Submitted by Danny Smith
Moms of young children, what do you do when you give your kid a delicious slice of pizza and they barely touch it? Do you find yourself eating your toddler’s left over bites throughout the day; reasoning against chucking-it into the waste, or, it being too minuscule to bother wrapping up for later? My sister cracked me up talking about how she was gaining weight from eating odds-n-ends that she might pick at and nibble on while she’s serving up her 3-year-old’s food and clearing it away. With her storytelling flair she set the scene, “It’s the worst when another adult pops in the room and catches you in the act of wolfing down the last bites of Amelia’s sloppy joe [and here she hunches up her shoulders and contorts her face into a look of ridiculous sheepish humiliation, imitating herself cowering in the judgmental glances of a hypothetical interloper].” But there may be a solid scientific base for the impulse. According to research, the body gets hungry from mental stress and strain–and in the case of moms of young kids, the intellectual rigors of childcare can increase your appetite. It’s as undeniable a phenomenon as the ravenous munchies people feel after swimming.
So we’ve established that it’s normal and it makes sense for a mom’s body to want to refuel and lose track of the calories from miscellaneous dabbles of leftovers–so don’t be so hard on yourself. The creative and supervisory duties of a caretaker take a toll on a body’s resources and frazzled nerves beg for the buffer of nourishment. Now, what can be done to mitigate the damages and fulfill the natural drive?
It is amply clear that deprivation strategies most often return feeble, short-term results–so the thinking goes, that you should strive for more mindfulness to reduce the unconsciously consumed snacks, but also to just have things around that are filling and beneficial. Dehydrated vegetables, or vegetable and fruit chips are your best friend in this case. Not all veggie chips are of the same caliber some are processed and dyed, ridged junk. On the other hand, you can get mixes that look like ordinary sliced potatoes, green beans, carrot coins, and taro cut like fries. The only additive should be canola oil and sea salt. Great texture, fun for the mouth, very filling, and with similar nutrient content as cooked vegetables, dehydrated veggie chips are worth a try.
No matter what fluctuation of hormones you might have, veggie chips and fruit chips fulfill all the qualities of major cravings: sweet yet lightly salted, crunchy (or in the case of dried apples and pineapple: gummy), multi-textured, and visually stimulating. The only thing missing is an aroma, so sniff an unlit scented candle, and have at it!
Even better, save the money and make your own fruit and veggie chips (other dehydrateables are: flowers, herbs, meat, fish).