Eating healthily is something that is so important to me and making the right choices for my family’s health is something that I think about every day especially since Ethan was poorly last year. As a busy working mum I sometimes find it really hard to prepare meals totally from scratch and to get us all to sit down at the table together. My boys are really interested in food and where things come from but I find it hard to make time to let them be involved in meal preparation especially in the week when we’re rushing to and from school and after school activities. I also find that many of the healthier foods I want to buy are more expensive and sometimes we can’t always afford organic produce. Tamar Henry writes about her family’s journey below and gives some tips on how to make healthy choices as a busy parent.
Our Family’s Journey to Health
Ten years ago my first son was born, and immediately I fell in love with wanting to do everything I could to nurture and raise him well. Jul developed normally in so many ways and for the most part he was a happy little guy, but Jul was also suffering. He was unusually and frequently sick, he already had many negative reactions to breast milk and then foods, he was itchy and sensitive, the list goes on. At the time the doctors were stumped as to what was causing Jul to be so poorly and over time it only became worse. At four years old Jul was hospitalised for suspected Leukaemia, our World began to fall apart. I was also 28 weeks pregnant with our second child. Jul, I am thankful to say did not have Leukaemia but a rather virus caused by an anti-body deficiency, which over time, with treatment and a lot of support, love and care he recovered from. We found this out by seeking a wonderful paediatrician who began to piece everything together and find a cause for all of the pain and fear that our son had been through.
Making a Change
It was around this time that I also began to study to become a health professional, to better advocate for him and his continued health, and indeed our whole family’s. With determination and dedication I began to purposefully steer my family towards an optimum lifestyle. I think I realised at this point that for me, the challenges I faced within my own family could effectively help the lives of others. I began to see that certain nutrition principles could offer families the best opportunity to achieve health, and not as a means to heal only, but as a preventative for a better way of life.
Steps to Success
Health is very much achievable, that is if we are willing to educate ourselves. You eat, prepare foods and feed your family every day. Learning more about the food industry, where your food comes from, and its importance for growth and development is paramount. Maintaining health does not have to be expensive, on the contrary when you learn how local, fresh and seasonal produce can promote wellness and the many ways in which you can prepare and cook a huge selection of snacks and meals, you will be so delighted with the way you feel, experience far fewer cravings, sleep better, have more energy etc. that the other processed foods you may have come to rely on for your family, those made with excess salt and sugars, as well as a host of other chemicals, preservatives and additives will simply be less than desirable.
As a busy working mother of three boys I sympathise wholeheartedly with the full time job of being a parent. Getting your children involved with food choices and preparation will aide you, and entice and encourage them to eat better too. Buy in bulk where you can, this saves on both time and money, plan and prepare meals ahead of time, and most of all have fun with your food and your family.
The Family Dinner Table
The dinner table (no matter how small or where it resides in your home) is the perfect setting for furthering positive habits around food. Try as hard as you can to encourage all family members to sit there, this will also give your family time to socialise together. A sacred tradition in my own home that we have all come to love. The dinner also enables you to create a safe haven around eating. Children who express stress during mealtimes through fear of frustration will create an emotional connection with the food they are being offered and are likely to reject it. On the other hand, children who experience joy and inclusion will make a positive connection to that same food and happily consume it. Give your child the autonomy he or she deserves, and have tolerance for and faith in your child.
Tamar Henry, mother and certified holistic health counsellor, is the founder of Henrys Health, a wellness practice and online forum dedicated to helping others become more health aware.
Her book, Nourish – A Modern Mother’s Guide to Child Nutrition, is available to buy from Amazon for £12.99 via the link in the icon below:
To find out more about Tamar, her family, services and to receive free up to date health information find her at www.henryshealth.com or get social, she would love to hear from you.