stressed and hungry so I went to the Chick-fil-A Express in the cafeteria. It is indescribably hard to talk myself out of doing that. For supper, we don't usually have pasta because I don't like so many carbs at night, but I saw a recipe and wanted to try it.
Photo of chicken and rigatoni in alfredo sauce courtesy of Jenny Prater
Usually, we'll have chicken cooked with cooking spray and two veggies. We don't always have healthy suppers. We've been to our local pizza shop and the Chinese buffet in the past month. At home, instead of the usual sugary granola bar for a snack I tried baby carrots with hummus. I really like it. I'll keep trying to get my kids to like it.
At school, my kids are battling their own demons. I've talked to them both several times about not getting Doritos, cookies and pizza all the time. I want them to feel satisfied after lunch, not be hungry again an hour later. If I have a hard time controlling my cravings, how can I expect children to control theirs? I know most people would tell me to pack their lunch every day so I know what their eating. Well, my daughter packs a pretty healthy lunch three days a week, but my son gets a school lunch every day because otherwise he'd only want PB&J everyday. I've tried to find packable lunches he likes but nothing has worked out yet.
On the weekends, we're usually running around doing errands or a fun activity. We usually end up going to restaurants or the food court at the mall. I do my best to make healthy choices for myself and my kids at restaurants. It's always stressful and embarrassing when my kids start to argue and whine for whatever unhealthy item they are wanting. Over the years, no amount of reward or punishment has been successful at getting them not to do this to me in public.
I don't know everything about nutrition, but I have ready many articles on different diets and what nutritionists consider the ideal meal plan. They all seem so unrealistic. I've met parents who reign total control over everything their child eats, and I've met parents who let their kids eat anything. I have to keep it in perspective that my kids and I eat fairly healthy food. I think the problem is, due to our laziness, when we do eat something unhealthy it turns straight to fat. I need to work more on finding the right balance of exercise and food.