Monday, 6 February 2012

Playing mum

I have recently become very aware that I've reached the age at which all my friends are getting married and having babies. Which is of course wonderful in some ways but at the same time is making me terribly nostalgic for the days when we all lived in London and could party into the small hours without worrying about babysitters or last trains home!

Something else that's also changed is that a lot of them (mainly the girls) are as a consequence taking a lot better care of themselves.

Of course we all know you have to eat well and take care of yourself during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but I've also observed how much thought and preparation goes into what you feed your little ones when they start weaning.

I've never had children, but I can understand why you would take so much care over their nutrition, particularly during early stages of development. Still the difference between how we care for ourselves compared to how we care for children is much greater than it should be.

City singles get through crazy amounts of alcohol and caffeine but most city mums give these up (quite rightly) as soon as they get pregnant. And whilst the childless are living off oversalted takeaways and ready meals, city mums are busy cooking up organic vegetable purees for their little ones.

The fact is that we should be taking better care of ourselves regardless of our stage in life - alcohol, drugs, caffeine, aritificial additives, sugar and excess salt are bad for us at any age, it's just that a foetus or child is so much smaller so much more sensitive to these baddies.

As part of my 80/20 approach to nutrition (eat healthily 80 percent of the time and 20percent of the time eat whatever you fancy, regardless of nutritional value) I believe that for the 80 per cent of the time we shouldn't eat or drink anything we wouldn't give to a five year old - which rules out a lot! You'd be crazy to give a child a breakfast of pain au chocolat with a black Americano to wash it down! Can you imagine! Or a dinner of battered sweet and sour prawns washed down with a couple of beers!

The truth is that once you're old enough to be making your own dinners you also need to start taking care of yourself and policing your food, just like your mum would! Would she let you eat a snickers everyday and drink a bottle of wine with dinner? Mine certainly wouldn't!

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