The best healthy eating strategies for busy parents | Kaleido's blog article
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The best healthy eating strategies for busy parents

As most parents will tell you, when you start a family, your children become your first priority. They often come first in many parts of our lives, including food and meals. So is it possible not to neglect your own needs and eat right when you’re a parent?

The dietary challenges of parenthood

Our parenting adventure can bring many challenges, including when it comes to feeding our children. These challenges may be related to our child, our lifestyle or our environment. Below are a few examples.

Challenges related to our child:

  • food selectivity
  • table manners
  • small appetite

Challenges related to our lifestyle or our schedule:

  • no time to prepare meals
  • no time to serve meals
  • a hurried after-meal routine

Challenges in our environment:

  • high food costs

Each of these challenges can have a direct (or indirect) impact on our own diet, making it hard for us to eat healthy.

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Why is it difficult for parents to maintain a healthy diet?

Some children can be very selective when it comes to food, liking or accepting only a very small number of foods. The parent may then decide to limit their repertoire of recipes to ensure that the meals they prepare will be eaten. This can affect the variety and quality of the dishes the child eats. Some children may also exhibit more explosive behaviour at the table. They’ll get up from their chair, throw their utensils or food across the room, get upset, have strong emotions, etc. In this case, what often happens is that the parent will spend mealtime managing the child’s behaviour. Mom or Dad won’t be able to eat properly or in the right amounts. What’s more, our children may have smaller appetites and leave food on the plate. To avoid wasting food, parents often end up eating the leftovers.

Our lifestyles and our schedules can also have an impact on the way we eat. For example, if you work a lot during the week and don’t have a flexible work schedule, you may not have enough time to prepare or serve a meal. Ready-made meals are quick and easy, but they may not meet our real need to eat well. Likewise, if the morning or evening routine is rushed, some parents may not have time to eat breakfast or dinner, or may eat quickly in order to move on to the next thing.

Finally, the high cost of groceries is another issue that can influence parents’ healthy eating habits. Finding meal options for the whole family that cater to each member’s dietary preferences and restrictions can be a real headache. To make things easier, parents often make concessions on their food choices, in favour of what their children prefer to eat.

What are some ways to make time for healthy eating as a parent?

Solutions for parents depend on their own situation and what is causing issues with their diet. The table below suggests ways you can try to develop healthy eating habits as a parent, depending on the issues and challenges you’re facing.


Healthy eating is possible for parents. However, we may have to make some changes in the way we prepare food, eat with our children or plan our meals.

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