Healthy advice for Mom

Amanda O'Brien
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If you are on any social media sites, you’ve seen the circulating posts of the video featuring job applicants applying for the world’s toughest job.

The applicants were required to be on call 24-7, take no holidays, work long hours, often while standing, tending to an associate who would often need constant attention, all while being paid nothing.

Applicants ultimately find out that billions of people worldwide hold this position: mothers.

As a new mom myself, I know the realities of not having much time and being in constant demand.

So for this Mother’s Day, I’m encouraging hard-working moms everywhere to look after themselves by refuelling and refocusing with some healthy habits.

When it comes to brushing up on some healthy habits, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen.

Moms, remember that if you don’t look after yourself, it’s going to be very difficult to take care of everyone else.

With this focus in mind, manage your diet as you would manage your business, your career, your children, your family.

Similar to a work day, or deciding who will drive the kids to school, healthy eating should also be planned.

Easy plans for healthier eating could be to get up five minutes earlier to have breakfast on weekdays, and take supper leftovers to work for lunch on following days.

Plan to enlist some extra help during the week, too, and get the family involved by taking some time to plan meals and grocery lists.

The more meals that are planned, the less likely you’ll visit the drive-through for quick bites.   

Always take time for yourself to eat.

Moms have the busiest of schedules. However, not taking the time to eat will not only leave moms lacking much needed energy, but also be counterproductive to weight management — an FYI for those moms looking to watch same.

Not enough hours in the day?

Time management for eating all comes back to the above point about managing healthy eating and making a plan.

Take the time to eat a little slower and enjoy food, also.

Eating isn’t just about nourishment, it’s about pleasure.

In addition to eating, take time to drink, too. (I don’t mean alcohol, but certainly a glass of wine doesn’t hurt any mom after a long day!)

Staying hydrated is just as important as healthy eating for staying well and energized.

Whatever you’re eating and drinking, remember to have the same quality of diet you would want your family to eat.

Kids of all ages learn to imitate food behaviours and eating patterns over time, be they good or bad.

Last but not least, moms, make eating together as a family a priority.

Research shows that families who eat together have higher intakes of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and lower intakes of many nutrients moms and other family members may want less of, like overall calories, saturated and trans fats and sodium.

When sharing your meals with children, don’t forget to enjoy the experience.

Use mealtimes as not only a time for nourishment, but as a time to catch up on one’s day, plan family weekend activities or perhaps make that weekly meal plan.

Use mealtimes as a time to enlist a little more help, too.

Kids of almost any age can be given a task to help: washing ingredients, setting the table, chopping ingredients, and reading recipes are easy ones.

Everyone can help cleaning up after, too. Assign duties to family members such as  washing and drying dishes, prepping leftovers for lunch containers, wiping counters, putting away ingredients or loading a dishwasher.

If you are aren’t a mom, then helping your mother implement a simple suggestion like the above, and  putting her health in focus, is one of the best gifts you can give her this Sunday.

Amanda O’Brien is a registered dietitian in St. John’s. Contact her through the website

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