Busy moms sometimes go through every excuse in the book to put healthy eating on the back burner. Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Read on for tips on getting back on track.
1. I’m too stressed to eat healthy! You blew a work deadline, had a baby who was up all night or one too many fights involving a cranky fifth-grader and a science project. Bigger stresses, like unemployment or caring for a sick relative, can also cause you to overeat, even when you’re not hungry. Try taking a brisk walk and reaching for a healthy snack. When you have a minute to slow down, read our tips to control your stress.
Read Related: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Holiday
2. Because it’s a holiday (or the weekend … or date night). Life has lots of special occasions (and weekends!). Indulging a little on the holidays won’t hurt, but planning ahead will make for merry meals that are healthy too. For example, you can add some fa-la-la to your favorite holiday cookies by using oatmeal, dried fruits and nuts as prime ingredients.
3. I already blew it with that meatball sub. Pass the potato chips please! Not so fast. Nobody’s perfect. Focus on what you can do next, not on what you did last. You can also plan ahead to eat well on the run. Hint: Portable snacks like air-popped popcorn can save you from the deli dive.
4. My kids hate vegetables, so I don’t bother buying them anymore. Your family may not have a love affair with lima beans, but there are lots of ways to incorporate veggies into your favorite meals. Try adding peas on pasta night and sprinkle sliced veggies on homemade pizza. Here are more ways to put produce on your plate.
5. I don’t have anything to worry about—I’ve always been healthy. Congratulations! But if you’re like most Americans, you may think you’re in better shape than you are. With the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 you can learn the state of your heart and what you can do to improve it.
6. Someone brought donuts to the office. It’s OK to pass on the pastries! Next time bring a fresh fruit tray and encourage your weekly catch-up chat with your boss to be a walking meeting. (Find out if you can wear sneakers to work!)
7. I love salad, but I don’t have time to prep the veggies. You can cut a cucumber and slice some strawberries in the time it takes to call your neighborhood pizza joint and search for that coupon. Salad is a great make-ahead meal, and the varieties are endless. Read on for ideas on making a hearty, healthy salad. Avoid heavy dressings with these tasty options. You’ll save calories—and money—by making it yourself.
8. I eat what my kids don’t. Save those leftovers for healthy lunches. Box them during clean-up so it’s one less thing to think of during your busy morning.
9. I meet my best friend for lunch every week, but we never do our homework before we go. Check out our healthy restaurant tips before you pick a place to eat. You’ll find great tips and a quick list of comparisons to help you make healthier choices.
10. I’ll start being healthy tomorrow. Resolve to do it now instead. Each day will bring more challenges and stresses. Start eating better today—so you’ll set a healthy example for your family and have the skills to get through all those tomorrows.
Begin setting small healthy eating goals such as those suggested by the American Heart Association. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish—one bite at a time! For more healthy eating tips visit the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women or Vida Saludable.