How I Feed My Kids (and still stay on my food plan) AKA Teamwork!

June 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me

How I feed my kids

And still stay on track

Because I’ve admitted that I eat a limited amount of things

I drink protein shakes during the day much of the time

And a low carb meal at night

I’ve also stated that I try to avoid too much involvement with food

Planning it

Cooking it

Lusting over it  🙂

So how do I do all of this and still feed 4 kids?

Well it’s not that hard now that I have a routine

So here is mine

Everyone is on their own for breakfast and lunch

When they’re at home

But I do spend some time on the weekends putting prepared things together for the kids

That they can grab from the fridge

That eliminates them asking for pizza and fast food

(Most of the time)

And it eliminates the need for me to spend daily time dealing with food

Something I try to spend as little time on as possible

The way you try to spend the least amount of time with your ex as possible 😉

 

I’ll post this week the different things that I prepare for them

And a lot of those are things I can grab as well

I started switching my  kids over to a more simple and healthy way of eating

Because I switched myself over independently

And little by little I’m trying to switch them over too

 

I believe in simple eating

It works for us

I basically have several things that the kids can choose from for breakfast

Here they are:

Cereal (Low sugar) such as Cheerios, Rice Crispies etc.

I am not a big believer in cereal and milk

There exists almost no cereal on the planet that is truly healthy

And the ones that are deemed healthy are often full of sugar

All you have to do is read the label

Cheerios, Rice Crispies and Life are usually what I buy

I only buy Mootopia which is a kind of milk I can find here in Texas

That has half the sugar

Milk is LOADED with sugar

12 grams per serving usually

The milk I buy has 6 grams per serving which is still too much for me

But I do allow my kids to have it ( for now)

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I used to binge on bowls of cereal but I’m at a point now where I can handle cereal in the house

I’m not tempted by it at all

If I was though—I wouldn’t buy it

Plain and simple

I self monitor and if I find myself wanting to grab food I know I shouldn’t

Then I just don’t buy it

Even if it disappoints them

Because I’ve learned that for my own “recovery” from sugar and overeating

My kids have to make some sacrifices

And if my kids have to sacrifice for my health then so be it

Because if I was on a plane that was crashing

They would tell me to put MY oxgyen mask on first

Before I help the kids with theirs

WHY?

Because we can’t take care of others

If we don’t first take care of ourselves

And at 417 pounds with over 25 years history of binge eating

I was absolutely a plane crashing

Because I think about it this way

If I’m knee deep in binge mode

Because a trigger food was placed in my house

That made me lose control

Then how can I really be there for my kids?

I’m willing to have my kids go without certain foods

If that’s what I have to do to stay on track

It’s a sacrifice I’ve had them make

And to be honest…it’s not a harmful one

Because is it really a sacrifice that they can’t have Coke??

Because Coke was so good for them?

Is it really a sacrifice that we bring no snack foods in the house?

No Doritos

No Chips

No pretzels

No gummy bears

No candy

I mean is that not bad for them anyway?

Some people would say in moderation it’s fine

And it probably is

For SOME people

But for me …..it’s an open bar

And I can’t have it

So I don’t

But I can handle cereal in the house (right now) so I allow it

 

For breakfast I also buy my kids:

Quaker Sugar Free Brown Cinnamon Oatmeal

Frozen Waffles (either Flax Plus or 365 Organic from Whole Foods)

Sugar Free Syrup

Hard Boiled Eggs/Bacon/Sausage/Ham

Omelettes

Mini egg muffins (which I make in different varieties and will talk about in future post)

 

I don’t personally eat the waffles or the oatmeal due to carbs which I watch

But these are items I have in the house for my children

Now I’ve taught my children to prepare their own food

To be independent

You have to do that when you’re a single mom of 4 kids

Because people have to step up and help out when they can

They just have to

And the truth is that children like to do things for themselves

It’s not that I don’t do things for my children

I do

I make special breakfasts many times on Saturdays

But to be honest….I don’t go out of the way to make food a special event

I don’t make it a special occasion

Food is fuel

PERIOD

And I want my children to see it that way

So they don’t end up like I did

With food being everything from entertainment

To comfort

To a form of self medication

And even love

Tell me cupcakes don’t spell looooove 😉

 

For lunch my kids have choices:

Deli meat, cheese, mustard

Pickles

They roll it up and eat it without the bread

Because we are a mostly no-bread household

But occasionally I buy bread for my kids

And I always get the Ezekiel bread from Whole Foods

I have to be personally careful bringing bread in the house

Because I LOVE IT

So when I’m feeling strong….the kids get bread

When I’m not….they don’t 🙁

 

We grill on the weekends on the George Foreman grill

Because that’s the best I can do when it comes to grilling!

And through the week I have cooked hamburgers they can grab

Sausages, steak, pork chops…whatever we grilled

We cook it up on the weekends and save it in containers

I always have a rotisserie chicken I grab from the store

And between the meat we grill and the chicken….we have plenty to choose from

My kids will eat cut up pieces of steak or chicken and dip it in ranch

Our alternative to chicken nuggets

They also put the meat into a  lettuce scoop with salsa as if it’s a taco

 

Salad is a big thing around here

I allow them to have croutons even thoughI don’t eat them

We have lots of veggies

Especially cucumbers

We use cucumbers as “crackers”

We put tuna fish on them

Or we dip them

We make a cucumber salad with just cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, tomatoes and greek salad dressing

But we’re careful on fruit

Yes I’m still an oddball with that

I only buy the fruits that have the lowest amount of sugar

But my children eat a lot more fruit than I do

For example, I cut up strawberries today for Charlotte’s lunch

My kids eat grapes and the little Cutie oranges

I just don’t eat them b/c even the natural sugar causes me to crave things

And I never EVER buy fruit juice!!!!!

The sugar content is awful!

My kids used to drink Capri Suns, soda, juice

Now they drink water

And that’s it

You know what?

They don’t care!!

Oh sure they put up a fuss at first

And it took a solid year for my son to stop asking for soda

But now they’re used to it

And they could care less

They’re fine with water!

And even crave it!!

 

We make big salads around here

With olives and feta cheese and cucumbers

I’m careful with tomatoes because of the sugar content

But I buy those as well

I prepare food usually on the weekend

And have it ready in the fridge for them to grab

My kids eat breakfast and lunch

They grab waters

They have a snack if they’re hungry

And they self- monitor this on their own

So no one cares that I’m drinking my shakes

In fact my kids know that’s what I do

They make my coffee in the morning

Which makes me feel so blessed!

And they add in about half of a vanilla atkins shake for me

Instead of creamer

Honestly no one is bothered by the fact that I eat my own way

Because I do often eat salads during the day with them

 

Now onto dinner

We do dinner at the table together as a family

That’s a fun time

But it’s more about conversation than food

I have certain meals that I basically rotate

For example this week we have eaten:

Monday– Salsa Chicken

Tuesday—Pork Chops and salad

Wednesday—-We went out to Texas Roadhouse and I ate steak with 3 grilled shrimp

(I brought a lot of it at home and will use leftovers in my salad)

Thursday— Fajita steak in lettuce wraps with sour cream, salsa and avocado

Friday—Salmon or Tilapia

Saturday–Hamburgers (Mine without bread or ketchup)

Sunday—Go for brunch at the Egg and I restaurant (omelettes galore!)

 

I keep dinner simple

And my  kids know how to cook everything

We alternate between myself, Savannah and Annabelle doing the cooking

The little ones set the table

It doesn’t take long to make these dishes

Short and sweet

 

When we go out to eat, I let the kids get what they want

That is their time to splurge

And I’ll admit it is tough to stay away from chips and salsa

If I know I can’t handle it, I tell them not to bring it

One of my kids may go….AWWWW

But then the others will flash them THE STARE

That says

STOP IT

We are a team

We have to take care of Mama!!!!

That’s how they are

Because my kids have experienced the results now of our sacrifices

And they love it

To them it is worth it to give up a few things

To have their Mom back

I appreciate that every day

I know they sacrifice for me and I know I’m blessed because of it

I hope this has helped answer some questions about how I feed my kids!!!

Tomorrow I’m going to post how I pack their lunch

When they go to school/camp

 

Let me know if I can answer anything else

But for our family it is a group effort

It’s teamwork

We have to work as one unit

And even those who don’t have issues with sugar or food

Have to make some sacrifices

The way a compassionate family member would not bring alcohol in the house

Around an alcoholic

I like this video because it shows teamwork!

 

That may seem over the top just for a weight problem

But when that weight problem almost kills you

And looms as a threat every day if you aren’t careful

Then really….it’s exactly that big of a deal

We may make sacrifices

But in the end….we all win!

 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

linda kuil June 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I LOVE that you’ve taught your kids independence!! Being home with mine all these years, has made me baby them too much. They should be prepared for life without me, whether it be going away to college or God forbid something happens to me. I don’t want to think of that, but you never know, and I would hate knowing I didn’t do my best as a parent to let them fly one day.

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Paula June 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I love it! My 3 kids are grown, so they aren’t the problem, but my husband is skinny and doesn’t see the problem with having his favorite snack foods in the house. (In his favor, he did change his candy snacks to one I can’t stand and his cookie snacks to one I don’t like much.) I am not sure how to handle this… ah, well.. your post was so inspirational, as usual!

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Cheryl June 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Holly, I think it’s a great system. You are not depriving your kids of anything that is good for them. They are growing up with good, healthy foods that will be their mainstays. That is a very good thing!! You are also teaching them teamwork, about how making sacrifices that may seem big to them at the time for someone else. A great lesson to learn at any age. You’re doing good!

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Samantha June 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Thank you so much! I love the analogy about the oxygen mask. You inspire me to do better feeding my kids as well as myself.
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Pam June 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I did wonder about what your kids ate when you were drinking shakes. Sounds like you have it all figured out! Your kids are wise to realize, like we do, we may have to give up a little, but we got so much in return when we lost weight!!
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sunnydayz June 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

You are a wonderful example to your children and obviously a wonderful mother, as well. I tell myself many times that I must take care of myself first before I’ll be able to be there for my family. You just confirmed it. 🙂
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Lynne June 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm

No one should ever have to apologize for not having Coke and all the other junk in the house. Healthy kids don’t need it – they WANT it because of peer pressure, marketing and conditioning. It makes me crazy to hear parents say(and I’ve heard it quite often): ‘I would never eat that junk (insert whatever here), but I buy it because the kids like/want it’. WHAT???? You’re doing the right thing keeping it out of your house. It doesn’t sound like you’re over-controlling what they eat (which could lead to disorders). They do have choices which is always a good thing.

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Jackie W June 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Hi Holly,
I didn’t realize the sugar content in milk until you pointed it out. How do you get your calcium intake? Do you take vitamins?

Thank you!

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Erin June 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I love that your kids are “on their own” for breakfast and lunch. My 9 year old is on his own for breakfast, and we make lunch together. It’s a bonding thing for us, we’ve been doing it since he was 2 or 3. We don’t buy cereal, chips, or any type of processed food, really. It was hard, at first, to get used to no chips (gasp!) for when I make guacamole, but I’ve learned to like a carrot dipped in guac instead.

You are setting a wonderful example of healthy eating for your kids. 🙂
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Faith June 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Another awesome post 🙂 Especially loved the part about the oxygen masks!

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Beth June 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Fantastic! I love that your kids are learning how to do this for themselves and how to be healthy!!
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Dawn June 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I think it’s great that your kids are so independent! That is going to be so beneficial when they go off to college or live on their own. Many sons I know are clueless in the kitchen. Good for you!

BTW – I am having weight loss surgery in the morning. Thanks for being an inspiration these last several months!
Dawn from becomingdawndenise@tumblr.com
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renee June 21, 2013 at 12:56 am

It is so great that you are teaching them to eat healthy.. so easier to start now than to try to change as an adult. And I love that they support you with your choices. So great they are seeing that yes being in a family means having to make sacrifices! I just love reading about what people eat… I guess because I am still trying to balance “eating healthy” with having a sweet tooth! Would love to hear more about how you handle snacks and birthdays. Is fruit their snack? Is popcorn allowed (since its not sweet)? Do you ever allow them to split “junk food” 4 ways if you know there isn’t going to be any left, or do they not ask for it anymore? How do you handle birthdays? Do they have cake & ice cream at other b-day parties and then ask for it?

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Evan I. Ferguson June 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

When my husband and I first started talking about having kids, I’m not going to lie, but I freaked out a little. I was 28 years old, and for some reason I just had a number in my head–that number was 30. I wanted to be 30 when I had my first child. Yes, I know, I wasn’t too far off. Between the time spent being pregnant, I would have been 29 when my baby was born. But not being 30 made me uneasy. I spent hours searching the internet looking up the topic “what is the right age to have a baby.” It was as though I was looking for an affirmation, an article that would tell me “It’s okay Carmen to have a baby at 29.” I had been married for six years, was financially stable and was settled in my career–what else was I waiting for? I soon learned there really is no right or wrong age to have a baby. Sometimes in fact, you’re never REALLY ready. As a new mom (at the age of 29) I couldn’t be happier. I interviewed six amazing moms, who became moms for the first time ranging from their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s and they share their perspective.
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Cheri June 23, 2013 at 4:45 am

This is extremely helpful Holly, I love these blogs! Btw, I’ve gotten the Wendy’s cobb salad a few times since you posted about it (and added pica de gallo, lol). I now am thinking about a George Foreman grill. ;-P That would be so much easier! I LOVE easy!

I didn’t reply to your post about your emotional reasons for weight gain the other day. I wanted you to know how deeply moved by that blog I was, too. I appreciate all of your blogs so much, and you sharing your journey, really helps me in mine. I never really thought about it in those words, that becoming silent as a survival tool/hiding inside yourself/disassociating – was so linked to hiding inside the weight. That really resonated with me. For very different reasons I spent years learning how to turn off my thoughts and my voice, and be still to cope with conflict, and I know I still fall into this pattern, and I never really saw how that could be linked to weight. I read that and it clicked for me, that there is a pattern.
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lori June 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

thank you for sharing all the great ideas. totally agree that the less involved you are with the food, the better! i admire your creative ideas and determination to make it work. you are so right, that feeding your family healthy is the the best thing for them anyway! love that you are a team and your children are such a part of it! how great also, that they are so independent. i enjoy reading your blog, you are such an inspiration to those of us with the exact same struggles!

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Tess June 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I totally agree with the “team work” attitude with this! It’s team work at our house too, especially with exercise. In the beginning, I told my husband if I’m going to do this, you have to help me, it has to be ok for me to do ____. I’m glad you have such great kids on your team!!

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Jamie June 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Your kids are VERY fortunate to have you for their mom! And there is no deprivation in not bringing junk into your house. You are protecting them from things that are unhealthy and teaching them good habits. When I first got divorced 20 years ago, my daughter was 7 years old. I had only $25 a week for groceries for both of us. When you have a budget that small, it really forces you to focus on what is NEEDED for good nutrition and health. Sodas, cookies, chips – basically almost all process foods – were not bought. Fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. were the foundation for meals, with some lean meat mixed in. And we were both very healthy and well-nourished. Sometimes necessity opens your eyes to these things. You’re doing a GREAT job!!

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robin July 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

wow that was some kind of post. I love the fact they are part of your team that they help you as much as you help them. I love the fact they just drink water. People look at me like im nuts at work for this. but I never got in the habit of drinking anything else. I do have black coffee in the morning and ice or hot tea but I could care less about pop. To me you drink because of thirst and that’s it. Why would I want to pour a bunch of sugar down my throat or artificial sweetners. I do wonder if one day your kids will go nuts on the junk food though, just wondering maybe they wont and I hope they don’t.

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Lori L. July 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi Holly,

goes to show you are missing nothing without a man in your life….God has his arms tightly wrapped around you & has blessed you w/4 Angels…Lori…:))

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