Parent Pressure In the Kitchen

The reality is that us parents experience a lot of pressure when it comes to the food we give to our children.

I am really passionate about giving my son a healthy balanced diet. It's important to me. I was overweight and unhealthy for a huge chunk of my life. All of my formative years. It means a lot to me that he doesn't experience that also. I want him to have a positive relationship with food. To appreciate where his food comes from, the variety of beautiful food around him and the joy that it can bring to our lives.
However – do you ever just feel as though you cannot keep up with the pressure?
As much as the above is important to me I am not obsessed. I allow treats. I'm OK with ketchup. I don't ban certain foods. I'm all about balance and variety being the spice of life. I'm OK with a treat after dinner provided the healthy dinner was consumed? I'm happy for a dollop of ketchup to hit the plate if it means my son will gobble up the vegetables with it. I try my best.
It is virtually impossible to keep up though isn't it? I'm a member of Facebook pages where talented people put together these beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables for their children. Scenes of forests and the ocean where tiny pieces of healthy foods are decorated across the plate. Total works of art. I find myself looking at the pictures feeling totally impressed – followed by totally deflated. It's just not realistic for me. I'm sorry, but if I make Asparagus look like a palm tree my son is still likely to turn his nose up at it? Then I feel the double-whamy of food and my art being rejected. It just won't be happening in this house.
Instagram has a lot to answer for. Sometimes I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my feed looking for fashion and make-up inspiration. You know, having a moment where I pretend the kitchen isn't falling apart and the kids are drawing on the walls. Then bam – I see quinoa this and spelt that. I find myself looking at photos of food described as “raw”. Vegan treats, chia seeds and Bee Pollen galore. I find myself feeling utterly crap about the dinner that I had planned. The dinner that I would consider healthy. The dinner that actually requires effort. The chopping, the colours, the herbs and spices. In an instant I feel as though I am not giving my children the best. I'm feeding them incorrectly. I'm setting them up for life and I am doing a really bad job.
But I'm not am I? There is no denying the fact that all of the things mentioned above are super good for you. I regularly enjoy them myself. But I also enjoy the other things. The not so perfect things. The things that might not be perfect but that I really enjoy.

The reality is that us parents experience a lot of pressure when it comes to the food we give to our children. There is no denying the fact that it is hugely important but at some point we have to give ourselves a break and accept that we are not perfect. Busy lives, working parents and the pressure of living in an age where everything is public. It can all get too much. We can find ourselves comparing ourselves to the family that are dairy free or Vegan. We can find ourselves worrying that we are being judged for adding a bit of salt to the family dinner. We can find ourselves feeling really low despite actually putting a lot of thought and care in to the food we give our families.

Being perfect simply isn't on my CV. I do my best and that's good enough for my kids! 
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer at
Check out her own blog at

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

Read more by Tracey
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us