To eat the same meals as the family or not...
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I'm a mom... I have a big family and am the "cooker" (as my 7 yo says) for them. We live in MN, and we love our comfort food here--tator tot hotdish, tuna casserole, creamy soups. So, while I can make some of those items more weight-loss conscious, my stringbean kids don't need to cut the fat and calories. These kids are going going going all day long, burning energy and GROWING. They NEED healthy fats and calories.
So, for me, the questions becomes--do I eat what I've made for our main family meal with my family or do I eat something "diety"???
Well, I've decided that if one is making healthy choices (and that includes portion control!) that one can eat "normal" food and accomplish weight loss/maintenance. Plus, if one is sitting there feeling sorry for one's self while the rest of the family is clearly enjoying their normal meal, it can be a recipe for disaster. So, here is my answer to this dilemma:
I make meals that my family enjoys. I have learned some techniques to lower the fat content on some of those meals while keeping the taste. So, that can help in general. Then I also try to have lower cal options on the table for everybody (but secretly for me). For instance... I'll make tator tot hotdish with half the cream soup normally used, subbing lowfat milk as needed to make it "creamy"; skip the cheese I may have put in it, instead putting it on top of part of it or not at all; and I add LOTS of mixed veggies. Then I will make sure there are at least 2 fresh vegetable/fruit choices served alongside it. We may also have bread and butter, but I will make the conscious decision to have an extra serving of veggies instead of the bread OR I will split a slice with one of the littles. In addition to that, I make sure to CONTROL THOSE PORTIONS! I will put just a small (1/2 cup) serving of the hotdish on my plate. I can have a little more later, if I am so inclined, but I avoid the "fill the plate!" mentality. Another couple "tricks" I use are to use small "luncheon" plate instead of full-size plates for everyone (the littles are overwhelmed by the big plates, anyhow. The teens are used to getting seconds as needed) and keeping my water glass filled--lots of sips between bites.
Now, many times I do admit I eat separate meals during lunch. The littles that homeschool are 7 and 9 years old plus there is the 2 yo munchkin. Oftentimes lunch is quick and easy--which means maybe something littles will scarf down, but maybe it isn't the best choice for me. So, maybe I'll have a protein smoothie or Smart Ones dinner while the littles have pizza or PB&J sandwiches.
So what about dessert? Well, we don't have dessert every night. And when we do, I make sure that either I've planned for it when logging my meals for the day, or there is a lower calorie/fat option available for me. So while the kiddos may have root beer floats with Schwans vanilla ice cream (YUM! Real cream!) either I'll have a smaller version or I'll have my special treat of Black Cherry frozen yogurt (I love it, but the kids aren't excited about it, so they prefer their dessert). I weight it on my little electronic food scale so I'm staying at a single serving and not letting my eyes misjudge.
I have found that meal-time is a special time for my family. I strive to make healthy choices for my entire family and to be able to enjoy our meals together.