I get stressed out. Way out. Some days the stress gets to me so intensely I feel like checking myself in to the mental ward - for the betterment of my family.
On these particularly stressful days, I often get the urge to not take the time to make my boys the healthiest snacks or the healthiest meals. Instead I feel like reaching for the nearest box of cereal bars or the microwavable mac & cheese. And you know what? Sometimes I do. I am the medium food mama and all. More importantly though, I'm human.
But with that said, watching my boys enjoy one of my homemade snacks as they did this morning, keeps me motivated even in the most stressful times. I know feeding them real food and teaching them the value of it will not only benefit their growing bodies but create a natural propensity for healthy eating. To this day I crave white flour quesadillas and caramel apples over whole meals and fresh fruit; proof that what you grow up on influences your palate - for life.
Yes, we all crave foods that are less than healthy once in a while but some of us more often than others. My husband for instance grew up with no soda and little to no packaged junk in the house, homemade school lunches and family dinners. He has always preferred healthy food. I thought he was kind of a square at first (15+ years ago) especially when he would give me a grossed out look while I nuked a can of Spaghettios for dinner. Oh and the worst was his lack of desire (need) for dessert. What do you mean NO dessert? OMG. This was especially hard in the early days as I didn't want him to think I was a pig or anything. No girl wants her boyfriend to think that. Am I right? The hubby's natural preference for good food and little desire for junk illustrates my point. So does my preference for the opposite.
Don't get me wrong, hubby likes ice cream, chocolate (thank God), pie and the occasional soda but it's very occasional and he prefers it if we make the pie and the soda is not a Pepsi but a Hansen's. That sort of thing. I enjoy eating this way too but it's not without hard work - daily. I still indulge in foods that comfort me more often than I should. My take on it is, they comfort me because that's what my mama fed me. I know it seems hard to believe but I'm convinced that if she had prepared fresh fruit salads as an after school snack, I'd find comfort in fruit salad to this day.
The smiles on my boys faces while they eat something I made and that's good for them, makes this mission so worth it. Also, the knowledge that what and how they eat now will stick with them for a lifetime is an incredible thing to get the honor to influence.