Earlier this week, Women’s Health was asking for people to tweet a response to “How has your mom improved your health?” My first thought was, there is no way I could answer that question in 140 characters!
If I had to narrow it down, would say the single thing that my mom did as a mother to improve my health was to make well balanced meals a constant priority throughout the years. The priority of well balanced meals at the same time each day is really reinforced with me as a mother when I visit them.
A typical breakfast was (and still is) protein, grain, and fruit. Lunch will be protein, side dish, and vegetable. Supper is a protein, side dish, vegetable, salad, and dessert. Yes, I grew up eating dessert every day, but it wasn’t some huge serving, just a small sweet at the end of the meal.
The other thing about meal time that was a great lesson is we all sat down together for most meals. For the most part mealtimes were consistent, and the expectations set. Eating was a time to rest and regroup. Some of my fondest memories growing up are talking and laughing with my sisters and brother around the table.
Since I come from a family with 6 kids, it was always really important for everyone to pitch in. I remember being in the kitchen with my mom from a very young age, and she taught my sisters and I to cook when we were pretty young. We learned how to think through what the meat would be and what side dish would go with it. What vegetable did we want and to make a salad. She helped us to think through when we last had that same food, so we weren’t eating green beans for the fifth night in a row. It was a necessity in our household for me to have responsibilities around the meals, but what I learned has been an invaluable life lesson.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! How has your mother improved your health?