Before I had kids, I would have never touched a chicken finger or a cheddar bunny. I used to see moms eat off their toddlers' plates and feel disgusted. But, now? I find myself snacking on their food all the time.
Sure, it seems pretty innocent but these calories can add up. It's even worse if you aren't aware you are doing it. Am I the only one who has snapped back to reality and realized they just ate an entire bag of fruit snacks? Probably not. Snacking off your toddler is an epidemic, people!
Here are some tips from both myself and Kelly to remember next time you are reaching for your child's plate. You'll be surprised with how much better you'll feel once you break this habit!
photo credit: Erica Hampton
Make a cup of tea before you prep dinner/lunch or your kids' food. Pick a strong flavor like mint or ginger. You'll be less likely to take a bite of their food and it will curb your hunger.
Eat your own food when they eat. When you have your own food and fill up you are less likely to eat their food. It’s just like not going to the grocery store hungry. I can't tell you how many times I've made my kids dinner, sat down at the table, and never got around to making mine. Instead, I'll just snack off of them and be full by the time the meal is over. If you already have your plate made, you won't be as tempted.
If you are hungry when it's not mealtime, make a “roadie." All you need is chocolate protein and almond milk. It will help calm your hunger and fill your tummy so you can bridge to dinner without grazing.
If you love the taste of their chicken fingers (guilty!) and can’t stop eating them, buy a ‘new" brand and don’t try/taste them. We are more likely to eat things when we know they taste good. It’s a lot easier to make a new habit then breaking an old one. Or if all else fails, prepare grilled chicken shaped as chicken tenders but serve with their favorite sauces. Works every time!
Fill a big glass or bottle of water and every time you feed your kids take the water challenge. Try to drink water the entire time. It's a great way to hydrate!
Make a compromise. Prepare things both you and your kids can eat together. This may sound impossible but kids love healthy choices if you serve it to them in fun ways. For example, we love doing food art at our house. All you need is lots of colorful fruits/vegetables and some creativity. It's healthier for everyone and you'll feel less guilty for snacking. Check out some fun ideas here!
Do any of you mommas have the same problem? Comment below! I'd love to read your funny stories and tips!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.