The reality of convenience

Connecting Gate to Plate Blog

The reality of convenience

         Do you ever feel like an Olympian juggler? Finish up major project to meet a work deadline. Get kids fed after school. Shuttle to basketball, then piano. Pick up dry cleaning. Run to grocery store. Don’t forget the dog food. Get to the baseball game.

         And then it’s time to feed everyone. Yikes, there’s no time for that, but they are screaming something like “get in my belly.” Grab some fruit to go, throw veggies in a snack bag and hit a drive thru to get your family fed in between activities. And then just breathe…they are happily eating, so you have done your job in taking care of them.

         Or have you? Some believe they can’t stop at fast food joints. That’s a choice. Others believe anything pre-cut in produce is wrong. That’s a choice.  Another grocery buyer may avoid canned or frozen fruit or vegetables. That’s a choice.  One choice is not right while the others are wrong.

         Personally, I believe today’s harried parents need permission to STOP THE GUILT. If buying a bag of pre-cut apples at McDonald’s is the best you can do to get fruit in your kiddo one evening – so be it. Likewise, if you live in snow in the winter, frozen and canned fruit are better than going without. If using frozen vegetables allows you enough time to cook a meal, you are doing the right thing.

         “I don’t want to be judged for what is in my grocery cart.”

         Turns out that food guilt is alive and well – even in the small town I live in. As I was sitting with a group of friends one evening in my living room while we all enjoyed a glass of wine, the conversation turned to guilt at the grocery. I was a bit surprised to find even the most independent moms fall prey to food shaming and worry about being judged by what’s in their cart.

         My friend Harley fusses about being judged by processed foods like pizza bites in her cart since one of her sons struggles with weight. April worries what it looks like if cross-fit people see her cart has anything but fresh ingredients with the “right” label. Becca stresses about people judging her if she has any processed foods in her cart.

         Let me be crystal clear; your grocery cart is your business. No one else’s. It’s food – sustenance – and you’re trying to do the best thing for your family. No one should be judging another person because they have processed food, fresh food or deli food. It’s food!

         What’s important to remember is convenience is a scale…and no answer is perfect. You may need to purchase frozen meals for your kids staying after school for a musical. They can have a salad the next day – the world won’t end. Likewise, if you are higher on the convenience scale, you could consider grabbing a bag of carrots instead of Cheetos. The reality of convenience is about balance and moderation.

         Convenience is sometimes necessary – do not let others tell you what is right or wrong for your family. Only you know your reality.

Read more at  Food Truths from Farm to Table to arm yourself with 25 truths you urgently need to know about food so you can shop without guilt, confusion, or judgment. A new book, Food Bullying, releases November 5 to upend the way you think about eating choices.

1 Comment

  1. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids on May 15, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Yes, yes and yes! With some convenience food items I cringe at the price I pay for it, but then I think, I don’t have worry about making it myself or making it in a portable to go container for busy nights, and that is worth the cost.

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