Being a Parent Gave Me a BLT (Bites, Licks, Tastes) Habit!
Every night, after I get my three younger kids in bed and my two older ones are watching TV or finishing homework, I sit down for a relaxing dinner. Nothing fancy but just a few minutes to breathe and enjoy food without being surrounded by chaos.
My husband works nights so it’s just me, quietly eating while I check out social media or my favorite news sites on the computer.
Which all sounds great except for one thing.
It’s my SECOND dinner.
Rewind to earlier in the evening when I was feeding my kids their dinner. I make or heat up all sorts of meals… turkey tacos, pork chops, pasta with meat sauce, hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets, that sort of thing.
And as I’m preparing and then cleaning up, I’m eating.
Not a ton. But a bit of everything. A spoonful of mac and cheese, a bite of a chicken nugget, a few fries, the leftovers on one of my kid’s plates, a forkful of pumpkin spice cake, a few Pirate’s Booty, you get the idea.
This phenomenon actually has a name and it’s BLT (not the sandwich but rather it stands for Bites, Licks and Tastes) and it’s all the extra food you consume by eating a little here and there.
Nutritionists say it can cause you to consume an extra 300 calories a day. Isn’t that equal to a candy bar?! Plus, it’s such unsatisfying, mindless eating. Because a half cold chicken nugget isn’t really that great. At all.
But I’ve found it’s very very hard to avoid the BLTs because I’m actually hungry that time a day. I need a snack and at that very moment I’m surrounded by lots of high calorie, high fat kid food.
And even when I’m not hungry, well, I’m still surrounded by lots of kid food and it’s hard to resist.
The easiest way for me to avoid it, is to not eat it at all. Because if I have one fry, I’ll have four or five. So for me, it needs to be a zero consumption policy on the children’s food.
Also, at the same time I’m preparing my kids’ food, I have my own snacks on hand. Things like dried seaweed (I swear, it tastes better than it sounds), carrots, apple slices with honey, turkey pepperoni or anything healthy I would normally eat. That way if I feel compelled to snack (which of course I will!), I can eat something low in calories.
This is not a fool proof plan. Because last night my daughter’s leftover birthday cake was just sitting there and I needed one little bite of that creamy, chocolate frosting. Okay, two.
But the key is to be more aware of BLTs and not just bite, lick and taste without even realizing I’m doing it.
And I can promise you, my adult dinner is way more satisfying when I’m not already full from my children’s left over mac and cheese.