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Study finds: Working Moms (Dads) = Overweight Kids

I was scrolling through my news feed on iGoogle and in my health section found this article.

Well the title itself, "Kids weight rises the longer mom works" immediately set my teeth on edge and compelled me to read more. Having been a working mom since the age of 27 who was fortunate enough to experience three years where our children were treated to a "stay at home dad", this type of one sided language gets my blood boiling!

Upon further inspection, the study actually made sure to specify that this is not a gender issue and technically applies to when both parents are working and therefore have less time to grocery shop, prepare fresh, homemade meals and eat out regularly. My blood's temperature went down a bit when I read this, but I was still frustrated the author of the article chose to use 'Mom' in the title rather than state "Kids weight rises the longer both parents work outside the home".

Beyond the title, I do have some further reflection on this study.

First, at this point in our careers, both PJP and I are working parents. While it is far from easy we find a way to grocery shop, prepare homemade meals and only eat out once per week. I will say it is HARD, but isn't that what being a good parent often requires ................ HARD work! I can see if this study was addressing single parents trying to work and do all of this alone, but it was not. I truly feel if parents work together and plan for the week preparing healthy food for their children can be accomplished.

For those of you who are frustrated by my comments above I offer some suggestions:
  1. One weekend a month, cook a quadruple batch of one or two dishes and freeze it in individual baggies so that you can easily pull them out to cook on a busy night. I often do this with homemade spaghetti sauce and lean turkey meatballs.

  2. Utilize the grocery store websites to make your list because they will put them in Aisle Order, then cut the list in half and race with your husband and children to see who can be finished first. It's great family time and the shopping is done in half the time.

  3. Cook and freeze your chicken in already prepared strips that can be thawed and added to any dish easily. Similarly cook and freeze your hamburger (lean) for tacos, chili etc. that can be thawed and added to any dish easily.

  4. A Crock pot is amazing! Check out this website for easy crock pot recipes.
Finally, the study fails to include the possibility that school lunches are a factor here. I know how tempting it is, with both of us working, to have my child eat a school lunch daily. I wish the school offered healthy enough choices to allow us that bit of extra time each evening we spend packing their lunches, but they DO NOT! Yes, the meals look balanced. They do include fruits and veggies BUT regular menu options include: chicken patties, chicken nuggets, french fries, pizza, rib-e-que (what is that anyway?). I'm grateful this issue is being addressed, see here.

Until this issue is addressed in your child's school, I offer some time saving tips when packing lunches:
  1. Wash, cut if needed and bag fruit and veggies for the full week, on the weekend.

  2. When you feel he or she is ready, have your child help with creating their sandwich (warning: you have to be okay with some messiness). This will teach your child independence and demonstrate the hard work you both do to keep the house running smoothly.

  3. Pack the night before and put lunches in the fridge for the morning.
Happy Healthy Eating!