People sometimes ask me how I find the time to make healthy food for my family. Honestly, there are days when I don’t. We do go out to restaurants a couple times a week, and though we try to choose farm-to-table places, and are careful about how we order, the truth is that we are sometimes exposed to less than optimal ingredients.
That is the downside. On the upside, I find that going out to restaurants can sometimes be one of the best times to bond with our son. When we are home, we find it very difficult to enjoy a leisurely meal. As soon as he is done eating (10 minutes, tops), he asks to be excused and runs off to his activities.
Now, you might say we should just set a minimum amount of time that we all need to stay at the table. Uh, yes. We tried that. It just didn’t work – the whole thing turned into a power struggle where he would just count the minutes until he was “free”. Kind of defeats the purpose. I don’t want meals to turn into stressful rather than joyful times.
When we are “stuck” in a restaurant, on the other hand, waiting for the meal we ordered, there is absolutely nowhere for him to run. So, he talks to us. A lot.
And that is worth all the downfalls that come with eating out. Because I really believe that the relationship is always more important than the food. Which means that nurturing our bond to our son is much higher on our priority list than eating completely clean food at home but not having the chance to connect with him.