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The Healthy Parents' Five a Day Rule

The benefits of wine consumption as part of your five-a-day are relaxed muscles, reduced stress levels, and the ability to guiltlessly choose a night of television over cleaning the kitchen or tidying up.

We all know the importance of a balanced and healthy diet and the impact this can have on a person's wellbeing. The inclusion of five-a-day in your diet is essential because; healthy body, healthy mind, yes?

Then of course, as parents, it is even more important to consume the right kind of things to maximise our health; because we can't take sick days. Added to that the requirement to lead by example and have a positive influence on the diets of our children, it's pretty clear that making the right choices and living within the rules when it comes to healthy eating is a no-brainer.

So read on to find a diet solution that not only fits with your busy lifestyle but makes every kind of sense for a healthier you.

One: Sugar

Sugar is the main staple food group for parents (and also elves), due to its ability to give an instant hit of energy just when you feel the need to curl up in the freezer aisle at Asda and have a snooze next to your tantruming toddler. In these circumstances, it is deemed acceptable to rip into a custard slice from the bakery section whilst shopping, so long as you present it at check-out with a mumbled explanation of not being able to wait. The staff have seen it all before so there is no need to feel ashamed.

As well as being essential to health, sugar can also be enjoyed as a social bonding ritual between parents in the form of biscuits and cake. Examples:

"Come over for a play date, I have many biscuits."

"Shall we take the kids to soft play? They sell nice muffins, which we can inhale while our offspring are stuck in the ball pit, wailing."

Two: Caffeine

This is the most important of your five-a-day intake. I know it is hard to remember everything once you become a parent, but don't forget this bad boy... whatever else may slip your useless mind. First thing in the morning, before you do ANYTHING (just explain to the baby you need a few minutes - they're usually cool with waiting), provide your body with the fix it really needs.

A popular method of administering caffeine is in liquid form, such as tea, coffee or cola (absolutely normal at 630 am before you ask), which also gives the opportunity to consume sugar too - common sense and healthy living combined - perfect.

The main benefit of caffeine is that it gives you the ability to carry out arguably vital tasks such as thinking, caring for your children and managing to leave the house.

Three: Paracetamol

You know the drill: you're up for the day even though it's still legally classed as the middle of the night. Last night your kids either wouldn't go to sleep or wouldn't stay asleep, or both. Now they are up at an ungodly hour and being far too loud. You have had nowhere near enough sleep, your head is banging, your back is aching (kids are heavy!) and you feel like you have caught a virus (you have - parenthood). Some might say a glass of water and a brisk walk is exactly what you need to blow away the cobwebs and feel fresh, but obviously, knocking back some painkillers and curling up in a ball on the sofa for as long as your children allow - maybe 2 minutes - is the correct solution.

FYI, Calpol is a good substitute if you are out of 'adult junk' and it actually tastes pretty good too. Don't let your child see you though - they may not take kindly to you invading their haul.

Four: Wine

Wine works differently to caffeine, in that it is best consumed in the evening rather than first thing in the morning. Although it is still an essential part of the five-a-day health plan, its benefits are best reaped after 7 pm (or whenever the feral in the family rest their head).

This can be waived in special circumstances, like when enjoying a meal out - I use the term 'enjoying' loosely if your children are present - or to toast a happy event.

The benefits of wine consumption as part of your five-a-day are relaxed muscles, reduced stress levels, and the ability to guiltlessly choose a night of television over cleaning the kitchen or tidying up.

Five: Gin

Unlike wine, gin can be consumed at any time of day, just let your sound and rational judgement guide you on essential usage. So long as you are not operating heavy machinery, I am not aware of negatives and it certainly doesn't ruin any mothers, as far as I understand.

N.B. I am of course being a little tongue-in-cheek here so fret not. I would NEVER actually tuck into a custard slice before paying. The rest is okay though, right?

Originally appeared on Big Trouble in Little Nappies which can be followed via Facebook.