‘What a nutritionist and busy mum of two eats in a day’

Clinical dietitian, nutritionist, author and mum of two Jaime Rose Chambers explains what she eats in a day.

I commonly see busy mums whose healthy diets are sacrificed as all their time and energy goes into making sure their kids’ diets are flawless – or they end up just having the left-over scraps from the kid’s meals, hello peanut butter toast crusts!

To avoid these poor eating habits, I tend to tie my meals and snacks into the kids eating times. This way I can ensure that all my nutritional needs are being met when preparing meals and snacks, not only benefiting myself but the whole family!

Rather than focusing on nutrients in our diet, I find it much easier to focus on the 5 food groups and aim to have a variety from each food group.

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My daily rating routine

Most days of the week I will intermittent fast, so generally I’ll have two main meals and a couple of snacks every day. I make sure my meals are abundant in a variety of different food groups so I’m meeting all my nutritional needs. The kids tend to eat less than me, but more often – every 2-3 hours or so, which is a very common eating pattern for kids as they have small tummies. I have a loose eating template I work with each day for their meals and snacks to make sure they’re getting a variety of nutrients.

They will often have breakfast at 7am, morning tea around 9am, lunch around 11.30am, another snack when they wake from their sleep around 2.30pm and dinner around 6pm. I’ll have my main meal of the day with kids at around 11:30am after we get back from the park or an activity. This might be:

  • A pick plate of wholegrain crackers or toast and tuna, hummus, cheese, chopped veggies and fruit.
  • Toast with avocado, cheese, tomato and eggs.
  • Leftovers from dinner like cold meat and roast vegetables.
  • Porridge or soaked overnight oats with fruit and yoghurt.

Eating with the kids

Eating dinner with the kids has so many benefits for us all! Eating the last meal of the day earlier we know is beneficial for our health and it means I only have to make one meal for all of us, while ensuring its nutritious. It’s also a great way for my husband and myself to role model healthy eating habits and manners to our kids. Most importantly it’s a perfect time where we can talk and communicate while enjoying a yummy nutritious meal.

In saying that, not every day is perfect! Obviously, there are days when I’m super busy and might need to grab food on the go or the kids might be going through a bit of a fussy phase where there are certain foods they won’ t eat. They’ll also have days where they’re super hungry and going through a growth spurt, and other days in between when they won’t eat much at all.

For this reason, we all take a daily multivitamin supplement as a nutritional insurance policy. This ensures all our bases are covered and we’re meeting all our nutritional needs. The kids will very happily take a good quality vitamin gummy – one that is sugar free, with no artificial flavours or colors.

If the kids are not eating a particular food due to a fussy stage at some point and missing any major nutrients at that time, I might give them a more specific supplement for a period of time to make sure they’re still meeting their nutritional needs and prevent any deficiencies.

Jaime has partnered with Swisse Wellness to bring to light the importance of a healthy diet for growing children.

**This is general advice and it’s important to see a dietitian or doctor for specific advice if you’re concerned about you or your child’s diet or health.