This is not going to be one of those articles where I talk about whipping up three course meals in addition to working 45 hours a week, hanging with an 11-month old and fitting in some sort of regular fitness regime. In fact, I am barely coordinated enough to chop an onion and not my finger. My lovely husband does most of the food prep (don’t worry, he doesn’t make three course meals on the regular either). That said, it’s a team effort to eat healthy and well balanced meals (ignore the Sonic Blast shake on my coffee table), which has taken a whole new meaning now that I have another mouth to feed.
Some background, I’ve been a full vegetarian (no meat/fish) for about three years, though haven’t eaten red meat in 20 years or so. I also dabble with veganism here and there. My husband has joined me in vegetarianism (though still does the fish thing) and, at this stage, we plan on keeping our whole family meat-free. This alone forces us to be creative to get our growing dude the best nutrients possible.
Some other ways our baby has changed how we eat:
- Everyone eats the same thing. We went through the whole weird combo puree stage with our son, but once he started eating more solids, we’ve consolidated a bit more. If he is having tofu, carrots and peas – we’ll usually have the same, albeit with a little more oil and seasoning. It shortens prep time and I feel good knowing we’re all eating well.
- We meal plan without meal planning. After returning to work, it became more obvious that meal planning was essential for us to not only feed our son in a balanced way, but also ensure we get fed. Unfortunately, my husband and I are not at all creative and tend to eat the same meals over and over. Most cookbooks are great, but have a tendency to turn cooking into a 3-hour event. Enter The Fresh 20 – a way to outsource our meal planning. This service provides weekly menus for five dinners, with serving sizes big enough for leftovers. It gives you a grocery list of no more than 20 ingredients, tells you what you can prep in advance and take less than 30 minutes to make. I even can make them on my own without the husband’s help! If you are more creative than we are, taking the 15 minutes on Sundays to meal plan can make a world of difference.
- Eating better makes me feel better. For me, what I eat is directly tied to how I feel. The more balanced I eat, the more energy I have. Though my boy sleeps 11-12 hours a night, I don’t have that luxury. Between work and home, I need to be able to have a moderate amount of energy to get me through the day. And for me, that means a low dairy, high veggie content. Any high-quality protein is usually a good start on this road.
- That said, use takeout to your advantage. These days, there are plenty of takeout options that offer healthy options. While of course we still order the occasional pizza (with loads of veggies of course because that’s just how we roll), I take advantage of Austin’s many pre-made, fresh options. Since I don’t have time to make lunch as often as I used to (okay, my husband doesn’t have time), these places have helped me stay balanced. Options like this are popping up all over the place, so keep an eye out.
Aside from the occasional Sonic Blast (see above), having a baby has made me even more conscientious about what I eat. If I wouldn’t give it to my kid, I probably shouldn’t be eating it myself. Before, we bought a lot more processed and boxed food. Now, we do our best to serve everyone fresh food to feel our absolute best.
All of the product/service recommendations in this post are my own and neither I or Fit-A-Licious were compensated.