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Making The Parenting Transition To Healthy Food Choices

Healthy Fast Food At Home For The Family

Last week, I posted my commentary on the San Francisco legislation on restaurant kids’ meals.  After more consideration, I decided to really think about why parents might take their kids to a fast food restaurant any more often than for an occasional treat.

  • Two-parent working household, cramped dinner time
  • Kids may or may not have snacks after school, dying of hunger well by the time mom or dad get home and no supper is made yet
  • Breakfast is iffy, hunger is somewhat uneven throughout the day
  • Overall eating plan is designed more for convenience than well-balanced nutrition
  • Parents are simply used to responding rather than planning

Hungry People And Little Time To Cook

I know the feeling of crash landing at home in the late afternoon, only to find ravishingly hungry people and nothing ready to eat.  I know the feeling of having a lot of activities around the supper hour, making it difficult at times to get everyone taken care of.  I know the feeling of working evenings and hoping I’d bought something my husband could pull together while caring for a couple of very small children.  Talk about stress.

I believe most people resist change because it seems too hard – it’s uncomfortable, you might need to learn something new, you have no idea if or how it could possibly work for your situation, and darnit, you just don’t want to.  And if you have a habit of purchasing a fair amount of convenience food (at fast food restaurants or at home), you may not know how to make such a change.

Your Vision For A Healthy Family And Your Choices

Really, it’s not so much about the food, it’s about the mindset.  Hurry, hurry, react, react.  No time to plan, just time to do and run around and then collapse.  I don’t want to fight with the kids so we’ll just go out to eat again tonight.  No – it doesn’t have to be that way.  And really, it has little to do with toys in kids meals or the advertisements on TV.  It’s about you leading your family the way you want them to live.

The advertisements and toys and fast food restaurants don’t own you, you choose (or don’t choose) them based on your vision of a healthy family.  By taking a few small steps to improve your family’s eating habits, you can set a terrific example of personal responsibility and prioritization.

Learning How To Plan Healthy Meals One Baby Step At A Time

Never fear – not everyone feels confident about cooking at home, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t learn a few new tricks.  I’ve pulled together a few great resources to help parents who’d like to rely less on convenience foods but don’t really know how to start.  You want the best for your family and you can do it!  And no, it doesn’t mean you have to completely cut fast food out of your plan forever.  You just use it in a much different way.

I hope you are looking forward to making a little change.  It really isn’t as bad as you might think, but it does take some effort and personal commitment. 

Come back tomorrow to learn some real strategies for creating fast good food at home and enjoying your family time more because of it.

Creative Commons License photo credit: thepinkpeppercorn

Making The Parenting Transition To Healthy Food Choices

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Making The Parenting Transition To Healthy Food Choices. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Nov 2010
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