This is a habit that has been hard for me to break. It’s a well-known fact that parenting and work schedules don’t always allow us to eat when we want to, but there are always a few adjustments we have the freedom to make. You don’t have to eat at 12:00 just because that’s what society tells us when lunchtime is. Listen to your body and eat when it feels best for you.
The first thing I adapted was breakfast and everything else followed suit. I used to have to eat breakfast first thing in the morning, but now that I’m more hydrated, I don’t NEED to eat until later. Bumping a balanced breakfast until after 8:30 has been eye opening. I don’t need a mid-morning snack anymore, and I make better choices at lunch because I didn’t just scarf a bowl of cereal before heading out the door. Now I can be thoughtful and prepare (or pack) a meal that I enjoy after dropping off the kids or in between work meetings.
Fast forward to dinner and even my kids have become more adaptable. They are usually famished when I pick them up, so I used to think I had to hold them off and scramble to get whatever I could on the table by 5:30 to stop the screaming. Wrong. Now I provide a snack while I’m getting us settled in the house for the evening and then they play until dinner is ready. It’s been a life-changer for our evenings. No more hangry temper tantrums (from them or me). Pushing dinner back has made the dinner-bath-bed routine a little more crammed, but now we’re also not scanning the pantry for post-dinner snacks. A win-win-win!
So sometimes just one small altered habit can create a domino effect of healthy choices the rest of the day.