This is supposed to be a post about lunch. It’s supposed to talk about my difficulties in coming up with creative lunches to send my child to school with and for me to eat as well. It was going to discuss how breaking things into little boxes, like bento boxes was a great solution. It was going to propose how you pick your main (a sandwich, leftovers etc) and then supplement around the sides with veggies (like carrots or cucumbers) fruit (like grapes or strawberries) and if you still think you will be hungry, some small kind of carb (like pretzels or air popped popcorn). This post was going to say that by doing this; you enable your taste buds to have a party in your mouth. Your kid can pick and chose from lots of good things. Your wallet would shout hooray because it gets to stay closed instead of being opened to buy an oversized, overpriced sandwich at the deli, or worse, McDeath. Your backside will thank you because you aren’t buying said oversized sandwich or McDeath. This post was going to be all about that.
It was going to include pictures like this one,
Or like this
I was really looking forward to this post. But that is not what this post is about. It’s about time.
I recently learned that my daughter gets a whopping 20 minutes to eat the lunch that I pack for her. Most health coaches, doctors and nutritionists agree that it takes 20 minutes simply for your stomach to recognize that it’s being fed. 20 minutes allows only time to cram down food, no time to talk, and barely time to drink water. 20 minutes is not enough time for a 5 year old to eat. It’s barely enough time for a 36 year old.
I constantly tell my clients to slow down, enjoy their food. Look around, talk to people. Let the moment be an enjoyable one. We are always in a rush. Our meal times are supposed to be a respite from the harrowing speed of the day. If we are training our children to eat as fast as they can, how are we, as adults supposed to turn off the clock?
This does not set the groundwork for good habits.
I wish I could offer a solution. I wish I could march into the school and say, “There is no reason for this!” But unless I address the curriculum, I’m not sure what I can do. Perhaps some of my readers will have a suggestion. I would love to hear it.
In the meantime, let’s try to move a little slower to offset our bad habits of working through lunch, eating in our cars or sending our children for their allocated 20 mins of food. Have dinner together. Talk about your day. What was the highlight? What was the lowlight? Chew your food 50 times just to see how it feels. Make a game out of it. Teach our children and us that food is fun, and should be enjoyed but the company and conversation that goes with it is far more valuable to our minds, our bodies and our hearts.
If you want to talk more about lunches, healthy eating tips and habits, I offer a free health consultation. You can email me at Courtney@roslynwellness or visit www.roslynwellness.com to learn more. You can also follow me on Twitter @courtneyabrams
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.