Do Working Moms Have Unhealthy Kids?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/13/2009 9:41 AM   :  222 comments   :  15,334 Views

I like to think that overall, I'm a good mom. Some days are better than others, but in general, I try to provide a good example for my kids. We eat healthy, engage in physical activity like playing on the swing set or going to the park, they don't watch TV, etc. Another way I think I'm a good example is by showing them that you can be a good mom and have a career at the same time--if that's something you want. But is that a bad choice? A new British study concludes that children whose mothers work are less likely to eat healthy or exercise.

My mom always worked part-time when I was growing up. It wasn't because she had to (lucky for her), but because she wanted to. She used to tell me that someday I'd understand, and when I had children, I did. I love my job wanted to continue working, so I reduced my hours to part-time. I'm lucky that I had the financial stability to make that choice. So maybe my kids are an exception to the average children in this study, but I just find the results hard to believe.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at the diet and exercise habits of children ages 9 months to 5 years. "Regardless of ethnicity, maternal education or job level, children whose mothers worked part or full time were less likely to eat fruits or vegetables at meals or as snacks," according to the study. Children whose mothers worked also watched more TV, got less physical activity and drank more sugary beverages.

The study said that "Children whose mothers were employed were more likely to have poor dietary habits, engage in more sedentary activity and be driven to school than children whose mothers had never been employed." The researchers also concluded that flexible work arrangements did not have a positive affect on developing healthy behaviors in children. I think my children can be just as healthy as a child whose mother has chosen to stay at home. I provide good examples while I'm home, and when I'm not, their grandparents (who watch them) understand my wishes and provide the same examples for me.

What do you think? Do you agree with the results of the study? Why or why not?


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Comments

  • 172
    I am returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom for over eight years. Thankfully, I am able to work part time as a substitute teacher. I have noticed that on the days I work, I choose quick meals that are not as healthy as the meals I make on my days off. However, I do avoid unhealthy prepared meals and fast food. - 10/20/2009   12:52:08 PM
  • 171
    Why are those who carried out the study assuming cause and effect? Just because the two are linked, does not mean that one causes the other. Many moms who work do so because they can't afford not, and unfortunately, especially in Northern climates (like England), fresh food is more expensive than over-processed, less healthy choices. It's equally possible that there are enough people in their study who can't afford fresh food, dance classes and team sports that the underlying cause is actually income, not whether or not mom works. This is so much more complicated than simply pointing a finger at working moms - 10/20/2009   12:41:44 PM
  • LADYBUGSWINK1
    170
    As a single mom, I can see the pitfalls of a busy schedule. It's hard to balance that need to make ends meet, get kids to their activities and find time to get healthy meals on the table. Although I do try to set a good example for the kids, when time is stretched it is easier to pop in some processed foods or drive thru. I am trying to be more aware of what I am putting in my body as well as theirs. - 10/20/2009   12:38:10 PM
  • 169
    I could write a book about this. I also have been a stay at home mom, worked full time, worked part-time which ended in working part-time 50 hours a week. In the end I would say after my kids entered college that I wished that I never let my son have computer games, ninetindo or playstation games which he played more after getting injured during soccer and he quit playing. I think he would have done better his last few years of high school and his first couple of years in college. He seemed to be distracted by the games. I was pretty good about eating out and making sure if we did eat out, the next day I would make up for it. My kids didn't really eat cooked veggies so I would always have carrots, snow peas, celery, fresh fruit, etc. I wish my son had eaten salads, but he was really good with italian food, pizza, spagetti. He now lives by himself and he eats out alot or buys frozen dinners. Some where he started eating yogart so that's good. I'm trying to get him away from drinking sodas. I buy him water bottles and 100% juice boxes. It's all about convience for him. My daughter on the other hand lives at home still. I do buy her frozen dinners for lunch sometimes I send her left overs, but generally we try to eat at home. I have tried to decrease the amounts I eat out be/c I was gaining weight. We both take either carrot sticks or fruit with us for the day also, but I prepare them for us. I know I feel alot better physically doing this.
    On the flip side, my sister worked full time and was not active. She's gain weight over the years and is just now trying to loose weight. Still not active though.
    - 10/20/2009   11:55:15 AM
  • 168
    Like others have suggested, I believe it depends on the commitment of each parent. I have been a working mom for all of my childrens' lives. Maybe because of that, I have learned how to make sure they have healthy meals and snacks. My kids' friends always wanted me to make their lunches for school too. LOL I rarely cooked from a box, often made the following night's dinner the night before so that it could be popped in the oven and eaten at a reasonable hour. No junk in the house, just healthy snacks. - 10/20/2009   11:26:36 AM
  • 167
    I DO believe it largely depends on the mom, but in my experience this is sadly true. I have been a stay at home, then a working mom, then a stay at home again, and now have been working again for the last 5 years. And regardless of my efforts, I have seen my family's eating habits and tv/computer/playstation habits decline. We eat many more "quick" meals and fast food. Sometimes it's the hecticness of the schedule. But,I also have health issues (fibromyalgia, DDD, TMJ...) and all my energy goes to my job. By the time I get home, I have nothing left. And I know it's not just me - I have spoken many times with other mothers I work with and hear pretty much the same things, even from those who don't have health issues.
    I know this is not the kind of thing that today's women like to hear, but I do think it is largely true. - 10/20/2009   11:16:55 AM
  • 166
    It very much depends on the individual Mom, doesn't it? I'm sure there are some that rely on convenience foods and allow their children to watch TV or snack unsupervised just to get some downtime. But I know an awful lot of mothers that make it a priority to see that their kids get healthy meals and outdoor play/exersize/sports. I'm curious about how this study chose their 'samples'... - 10/20/2009   11:04:36 AM
  • 165
    And more. Now that my children are 5 and 3. I buy fruits and cut in small pieces as soon as I get home Just in case they are starving and can't wait. I also have bananas and grapes for very easy access for them. Some days they will not eat diner because they ate too many bananas and grapes, but I really do not think this is a problem. - 10/20/2009   11:00:13 AM
  • 164
    I have always worked outside the house and I have alway made sure my children ate health. Sometimes not as fresh as I would like, but always healthy. I breastfed, but had to freeze for daycare sometimes. I made their own baby food, but froze for the week. I cook beans for the entire week, but never use the canned ones. There is no excuses to feed your children from a box or a can or from a fast food restaurant, I am not saying that this cannot ever happen, but it just can't become normal in your children's lives. - 10/20/2009   10:57:23 AM
  • 163
    If you care about nutrition and a healthy life style, you are well prepared and organized to eat healthy if you are an out of the house working mom or if you stay at home. You also find the time to work out or to plan on family activities so that you can burn calories.
    You get so used to a healthy cooking and life style and it doesn't need a lot of extra effort if any at all.

    To your health with care

    Ruth - 10/20/2009   10:29:38 AM
  • FURBALLDTH
    162
    It's really sad that once again they have stay at home moms pitted against us in yet another study by the ""experts". I was home until the youngest started kindergarten and then went full time. So I have been on both sides of the issue. My kids ate healthy when I was home and just as healthy while I worked. If the first three ingredients were sugar it didn't come in the house. We baked together more when I stayed home. They all played sports, girl scouts and school musicals. I didn't just drop them off either. I coached softball, was a girl scout leader and taught religion. So the bottom line is whether you work or stay home a lazy person is a lazy person no matter and a good mom is a good mom whatever lifestyle she chooses. - 10/20/2009   9:48:39 AM
  • 161
    Statistics paint with a broad brush and can be misleading. Most working parents get to supervise two out of three meals their preschoolers eat and supervise the same number of meals for schoolage children that the non-working mothers do. They both have equal opportunity to supervise afterschool snacks. So the majority of working parents who care about nutrition and exercise can make it a point to see that their kids are raised in a healthy manner. Who wants their child to be the lonely fat kid everybody picks on? Unfortunately there are also poverty-level single parents who work several jobs at all hours and are unable to be home much with their kids, and the kids compensate for lonleiness and boredom by eating junk food all night (yes, food stamps don't differentiate and pay for junk as well as real food.) This latter family also shows in the statistics and skews the numbers negatively. So you as a working mother may be in a position to see that your kids eat well, but the statistics are skewed by the parent who cannot--that makes her kids unhealthy, regretfully, but not yours. - 10/20/2009   9:20:50 AM
  • SIAKASYLVIE
    160
    I do believe that not just because you are a stay at home mom does that mean you will cook/clean. If you don not know how to cook it won't make a difference. I have a friend you stays at home and her house is always smelly, her kids eat MCdonald that daddy bought on the way from work. I work full time, have a side business and make home cook meal avery single day.
    Bottom line most people these days want what is easy (lay down watch TV, order pizza, etc..) and think it is a sign of well being. - 10/20/2009   9:09:19 AM
  • 159
    I am a working Mom and my kids are healthy. I think that the article is like anything else there are some who fit this article and some families that just don't. I make the time when I get home to bake healthy snacks for the their lunches. I bake on the weekends and make food in advance and freeze it for them. I make healthy vegetarian dishes and rotate vegetarian with meat for the kids. So they get lots of fruits vegies, whole grains, and protein through out the week. We have one dessert a day and on Friday we do indulge with a little homemade pizza but its really healthy too.
    It does take effort as a working Mom to pack and prepare ahead for the healthy meals but after awhile its hardly an effort. I hope other Moms would be motivated to take that step to make healthy meals for their children and loved ones. - 10/20/2009   8:59:45 AM
  • 158
    I have been a working Mom (11p-7a, full-time) with the two most healthiest daughters I know! Neither one of my children have ever had more than the seasonal allergies and/or a sore throat. We always eat well, eg; veggies, no processed foods and clean living. I am also a supporter of breast feeding children as opposed to bottle-feeding. I breastfed my first child for 14 months and my second for18 months. A healthy immune system is certainly a major advantage. - 10/20/2009   8:58:45 AM
  • 157
    I think this study is completely unfounded. I may sound ignorant, but does that fact that it's a British study have anything to do with it? I mean, most Americans I know are health obsessed. I hear Mom's talking all the time about organic this and organic that. Many moms I know enroll their children in baby yoga and Gymboree before they can even sit up. I am a full time working Mom and I think my son is super healthy. He goes to daycare part time due to the fact that my husband is a Correction Officer. While at Daycare, he is fed home cooked good meals. My daycare is state certified so they have to follow a strict dietary menu.

    We are not the most active family...wait that's not true. As I sit here, I am remembering our trips to Fire Island by boat and our nearly daily three mile walks, each way to go to a restaurant for dinner.

    I would like to incorporate more activity and better meals in my life but my son is pretty much taken care of in that aspect. Yes, he does eat the occasional McDonald's but my son isn't too interested in food to begin with so he eats about five fries and 1 nugget and is content with playing with the toy from his Happy Meal. Also the trips to fast food joints don't really happen too much on my watch. I come home nearly every night and cook a home cooked meal for all three of us.

    So, in a long winded answer, no I don't agree with the study at all. - 10/20/2009   8:58:32 AM
  • BOZZIE5
    156
    I suppose it's just fortunate for the fathers that no one thinks to question whether their choice (or need) to work will impact their children negatively in any way. But it's not a problem for those of them who have a wife or female partner to shoulder all the responsibility for keeping both money coming in PLUS taking care of all the home life. Phew! And if their children's diet suffers I guess we'll just blame the Mom.
    And if there is no Mom to shoulder the responsibility in the first place, then we'll call the man a hero. Meanwhile all the women out there who are currently struggling to do both whether they have a partner or not have to put up with this rubbish.

    Also the vast majority of women in the world, including in Britain, have to work because otherwise they couldn't afford to feed their children in the first place. Those lucky enough to be able to choose to stay at home and focus solely on parenting and who do in fact choose to do that are a privilaged few. - 10/20/2009   8:53:49 AM
  • SEASONBLUES2003
    155
    I am a working mom and my daughter's meals and habits are very healthy. I buy the foods I want her to eat, no junk food, but fun food --yogurt, string cheese, multi-grain pastas. When my husband or myself are not feeding her, the person who is understands our expectations.

    Working moms don't make kids unhealthy, unhealthy moms make kids unhealthy. Create a healthy home and children will live a healthy lifestyle. - 10/20/2009   8:41:14 AM
  • MU55IN
    154
    Sadly, I think that when both parents work full time I think that it is true. My husband and I were guilty of it with our daughter. At the time we wouldn't have thought so, but we ate more frozen food and we ate out more. We tried to make it healthy, but we now understand that we could have done better. It is so hard to make the time and when you have jobs and running to soccer, guides, homework, housework something has to give and in our case it was food prep time. We did the best we could but I wish that we could have done better. - 10/20/2009   8:32:48 AM
  • 153
    In my personal experience I would have to agree. I have worked done it all, worked full-time, part-time and am now a stay at home mom. Staying at home was a difficult transition. I hated it at first. Once I realized how much better it was for the rest of my family I slowly began to realize how important my "job" now was. Just a few of the benefits were that I cooked more instead of picking up dinner or heating up a frozen entree. We also had more opportunity to do things as as family because all my spare time wasn't used to clean or catch up on laundry. We became more active as a whole and as individuals. There were many other benefits those listed above tie in directly to a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are too many families and single moms that must work just to struggle to make ends meet and do not have the option of working even part-time let alone staying at home. The stress alone from trying to be all things is unhealthy. - 10/20/2009   8:30:19 AM
  • 152
    I've worked in the childcare field for over 30 years, and sadly, I'd have to agree with the study. Although there are parents out there who do provide nutritious meals and good examples, many use fast food meals to save time. I've also seen children come into care in the morning with soda, bags of chips, candy, donuts, chocolate milk, sippy cups of juice that mom wants the child to have all day, those tubes of sweetened yogurt or yogurt covered fruit and nuts which are really nothing more than candy. The chlildren do spend a lot of time in the car and when they get home, it is often dark, with little time to do more than get meal, a bath and off to bed. It's up to the childcare centers and home providers to make sure the child gets plenty of exercise and a proper diet. Again, many child care centers fail at this. The center often puts emphasis on academics in order to please the parents who believe that their children must be "learning" instead of playing. It's much harder to teach a 3 or 4 year old the alphabet as they are not developmentally ready, so it takes more time, which could be better spent on the playground strengthening muscles and developing social skills. Centers often cut corners on what is fed to children too. The meals may have lots of fat and calories and little fresh fruit and variety of vegetables. Parents need to look for centers or home providers who are on the government sponsored food program, and who put the emphasis on the child's whole development, not just academics.
    Linda - 10/20/2009   8:23:03 AM
  • BUTTERFLY1252
    151
    I have had a daycare in my home for 33 years. I make sure the children get good healthy food and set a good exsample. some times they eat better here than at home. - 10/20/2009   8:01:29 AM
  • 150
    My daughter Jane works and does nutritious meals as does daughter in Law Lisa who is a stay at home mom. As a teacher for 31 years I observed many children. Those I saw relying on more junk food were the moms struggling to work several jobs at minimum pay. - 10/20/2009   7:00:17 AM
  • 149
    I think it's all about the effort put in to meal planning. I have to be honest. I created unhealthy eating habits for my daughter due to my busy work schedule and by the time I realized it, it was too late in her life to force change and she is going to probably go through the same struggles I have to be healthy. That's assuming she decides to be healthy. - 10/19/2009   10:37:02 AM
  • 148
    I have a 40 year old daughter and a 28 year old son. I am a nurse and have always worked. The were involved in every sporting event offered, baseball, football, softball, soccer, volleyball, golf and swimming just to name a few. And all the practices that went along with these activities. And a parent was present at all events and most practices. And we went home to a meal cooked by me most nights. I used crock pots and clay pots and programmable stoves. They ate fruit, veggies, and homemade yogurt. This is not to say that we didn't do an occasional run through the golden arches, but not that often. They are productive members of society, have great jobs and exercise daily. We believed when we had our kids that they would be our focus for the years that they were in our house. And they were. We have all had a weight problem times but it is because we eat too much good food. With the food available in this country, it is a constant struggle. - 10/19/2009   10:32:03 AM
  • ANNIE_1015
    147
    This article is ridiculous. I worked full time for years and just recently started to stay at home. My kids diets have always been and are still full of fruits and vegetables. I know moms that stay at home, so make dinner but most microwave or fast food as much as possible. Working moms don't have as much time and need to plan and therefore meals are typically not just thrown together.

    This study was probably done by men who don't want their wives to work. - 10/18/2009   12:26:57 PM
  • 146
    Ive been a single parent most of my adult life, and I can attest that when your work day involves 8 (or 10 in my case) hours work, lunch hour (or 1/2 hour), two hour round trip commute and errands after work, often - usually in fact, the children have eaten by the time you get home. It is a sad reality that the fruit and vegetables often rot in the fridge while other, easier and -to a teenager- tastier fare is the choice. Luckily both of my children have managed to stay reasonably healthy and of a healthy weight. I do know that often, as Fluffy Kitty mentioned, by the time the bills are paid there is little left for groceries so you buy what can stretch, and you buy what they will eat. Lofty ideas of cooking meals during the weekend are often overtaken by basic house maintenance and other required stuff - such as the drain that needs fixed or the yard that must be tended. I would like to think that If I had more time there would be better meals availabe for my children. The equasion can get quite complicated, and in the end, we just all do our best. - 10/18/2009   8:58:43 AM
  • 145
    Correlation does not equal Causation. Just because the statistics correlate, does not make that the defining charactaristic in the unhealthy children. It could simply be that the working moms are generally from families with less income (making them have to work) and so they can't afford the fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh is generally more expensive, with frozen slightly less, and canned usually the cheapest, although with added sodium.

    Another thing we have to remember is that basic nutrition is not taught in all schools anymore. There isn't "home-ec" like there used to be when, at least I, was in school. School lunches are subsidized by the government and don't have the freshest or leanest food either. Kids learn that chicken nuggets and french fries are equal to a protein and a vegetable! The things we learn here at SparkPeople aren't common knowledge anymore. We have to teach our children why they need to eat healthy foods, not just tell them to. - 10/17/2009   12:35:21 PM
  • 144
    That study doesn't particularly surprise me.

    I certainly believe that it's possible for you to raise children who are extremely active and don't eat junk food at all while both parents are working full time (even if they're being left with professional child care and not family members). I don't see how that's incompatible with the idea that the _probability_ changes.

    Probability across a study population doesn't strictly predict the results of any specific subset of that population.

    To refer to a more generally-accepted-truth example... if I point to an individual who's 105 years old, and has been smoking cigarettes and cigars and drinking massive quantities of alcohol since he was 30, that doesn't disprove the fact that massive quantities of alcohol and tobacco smoke increase the _probability_ that you'll die younger. They're not a guarantee, and an individual case isn't a disproof. - 10/16/2009   8:07:45 PM
  • 143
    You are lucky if you have grandparents to fill in and they DO follow your wishes, however most children are left with a sloppy, tv watching, poorly paid, educated and no nutrition sense caretakers..... Yeah even at some supposidely upscale places.... helpers get min or below wages and don't care! Why would you have a child if you don't want to care for it anyway??????? Get real and get a life.... your children are a choice that should be made with good sense and not just because you can and then go discard them off on someone else. Children develop who they are by the time there 2 and if there at the sitters thats who they are. So stop and think about what is more important a real live person or some fancy clothes and desinger homes. You don't get a redo!!!! - 10/16/2009   7:17:21 PM
  • ARDILYA
    142
    I guess there is some truth in that. However, I have my children involved in sports and I bring them along with me when I walk. They do not always walk with me but they are running around. - 10/16/2009   3:14:37 PM
  • 141
    I worked when I had my first son, and then stayed home with my other four and I certainly had LOTS more time to fix food when I didn't work, so I am sure there is a big difference. - 10/16/2009   1:06:02 AM
  • 140
    I can't agree either. I worked full time and my daughter also works full time. Both she and my grandson eat plenty of fruits and veggies. It's the preferred snack at their house and neither has a weight problem. My mother, a former nurse, stayed at home and sweet snacks ruled. My sisters and I all have weight problems to this day. I was at my most fit when I went to the gym several times a week with my daughter. She still incorporates exercise into her weekly regimen and I struggle without my partner. So I'd have to agree that a mother has more control than anything else. - 10/15/2009   5:09:05 PM
  • 139
    It is the individual habits of the parents - not the fact of working or not. Sure we reach for convenience but those choices are healthy or unhealthy by the choices made by the parents not the fact that one is working or not. - 10/15/2009   1:29:36 PM
  • 138
    Ditto comment no. 130 - "No! Working moms don't have unhealthy kids. Unhealthy moms will most likely have unhealthy kids". Absolutely! It has nothing to do with working or not working. - 10/15/2009   10:00:08 AM
  • FLUFFY_KITTY
    137
    **sighing** it seems like there is always someone else to blame *good* women or people who try to do the best. Sometimes it is not always the chance that *good women* don't feed kids properly because they have to work. The cost of the food is so high that it is outrageous! Most of the money go to bills. What is left is to buy food. I know most of unhealthy food are a lot cheaper than healthy food, but which is better...go starving or not eating properly? What about the high cost of medicine and doctor visits? The good parents want the best for the kids, but sometimes they have to sacrifice one good thing for something better.
    My mother was a stay at home mom, and she fed us good food, but since I was from the South we were raised on fried food and biscuits and gravy. Nothing fancy like some people who make good money to afford fresh produce and etc.
    Yes, there are some people who don't feed kids properly. But sometimes the articles are full of holes that good words go through and bad ones stay back. - 10/15/2009   1:04:13 AM
  • 136
    I don't agree with this study in the least. My children are older (14 and 11 now) and until they reached school age either my husband or myself was at home with them full time. Then and now my kids eat fairly healthy and that is because whether I'm home or not is unrelated to what they eat. They eat what is made available, if all we have is apples or carrots they will eat that as a snack if they are truly hungry if not they can wait til the next meal is served, for us it rarely comes out of a box or can I'd rather take the time to make my own soups, sauces and stews (crock pots are my best friend). - 10/14/2009   11:31:11 PM
  • 135
    Maybe the reason that the "working moms" have kids that are less healthy is that working women are more likely to be the "working poor." Do your research people! The majority of women who "work outside the home" do so not because they are pursuing a career, but because they have to work to provide financial support for the family. And poor people are less likely to eat fruit and vegetables because processed, unhealthy foods are generally cheaper than the unprocessed healthy foods. Or, if they live in the inner city, they may not even have access to healthy foods. This is not about feminism or "family values." It is about political and economic policies that subsidize unhealthy lifestyles. - 10/14/2009   9:50:12 PM
  • 134
    I think because a healthy lifestyle is who you are - that's how you live. Your children learn by example. Did the study look at the lifestyles of those working parents? Do they exercise eat fruits and veggies at dinner and snacks - I bet not.

    I wasn't a healthy role model for my children growing up - I was a good role model in other ways and now that I have learned and adopted a healthier life style one of the things I want most is to inspire my children. Maybe in small ways I am. I didn't work for my oldest child's first 5 years - but have since as a teacher - who stayed late and worked evenings or weekends doing school work. But I also taught Sunday school was a scout leader - girl and boy - went camping, was a t-ball mom (they weren't into soccer).

    It's all about how committed to your children you are - whether you work or not! - 10/14/2009   9:37:20 PM
  • 133
    I do agree with the study. But just like all over generalizations... it isn't true for everyone... just more likely. So, for example if kids with stay at home moms had a 25% chance of eating junk, there are still 25% that do eat junk, and then maybe the ones whose mom's work have a 35% chance of eating junk (that's a greater chance) but still 65% don't eat too much junk. So for me what I have to do is look at what I do... and not take credit for things I don't do... no matter what some study says. I know I worked and I fed my kid junk. That's cause I ate junk, and my mom who didn't work let us eat junk, because in the 60's they didn't really know better. We also played with mercury when the themometer broke, rode in cars with no car seats, rode our bikes with out helmets, and many other unhealthy things. As soon as we know better it is our responsibility to do better. A study just looks for trends... It doesn't mean that everyone who works lets their kids eat junk or that every one that doesn't, doesn't let their kids eat junk. The important thing is that we do the best we can with the information we have... none of us will ever be perfect. - 10/14/2009   9:13:40 PM
  • 132
    No! Working moms don't have unhealthy kids. Unhealthy moms will most likely have unhealthy kids. - 10/14/2009   9:04:21 PM
  • 131
    So now I can blame my mom for my unhealthy food habits....lol - 10/14/2009   6:19:28 PM
  • KELLMN27
    130
    Let me just say this may be true for some working moms but not all. This is a case of a few being surveyed to represent the majority. that is not right. I just finished dinner with my kids which was very typical, and since they didnt want to eat the 3 bean turkey chili that I made homemade they requested salads. I have diet soda in my fridge and the younger kids are rarely allowed any. It is a treat. They mainly consume milk or juice. I do have snacks as well but my kids know that they are treats. I work 40+ hours a week and go to school and I cook dinner every night consisting of mainly chicken or lean meat with vegetables in many variations.
    My kids will pick a banana, grapes, apple or yogurt for their snacks and meals. They request salad and broccoli. when it is not freezing out, we are outside playing. Even with the tv on in the house we are all still running around and being active. So I resent the conclusion that our kids are unhealthy, I know that many of my single parent or working parent friends would feel the same. I shop and very rarely ever eat out and even more rarely eat out at fast food. My kids are use to that and enjoy it.
    I know many parents that work with me and are the same way. They watch what their kids eat and help them to make healthy choices including fruits, veggies, juices and vitamins. So if you are a working parent and you feed your children Burger king 5 nights a week, yes you will agree with this study. If you are a stay at home parent that is under the false impression that working parents are less than you, then again you too would agree with the study. But if you really looked hard you would see that the major majority of working parents, single or otherwise, work extra hard to make sure their kids stay active, and make healthy choices. We actually do triple duty to show normalcy to a difficult situation. - 10/14/2009   5:24:27 PM
  • BEHMOM
    129
    OMG! Isn't there enough guilt that working mothers are saddled with without studies like this?
    I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to stay home until my youngest was 11, but that isn't a privilege that we all have.
    I don't doubt the statistics of the study. However, numbers without context are not meaningful. Can you please also provide some of the context that must have been discussed if that was a solid scientific study?
    Thanks. - 10/14/2009   3:44:25 PM
  • 128
    My mom didn't work and we never ate out but back then people ate corn and peas for vegetables and lots of potatoes. I've always worked and there were times when we would resort to fast food but for the most part I tried to fix healthy foods although macaroni and cheese and hotdogs were a staple in the lean years. Now, I only have healthy food in my house. So, I'm learning. I took a nutrition class in college, I've taken healthy eating classes through BlueCross BlueShield, I've belonged to Weight Watcher's but SparkPeople is the place that it all is making sense to me!!! Maybe I just had to be ready for the message. - 10/14/2009   3:05:14 PM
  • 127
    What a load of sexist twaddle. Once again, women get the blame. When my daughter was young, I worked. So did my husband. We arranged things so that we shared the care and she was never farmed out, left with strangers, or sent to nurseries for meals. You never hear men getting the blame for unhealthy children. - 10/14/2009   2:51:34 PM
  • 126
    Yes, I absolutely agree with the study. You mention that your parents look after your children and naturally they will raise them the way they raised you years ago - before a lot of the health concerns for todays children arose.
    I have found that women do not like to look at facts and yet that is the only way that we are going to overcome any of life's difficulties. Women are not just hearts and compassion, we are also strong and intelligent . So if there truly are problems we need to face them and overcome them- and we can.
    Compassion is a great thing but is used to comfort people - not solve problems. Issues don't go away until we address them. The real question is then are women strong enough to face facts and deal with them?
    I find it interesting that most women don't look at the study as a tool, but as a personal attack on them. Very scary. - 10/14/2009   2:26:59 PM
  • RUBIODM
    125
    As having been a stay-at-home mom and a working mom at different points in time, I have always made it a point in our household to always include as many fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I also make it a rule, that TV watching has to be tightly monitored. Everything has to have its balance because full deprivation of any one thing will always be a cause for negative rebellion. The key to the matter is for the parents to BE INVOLVED. The schools, daycare, or others are not going to do it for the parents. The parents have the power to instill good habits from the get go. With that said, it is also the parents power to RUIN their children from the beginning. When I see parents sending their pre-schoolers with a soda drink and twinkies for BREAKFAST, there is not much for the child to do but to learn from that as their normality. The bottom line, is that a banana or grapes, and a reusable water bottle are much cheaper than a twinkie and soda, so lack of money is not the matter here. It is the laziness and lack of imagination to make the right choices that are the main culprits. - 10/14/2009   1:06:00 PM
  • 124
    I sure want to know more about their sampling, etc. What degree of difference? What changes were seen in different class and education levels? If you are working 68 hours at minimum wage and feeling desperate, I could see having fast foods be more compelling. If you are working 40 hours at a challenging, enjoyable job with benefits, there is more time for contemplation.... just saying. We need to pay more for our minimum wage parents! - 10/14/2009   12:38:40 PM
  • 123
    Working or stay at home has an affect on children Have been both however did not work til youngest was in school and we have five children it all depends on the food that is in the home and the amount of activities that are around instead of just tv and the kind of neighborhood you live in there are so many factors to take into consideration so working or stay at home if parents set the example the children will hopefully follow have a daughter who does the after school program at her school and serves very good snacks and many activities but in this economy many parents cannot afford the program - 10/14/2009   12:35:31 PM

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