Balancing Physical Health and Diet as a Parent [Interview with Frances Largeman-Roth] — Womanhood Unwrapped

ME: TO SAY THAT PARENTS IN 2022 HAVE A LOT OF ADDED STRESSORS, CONCERNS, AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR THEIR CHILDREN IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. YOU ADVISE PARENTS AND INDIVIDUALS ON HOW TO LIVE AND EAT HEALTHILY. HOW HAS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THIS CHANGED IN THE PAST TWO YEARS?

Frances: The advice I’m giving parents and other folks now includes a much bigger focus on mental health. Of course, putting healthy foods on your plate is essential, but I don’t want parents or anyone else to stress over making perfectly balanced meals every day.

ME: WITH THE NEW PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT OF WORKING FROM HOME, DEALING WITH GAP WEEKS AT SCHOOL, MANAGING EXPOSURES, AND OTHER STRESSORS THAT HAVE BECOME A PART OF MODERN PARENTING, WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DO TO STAY HEALTHY AND STILL ALLOW FOR FUN IN YOUR LIFE?

Frances: We started doing Just Dance together this winter. My son is a pro now! I stopped sending the kids to their Ninja Warrior class because it didn’t feel safe, and the kids needed another outlet for healthy movement. I thought dancing would be a fun distraction, but it is an excellent exercise if you keep leveling up! We also have movie night every Friday. Since my husband and I both work from home, we can easily let the workday go past 6 pm — a challenge many families are dealing with right now. But knowing that we want to get a movie started for the family by 6:30 pm helps us unplug.

ME: YOUR FAMILY MOVED DURING THE PANDEMIC IN 2020. WHAT WERE YOU SEEKING WITH THE MOVE, AND HOW HAS YOUR FAMILY ADAPTED TO BEING IN A NEW PLACE AT AN UNPRECEDENTED TIME?

Frances: We were initially looking for a better school system, but the added benefit of moving out of Brooklyn has been increased exposure to nature. I am looking out of my office window right now and can see buds forming on the trees. Sometimes we open the front door, and a deer is standing there!

ME: WHEN DO YOU GIVE YOURSELF CHANCES FOR SELF-CARE AND MENTAL HEALTH MOMENTS AS A WORKING MOM? WHAT DO YOU TRY AND DISENGAGE FROM, IF NEEDED? WHAT DO YOU MAKE SURE TO DO OR MAINTAIN?

Frances: Self-care is SO important! I exercise most mornings, which helps me clear my mind and have a productive day. Also, I try not to look at emails after putting the kids to bed at 8:30 pm.

ME: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP GO-TO MEALS OR SNACKS FOR THE FAMILY ON BUSY DAYS?

Frances: My oldest daughter, Willa, doesn’t eat meat, so an excellent flexitarian meal that we all love is taco night.

ME: ARE THERE ANY OTHER DIETARY, OR PHYSICAL RECOMMENDATIONS YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH BUSY WORKING PARENTS?

Frances: Kids don’t always want to go outside when the weather isn’t good, especially as they get older and are on screens more. But just like it’s essential for an adult’s mental health to spend time outside, it’s also incredibly important for kids. In addition to the exposure to sunlight, which is vital to making vitamin D, it also gives us a chance to notice changes in the neighborhood, especially as spring arrives.

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Founder of the the Womanhood Unwrapped blog. A platform where women can find content that related to their lives and tell their stories.

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Elisabeth Thomas

Elisabeth Thomas

Founder of the the Womanhood Unwrapped blog. A platform where women can find content that related to their lives and tell their stories.