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Last week, I walked into my son's day care center to find him munching on a baby cereal bar that one of the caregivers had given him. I instantly wondered how much sugar was in the processed bar and was kind of ticked, seeing as how I make it a point to pack homemade fruit and veggie purees every day so he'll eat only nutritious stuff. But when the caregiver asked me if it was okay, I backed down and said yes. Now, though, I'm thinking I should have responded differently.
The reason? A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that kids whose moms had full-time jobs had a 48 percent higher chance of being overweight or obese. (Great. One more reason for us working moms to feel guilty!) According to the researchers, there wasn't a direct link between mom working and overweight kids, but rather a theory that convenience foods and fewer family meals meant packing on the pounds. And maybe it's also that we're in-the-dark about what's going on with lunch and daytime snacks. Example: Our kids eat a hefty lunch, but because we want to feel that we're nourishing them, we serve up a big dinner, too.
So, my new idea is to ask day care to record everything my son eats during the day. That way, I can better gauge how much he should eat when we're together, and I can put the kibosh on any daytime snacks I feel aren't nutritious. I may get some eye rolls when I ask for that extra step from the caregivers, but I figure it's worth it, for my son's health down the line.
Do you think that working -- or not working -- affects your child's diet? Chime in below!