How do we get to the stage that we have allowed ourselves to get so lazy with what we feed our kids and what we let them consume in a week! I can only say ‘Grrrrrr’. The amount of overweight kids between about the ages of 5 and 15 is unbelievable and it’s a topic that gets me stirred up!
Whatever the make-up of families is, most parents all have to work at some point to make ‘ends meet’. So whether it’s through shift-work, being a single working parent, working long hours between partners, there are times when we get home from work and just don’t feel like cooking! “Hooray” says the kids, “Can we have takeaway?” (you know that’s not necessarily the right option, but it’s the easiest). So you begrudgingly say ‘yes’ and toddle off to Macca’s and, to ensure they’re full, get them to have a large of everything because you forgot to buy bread on the way home! Arghhhhh! Naturally, you will have it as well, only to discover later that sinking feeling in your stomach is not just from the guilt alone of letting your child eat so much crap, it’s all the fat you’ve just inhaled in about 3 minutes! Not to mention how cranky you are going to be because you let them have soft drink, so now they’re too wired to go to bed when they’re supposed to! Again, Arghhhhh!
This starts to happen not just once a week, but several times. Add that up over the year? It is not only a waste of money, it’s what’s ‘assisting’ our kids to grow out, not up!
I get that we’re all busy and life gets hectic, I know that. I’m a single mum, run my own business, am up at 4am every morning and likes to ensure that my son has a well balanced, nutritious diet. Yes, he will have takeaway, but it’s not as an ‘excuse’, it’s for a treat (and when they’re having it a few times a week, it’s no longer a treat, it’s a threat). So why am I telling you this? Because even at my busiest, my son and I eat well. How? Here are some tips to help you get the home cooked meals back into your working week or ideas for a healthier lunch box.
Everyone loves lasagne! Whatever variety, be it meat, vegetable or chicken. Make a double batch and freeze it for one of those nights when you’ll be home late or the kids have soccer training and it all just gets too hectic! Even lasagne can be made healthy!
Winter screams soup! On the weekend make some hearty pumpkin soup, or chicken and vegetable soup, freeze it and those cold nights when you don’t feel like cooking, it’s a quick reheat and you are enjoying a nice healthy, nutritious meal.
Muffins – a couple of batches of muffins will last the lunch boxes and there’s plenty of recipes for healthy muffins that don’t bounce off the walls or taste like cardboard! If you want to stretch the batch, buy the mini muffin tins and the kids will love them!
Salads – All that preparation, cutting up all those salad ingredients, don’t have time, bla bla, bla. After your fruit and vegie shopping, cut up some carrot, celery, capsicum, lettuce etc and keep in air-tight containers in the fridge. When you get home at night, it takes less time to prepare dinner because most of your salad ingredients are already cut up! To add a little extra nutritional value and flavour, throw some almonds or cashews over the top.
Lunch boxes. There is no excuse for not packing a nutritious lunch box for your child. A couple of pieces of fruit that is filling and easy to eat like bananas and apples, yoghurt, sandwiches, cheese slices, homemade muffins, carrot/capsicum sticks, mixed nuts, celery with natural peanut butter, small tins of easy-open tuna, boiled eggs and tinned fruit (not as good as real fruit but better than other options!)
Take the time to go grocery shopping, look at what’s available and read the labels of some of the ‘not so good’ foods that you are buying, it will scare you.
Want to know more? Contact me and book in for my ‘Feeding Our Future’ Seminar. “Be educated and energised into wanting to make a change to building a healthier future for your kids.”
Work-related stress can be caused by various events. For example, a person might feel under pressure if the demands of their job are greater than they can comfortably manage. Other sources of work-related stress include conflict with co-workers or bosses, constant change and threats to job security. In Australia, the total cost of workers compensation claims for stress-related conditions is estimated at over $200 million every year. According to the National Health & Safety Commission, work-related stress accounts for the longest stretches of absenteeism. However, what one person may perceive as stressful, another may view as challenging.
For businesses, work-related stress causes an increase in sick days and absenteeism, a higher turnover of staff and a drop in productivity. Some of the possible consequences of work-related stress for the individual include:
Increases susceptibility to workplace accidents
Deterioration of personal relationships
Ill-health, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Some of the factors that commonly cause work-related stress include:
Long hours (often unpaid overtime)
Changes within the organisation
Changes to duties
Inadequate work environment
Lack of proper resources
Lack of training
Lack of equipment
Lack of communication
Poor relationships with colleagues or bosses
Self-help for the individual
A person suffering from work-related stress can help themselves in a number of ways, including:
Think about the changes you need to make at work in order to reduce your stress levels, then TAKE ACTION. Some changes you can manage yourself, while others will need the cooperation of others.
Talk over your concerns with your employer.
What’s your attitude like? Can a more positive shift in your attitude help the situation!
Make sure you are well organised. List your tasks in order of priority.
Take care of yourself! Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Consider the benefits of regular relaxation. You could try meditation or yoga.
Make sure you have enough free time to yourself every week.
Don’t take your stress out on loved ones. Instead, tell them about your work problems and ask for their support and suggestions.
Drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, won’t alleviate stress and can cause additional health problems. Avoid excessive drinking and smoking.
Work-related stress is a management issue!
It is important for employers to recognise work-related stress as a significant health & safety issue. A company can and should take steps to ensure that employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress, including:
Ensure a safe working environment
Make sure that everyone is properly trained for their job
De-stigmatise work-related stress by openly recognising it as a genuine problem
Discuss issues and grievances with employees and take appropriate action when possible
Devise a stress management policy in consultation with employees
Encourage an environment where employees have more say over their duties, promotional prospects and safety.
Organise to have a Human Resources Manager
Cut down on the need for overtime by reorganising duties or employing extra staff.
Take into account the personal lives of employees and recognise that the demands of home will sometimes clash with the demands of work.