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5 Tips Single moms To Establishing healthy eating habits

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Mamas, a few weeks ago I write a blog post about exercising and a few of you reached out and ask me to write one about healthy eating. I appreciate the request and any feedbacks you guys may have for me, please keep them coming. With that being said, let us talk about healthy eating habits. As a single mom, I know first hand how limited out time is and how carving out time to meal prep can be an after thought for us. It is challenging for me but I do the best I can to prepare some meals in advance about once a week when it is feasible. Many moms have asked how I managed to stay fit and eating healthy while juggling my schedule. I have to say, it takes a great amount of self discipled and me reminding myself that I have stay healthy to stick around to keep me motivated. It is really hard because I love sweets. And for those of us mamas who are on a tight budge staying healthy can be really hard. It is too easy to reach for the unhealthy cheap snacks because “real food” can be quite expensive. Below are some of the tips you can use to help you with that.

1.Use the 80/20 Rule

Listen ladies, no one eats healthy 100 percent of the time, many of those diet programs out there only are extreme and are not sustainable for the long term. that is why many people would lose weight while doing them and gaining the weight once stop. Unless you are put on a therapeutic diet or have food allergies, the 80/20 principal makes eating healthy much more attainable. The 80/20 rule is just doing what you think you should be doing 80% of the time, and not worrying about the other 20%. For example I do my best to serve nourishing and healthy meals at home but don't worry about it when we eat out once or twice a week. It is okay to cheat, as long as it is only 20 percent of the time, that way you can eat healthy and still indulge on your favorite treats once in a while. I use the 80/20 principal because I find it to be realistic and can be implemented long term. I also find it helpful to drink water before and after each meal. Water doesn't only keep us hydrated, it also refrains us from overeating.

2. Have “on-the-go” snacks on hand.

As mothers we have our hands' full. We work, take of care of the house and take everyone to their respective activities. Chances are you’ll have to run the kids to and from extracurricular activities and at-the-ready travel snacks lend you super mom status when your kids are hungry. I try my best to stay away from sugar and fat packed snacks like donuts and brownies and such. Some on the run snack I would suggest include nuts if there's no allergy concerns, fruits such as apples, mandarins, raisins, healthy granola bars, protein drinks, and popcorn. And remember to drink plenty of water even on the go.

3. Reject the world’s expectations, and design a plan around your ability

For single moms, we’ve often been up and going full force for 12-14 hours by the time dinner comes around, and we still have a few hours of work ahead of us still to get the kids ready for bed, in bed, and then work on the bills, do the laundry, or do other activities that are hard to do with the kids underfoot. The appeal of frozen pizza, which we occasionally eat, or hitting the drive through is understandable. Most communities have weekly farmers market stands, purchasing fresh fruits, veggies and eggs might be cheaper there. If your budget permits use a pre made meal service from Companies like Cook Unity and Fresh N Lean, or a meal kit service such as hello fresh. And of course having protein pancakes with fruits and delicious maple syrup is always a dinner favorite. By not feeling like we have to stick to the mold of having a ‘real’ dinner, it’s easier for us to avoid junk foods.

4. Capitalize on time by combining efforts and schedules.

As I mentioned above meal prepping is challenging for me, it takes some effort on my part to do it effectively. However, I recognize the importance of doing it. It is especially useful for us single moms. I try prepping meals once a week for a couple of days of the upcoming week. I found it easier to prepare meals like rice, beans , and sometimes pasta with pasta sauce. For example on the days that I cook rice, although it is only me and my two children who by the way don't eat much, I would cook 6 servings instead of 3 and freeze the rest to have as left overs during the week. We would eat the left over rice with baked fish bathing in teriyaki or barbecue sauce and vegetables. To cut down on time, I also stock on frozen vegetables, which have a lot of nutritional values and use them as sides with our rice or the protein of our choice for that day. We also eat one pot meals like soup, chili, creamy Risotto, chicken drum stick in sauce and pasta to name a few.

5. Maximize resources including getting the children involved

If your children are older 5 years old they can help with getting things ready for family meals. They can help set the table, get drinks on the table, load the dishwasher, if they’re older than 8, they can help with prep work or make a salad and if they are teenagers they can even cook some meals. For example I am happy that my son is old enough now that he makes breakfast for us on the weekends. They’ll learn important life skills and discover the joy of eating good healthy food. Before you know it, you won’t be the single mom cooking alone. You’ll have budding cooks in the kitchen, taking charge and you can sit back and relax.

When it comes to healthy eating it doesn’t matter if you are at risk of gaining weight, currently overweight or already have maintained weight, you can follow some steps to prevent weight gain and related health issues. No one can control the way our body works from inside, but we can learn how to take care of it and change our lifestyle. So if you’re busy, stressed out single mama like me who wants to set good healthy habits for her children, or if you are a mama looking to shed a few pounds please follow this tips to help you start healthier habits. Remember not to stress too much about it, love who are, in the body, you are in right now. Don’t feel ashamed of it, accept and love your body while you work on it over time to make it healthier, for you.

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