Mama, breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to be perfect to be healthy! It’s easy to get caught up in the list of good foods/bad foods and become a rule follower to the point of missing out on the fun in life! This type of rule following can also lead to guilt, which can lead to stress, which can lead to a cascade of other unhealthy symptoms! Let’s not do that. Eating healthy is not an all or nothing proposition, but learning to make small changes that lead to a big lifestyle shift over time. A doable, lifelong way of eating is using the 80/20 rule. A healthy diet is based on what you do MOST of the time- let’s let that be our 80%. The remaining 20% is where you find yourself when you’re invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, when you attend a party or event, when you’re on vacation, or when it’s a holiday. Let’s use those events to focus more on our family and friends, and making experiences instead of fretting over every bite we put in our mouths!
I’m grateful to have used this principle in raising my kids, although admittedly my husband is the one that pushed that balance! I am a rule follower by nature, and I bet I’m not alone. 😀 His tendency to lean towards TOO much fun allowed my children to not be forced to consume beet cake or something for their birthdays, and to actually consume Halloween candy (in moderation)! I can tell you now, my grown boys understand this balance and can feel when they’ve over-indulged. It’s that balance I hope you can find here and pass along to your own kids.