Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Frequency is the key

Having a baby or young child can really help with your own discipline in making sure you regularly re-fuel. We wouldn't dream of leaving our little ones for hours on end without feeding them, it is essential to their growth and well being. Babies can feed up to 12 times if not more in 24hours, cutting down to maybe 5-6 feeds as they get older, young children need frequent snacks to keep them going through the day, so when and why did we forget to feed ourselves? Mothers who are looking after children, keeping a house and working, busy people who need energy either neglect their own needs or think that by eating small amounts or forgetting to eat they will lose weight. Maybe you will, but your body will also begin to use muscle as a much needed energy source and ultimately you will slow your metabolism. When you finally get to sit down and relax and indulge "because you deserve it" your body will hang onto every last bit and store fat for the next time you decide to starve yourself. How does your body know that you can head to the fridge whenever you like? It doesn't so it goes into starvation mode.

My recommendation to you is to use your child's eating routine as your own. Begin your day with a healthy breakfast and then aim to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. At minimum I would imagine your little one is eating every 3-4 hours so you should never exceed this. Have healthy snacks on hand to eat while you breast feed or while your older child is eating his solids. Seeing mummy (or daddy) eat at the same time can encourage children to eat their lunch. Have some food that you might 'share'; veggie sticks, etc, as we all know mummy and daddy's food taste better than their own food.

Live by the rule -' if you feel your child should be eating then you should be eating', check in with yourself and remember the last time you ate - chances are if you don't use these triggers you may forget or at best end up grabbing a less healthy, convenience snack on the run. Look after number one; happy mummy = happy baby, both inside and outside.

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