This week’s BC Parent is Jenn Messina from North Vancouver. Jenn is a dietician who believes that healthy eating should be the easiest choice. With two young children, she understands the need to meal plan and cook in batches where possible, but without ever comprising on quality. Her goal is to help her clients make realistic lifestyle changes that will bring the enjoyment and fun back into eating and give more time out of the kitchen!
Describe your family: We are a family of 4 with one fur baby Lily who is a rescue originally from California
Current job/career: I am a Registered Family Dietitian at Canopy Integrated Health
What’s the most challenging part of being a parent? I find it challenging to be juggling so many balls at once; being a good parent, a good wife, a good friend, owning a small business, and on and on. Trying to do everything “right” all the time. The pressures in modern parenting are extreme!
What are you most proud of? As a Registered Dietitian, my philosophies around intuitive eating and helping my children have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies are very established. When I hear my daughter speak about listening to her internal hunger/fullness cues or celebrating body diversity I feel very proud. She will notice someone and make a comment about “it really doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside, it is what is on the inside that counts”. Cue heart exploding.
What is your favourite go-to dinner recipe when you are short on time? I am a massive fan of planned leftovers, extra chicken, tofu, or roasted chickpeas are always around. These can easily be added to some corn tortillas or a wrap for a fast dinner and paired with a bagged shredded kale salad. Done!
What is something about you we would find surprising? My kids probably eat more sugar than yours! I am really trying to destigmatize sweets and treats. Create a “food neutral” household. No “good” and no “bad” foods. Offering foods with sugar in them regularly helps make them no big deal, just another food! Now I get to marvel when they leave the desert untouched or they eat their salad first 🙂
Favourite self-care activity? Being alone. With 2 small children and a dog, I have people around me (or literally climbing on me) all the time. Being alone, even if it is a walk, or to read a book, is heavenly and so recharging.
If you want to learn about a few other BC Parents – check out their profiles here.