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    LDRICHEL   49,075
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Childhood Obesity Sucks - and I'm a Hypocrite

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

So, let's take a break from the usual report on my workouts and motivating pep talks. Something has been eating away at me and I am more and more agitated, which means I probably need to do some processing of the issue to understand why I feel this way.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.



Here's the thing: this won't be your typical article on childhood obesity. I have a weird take on things because I am a Mom and I KNOW how difficult it is to consistently feed your kids healthy food and keep them active.

It seems there are two basic camps to this whole issue.

On the one hand, you have the parents that have been labeled as lazy enablers. They just "love" their child so much that they want them to be happy, in detriment to the child's own health. You hear things like this from them: "Yeah, I know it's not good for him, but I don't know how to get him to stop eating it. He will throw a fit if he doesn't have it."

On the other side of the aisle, you have the militant and judgmental holier-than-thou parents, who say things like this: "It is your JOB as a parent to do the hard work of teaching health to your child! Their LIFE is at stake and if you don't do your job, your child's obesity is on YOUR shoulders. You are to blame and you are not a fit parent."

The problem is, I don't fall into either side perfectly. I kind of fall in the middle. I am a walking hypocrite. I am inconsistent in my efforts to keep my kids on the right track, diet-wise, although we have made GREAT strides in our household in the area of physical activity!

We have a unique situation, in that my in-laws actually live in the same house with us and have their own separate kitchen. We buy our groceries, they buy theirs...but we are one family, so naturally, things travel from one fridge to another quite frequently. This make it VERY difficult to control what's happening with the kids' diets. We've had the "family meetings" and explained our desires for health for our kids, etc. Everyone knows everyone else's viewpoint on diet. It doesn't stop my kids from raiding Grandpa's junk food stash (which is sizeable) pretty much ALL THE TIME. Clearly, we have some limits to set...and, yeah...that's the hard work that needs to be done.

But let's not just blame the grandparents. That's not fair. The reality is that my kids have set eating patterns that are not healthy (and the grandparents didn't always live with us!) And, as kids are, they are picky and are not apt to try too many new things (although, they've been improving in this area as well...my 10-year old tried kale chips and LOVED them, to my shock and surprise!) My kids will FIGHT over a bag of edamame or a bowl of guacamole. They sure do love their fruit and, for the most part, my 7 year old likes the "healthier" cereals over the sugary ones, for some random reason. Still, a rather large part of their diet is frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, ice cream and Toaster Strudels. Ugh.

The other day, I went to the mall and saw a woman (rather thin herself) pushing her daughter in a stroller. This kid had to be about 5 yrs old (definitely old enough to walk) and probably weighed around 80 lbs. My brain automatically went to judgment. Frankly, I was outraged at this mom for not making her kid WALK. Unfair of me, because what if there was some medical issue and the child could not walk? Still...it's so easy to see the speck in someone else's eye and not the log in your own, isn't it?

This whole topic is irritating and frustrating for me. I feel so passionately about it and I'm so upset that this country has let this happen to our youth. At the same time, if I look down deep, my frustration is with myself as a mom...for not putting into place good habits for my own kids and for starting their lives out with a bad example (my own obesity). How can we expect to change as a nation if we aren't willing to start right in our own homes?

We are always hardest on ourselves though, aren't we? It probably wouldn't hurt to look at the positive side of things as well.

My 4 yr old (boy) is pretty insistent lately that he is going to "get big muscles" and that kind of warms my heart (seriously, his arms are twigs right now. LOL). He is rather tall and weighs 39 lbs. He is NOT obese. None of my kids are...but I wouldn't call them totally healthy either.

We put the Boy in soccer. His first time having an activity just for him and not having to sit on the sidelines and watch his sisters do stuff. You should have seen him strut his stuff on that field. Hilarious. And he hugged me afterwards and said, "Mommy, I loooooove soccer."

Signed my 10 yr-old girl up for martial arts. You would have loved the look of confidence and strength and empowerment in her eye when she had that first lesson (and every one thereafter). I didn't expect it (silly me!), but she is beginning to believe in herself...and I see the beginnings of a strong woman in her.

My silly 7-year old girl couldn't care less about the rules of soccer or the fact that her coach is standing right next to her. She will still completely ignore a game going on around her and crouch down to study an ant hill in the middle of the field...and do a few cartwheels too. But...at least she's out there. Right?

Aforementioned silly 7 yr-old asked to join me on a bike ride the other day and made it 2 miles on a little crappy bike with training wheels. Good for her!

Both girls were completely engrossed in the Ironkids website with me the other night and are super excited to enter their first triathlon next Summer!

My 10 yr old has refused to eat "pink slime" and has allowed us to pack her healthy lunches for the entire last school year. She doesn't always eat them, but the food is offered to her. (We barred Grandpa from packing lunches last year. Haha.)

On the food front, things are slower moving...but the kids do SEE their mom eating better and occasionally become curious to put something weird in their mouths. So, I'll take that as a baby step.

The long and short of it is...we can sit around all day either enabling our kids or berating ourselves for being awful parents, but what are we DOING to teach them, to be a role model and to incorporate health into their lives, either in overt or sneaky ways?

Maybe this country won't ever conquer childhood obesity. But we can address it one kid at a time...and why not start with our own?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BKNOCK 9/25/2012 10:03PM

    Sounds to me like you are doing a pretty good job with your kids!

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LAHUDSONCHEF 9/25/2012 2:53PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Remember, we are all works in progress. Are you better at instilling healthy eating habits in your kids than you were last month, last year? Then, you're moving in the right direction. The apostle Peter, in discussing the Christian walk, tells us that if the fruit of faith is evident in our lives, and is increasing, then we're doing well. (see 2 Peter 1:8 in context) And it's a principle that applies elsewhere. As long as you're moving toward the goal, you're doing well. Once you stop, you start falling backwards.

I think you're on the right track with the kids, just keep teaching them, helping them be active, and showing them a good role model. And a good role model doesn't have to be perfect...you just have to be honest & transparent (your kids will respect you for this), admit failures and then continue moving forward.

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IAMLOVEDBYYOU 9/25/2012 1:57PM

    I like your blog and I like the heart of this, but I really need to say something.

Don't judge the mom in the mall with the stroller, because her child might have a disability. I'm not trying to be all PC and crap, but the truth is, there is a decent chance that an 80lb 5 year old being pushed in the stroller has a disability. That's not "normal" parenting behavior, which makes me think that there might be more to the story.. sometimes you can't tell when children have a disability.

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HEATHER3477 9/25/2012 9:45AM

    Your taking a step in the right direction. My son is overweight, and he watches everything I do. He is 12 years old and over the past few months I have seen him start paying more attention to what he puts in his body and I have seen him being more active. He isn't always like this but it's a start. The good news is he hasn't really gained any more weight since he started.

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MAMA_CD 9/24/2012 4:36PM

    Being a good example is the best way to promote a healthy lifestyle for the kids. None of us are perfect just being perfected.

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HACKETT1171 9/24/2012 2:40PM

    when we started to change more of out eating habits, I jut told the kids that we don't eat such and such any more. Just don't buy it! Plain and simple with the foods you dont want them to eat. I can only control what my kids do with me and around me. I can not control what happens when they are with their dad, but you can still control what they do in your own house with your in laws junk food stash. Moderation, maybe only let them raid it 2x a week with a limit on what they can eat.

Good luck!

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OBURRELL 9/24/2012 11:26AM

    My 9 month old son is a big motivator for me. I don't want him to grow up with the food issues I have so I am trying to get myself in order now before he gets old enough to really notice things. He will eat pretty much anything so I am trying to take advantage of that and feed him good stuff. If only I could get him to drink water without having to mix it with apple juice. GL and keep up the good work! Your kids will be ok!

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RUNNERLADY2 9/24/2012 10:43AM

    Great blog! My kids are all grown now but I do see them make these choices for my grandkids and it makes me proud of them; I wish I could say they totally got their good habits from me, but somehow they got them in spite of me. The younger two have celiac disease, which has forced them to be extremely careful about what they eat so they do tend to stick to the healthiest of choices. Good message here that parents of youngsters need!

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DOTTY7267 9/24/2012 9:02AM

    Thank you for speaking on this touchy subject. I have daughters, and since birth, my 1 daugther has always been over weight and now obese. It was difficult because even with the monitoring of diet, activities, etc. she was rebelling against what was happening in the home. She resorted to sneaking foods, and getting them from her grandparents. I tried being stearn, and then tried being lenient, but was often in tears trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and how I was negatively influencing her in one way or another.

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NEWMOM20121 9/24/2012 8:36AM

    Sorry I missed this until today. Great blog, well said.

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CAROL494 9/23/2012 8:31PM

  Thank you for sharing your ideas! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 8:35:31 PM

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KACEYSW 9/23/2012 5:31PM

    There are so many factors with childhood obesity that one cannot pin it down to one specific thing, as you point out. Role models are key to this and, as you say, parents are the most important role model in a child's life. The effects of fast food, couch-potato/video gaming culture, and lifestyles of little outdoor activity are of no help. Another negative effect is the fact that schools have been forced to minimize PE activities due to budget cuts and some pretty interesting laws that are taking playground equipment off of school grounds due to potential liability issues.

You bring up great points. Nice job!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 9/23/2012 12:32PM

    Great blog, as a parent I so get this....

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CHESAPEAKE60 9/23/2012 11:40AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog as well. And I, too, can relate from all sides. Am now a gramma to a 6 year old and a 2 year old and I do like to "treat" the grands - as my Gramma treated me. But I also appreciate and respect my daughter and son-in-laws desire to raise happy, healthy children! So I do my best to have snacks at my house healthy ones. I make air-popped popcorn in my presto microwave popper. Then I finely mist the popped corn with oilive oil from my Misto and add just a pinch of sea salt, I make a healthy baked oatmeal with bananas and blueberries that the kids view as a treat, etc.

One thing I will add to all the mothers and mothers-to-be of very young children. Start your kids very young with all sorts of healthy flavors. I saw this approach with my grandchildren and was AMAZED. Once the pediatrician gave the OK for table foods my DD and SIL rarely bought baby food (only for travel). They had a mini processor and whatever veggies and fruit they were having for dinner simply got a few quick pulses in the processor and the babies ate what the adults ate for meals. Needless to say, that meant they cooked cleanly for themselves - no added salt or unhealthy fats. They just added their seasonings after cooking.

So fast forward to a 2 and 6 year old who drink mostly water with their meals, will eat just about and vegetable or fruit, and have never tasted a soda or artificial sweetener. They do get desserts - just not every meal or every night. DD and SIL both cook and they make breads and cookies, etc. with healthy grains and oils, applesauce, and fruits. Homemade sorbets and ice creams, etc.

It is worth the time and effort I truly believe. And the parents both work full time but still manage a healthy household.



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VALIENDRA 9/23/2012 11:00AM

    Thank you for sharing your opinion. It gets me thinking about my own responsability. I don't have kids yet bul I will, someday. And I will want them healthy and active. But if I am not healthy and active.. how can I ever have them doing stuff that are good for them ?

I'll have to set an example. Today is a good day to start doing things the right way for my future kids. A strong image will encourage them to move and eat right.

Keep pushing. You certainly are a wonderful woman and mom ! ☼

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BLOOMING52 9/23/2012 3:19AM

    Interesting.

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WELSTEACH 9/23/2012 2:06AM

    You are being an example. Don't beat yourself up. Ultimately kids make their own choices too. Food isn't as controllable as adults would like, and isn't a good battle ground. Any field where a parent has a great chance of losing by demanding is poor. So, gently suggest, be an example, and let them grow into better food choices. You have them hooked on moving their bodies. Count that as 1 for the home team!

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ROB704 9/22/2012 9:50PM

    My wife and I have this discussion many times - our daughter is 21 now - and have come think that until we (as a society) start to move more the situation will get worse. Think about it...not sure how old you are (I'm 43) but when I was a kid we went outside, I rode my bike everywhere, hours and hours...all physical, from playing army to playing football. TV had 3 channels and no remote.

You're doing a great job by even recognizing the challenges and trying...good for you!

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SENIORSWIMMER 9/22/2012 8:26PM

    Great blog. I come from a "food = love" family. It is so hard to break those early habits. Nearly all of my fondest childhood memories center around a large family gathering with a table straining under the weight of everyone's best recipes. The food and the fellowship...I equate having lots of food on hand with security - a grandchild of the Great Depression. I equate a full stomach with love. These are tough bonds to break. Learning to break those bonds in a positive way is part of this journey we call "lifestyle changes."

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KALLIE1958AR 9/22/2012 2:17PM

    Good blog .. I just want to point out .. we are bombarded with food that have hormones in them now ... they put growth hormones in everything .. lets make the cows chickens so on bigger and we eat them hmm wonder why we are getting fatter not saying that is all of it clearly we are doing our part ... they put stuff in all processed food to make you hungry .. again wonder why we are getting fatter every year .. so we do have a battle for sure .. But the good news we will make it .. yay .. We make a garden and all we can do .. so lets just pray for health .. and do our part .. Sounds like you are making good changes .. I know we are all here to do that .. God Bless hats off to you ... emoticon

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GALINAZ 9/21/2012 2:03PM

    Great take on this controversy. As a grandma, I need to practice my own good habits I'm developing with my grandkids instead of indulging them because I'm grandma. More play and less treats!

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DONNA5281 9/21/2012 10:04AM

 

Great blog. You are doing a great job with your children.

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LINDAK25 9/21/2012 9:03AM

    Your doing just fine with your kids. I understand just what you're going through.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/21/2012 9:00AM

    GREAT blog. Very thoughtful, and a lot of good insight there. Thanks for sharing!

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THESLIMMERME1 9/21/2012 2:14AM

    emoticon blog - I do believe it is one child at a time, and as adults/parents we need to encourage the introduction of a 'healthy lifestyle' to the next generation.

I know in one family, once the child is old enough, they are encouraged to plan the menu and meal for the family taking into account the basic food choices...it's work but with encouragement and enthusiasm something each one looks forward too being the 'family chef for the day'

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LANEYTHEGIRL 9/21/2012 12:51AM

    I've come to realize my 15-year-old son follows more of what I do than say. I have been trying since he was young to get him to eat vegetables. I always include one with dinner. Lately he's been eating them and he won't drink soda during soccer bc his coach tells them how bad they are. He loves fast food but I find he limits himself. I know he learned all this self-control by watching me do the same for myself not because of anything I have said. Leading by example is the best way and you r doing that.

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COCK-ROBIN 9/21/2012 12:21AM

    Beautiful story! And so true. Childhood obesity is no joke. But it is a wake up call for all of us.

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PEGGYO 9/20/2012 10:13PM

    ok

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DIGIRO 9/20/2012 8:55PM

    What an interesting blog! I probably fall more into the militant mom, but have an indulgent grandparent in my basement (snack & soda heaven).
This summer was a changing point for my 15 yr-old daughter. Without using a scale, and being more active, she lost approximately 25 lbs.
Yesterday, on the drive home, she remarked on the gratitude she felt towards my "no fast-food" stance. She did admit to feeling "deprived" when she was younger & we drove past those places to go home & cook, but can now share her appreciation for my strong stance. Suddenly, it makes sense to her.
Thank God for the "aha" moment- and for those with younger kids, I believe your moment will come too. It's not fun driving past the playplaces with a crying kid, but someday that child will thank you!

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LIVEDAILY 9/20/2012 8:33PM

    I would most definitely NOT call you a hypocrite! You are a realist! You're picking and choosing the food battles...and the ARE battles. You are setting a wonderful example for your kids with physical movement/exercise/sports. I think you're doing a great job!!

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KIPPER15 9/20/2012 8:33PM

    You sound like a great mom. All my kids have four legs or fins. I am in control of what they eat and how they exercise. They are all spoiled rotten little buggers.!!LOL emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 9/20/2012 8:25PM

    It's a journey and it sounds to me as if your middle of the road approach is the most realistic. This from a morbidly obese adult who spent a childhood hungry because Mother's favorite punishment was withholding food and I still have not resolved my food issues!

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KRYSTALLA 9/20/2012 8:22PM

    Great blog. I can certainly understand how you feel. I have a 13 year old son, who is an extremely picky eater. When he was younger his doctor told me not to force him to eat things, as when I would try him with things he would get sick if he didn't like it or didn't want to try it and I was making him do so. He has started to try things but it is very hard getting him to eat healthy. If he don't like it he won't eat it no matter what, I can get him to try something but if he don't like it after the first bite or two forget it. It is kinda funny cause at times when we are having something he will make sure I have the smaller portion cause he knows I want to loose weight, and he will announce it to me that is what he is doing.

He likes gym in school and he likes to do games on the Wii especially the ones were he gets to do alot of moving around. He loves to take walks up and down the street either with myself or my mom or even with both of us with him. He at times will try to be a big strong man by trying to help out around the yard with yardwork.

I just try to do my best with him, that is really only what any parent can do is their best. And I think you are doing the best you can for yourself and your kids.

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KBRADFORD88 9/20/2012 6:30PM

    My girls have so picked up bad habits . It feels like taking care of my own eating is so much work. When I add in my kids it feels so hard. I know most of my girls trouble is linked to inactivity and puberty and too big portions. But, we have started moving more. It stinks though that my girls have to think about their weight and what they look like. It's so frustrating to have to think about all this for myself and them. It also is crazy that my boys have zero weight issues. They just know how to quit eating when they are full. Go figure?

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COLETTEISGREAT 9/20/2012 5:59PM

    Excellent blog!

By far, the best thing you can do for your children is exactly what you are doing for yourself: be a healthy, active person.

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DATMAMA4 9/20/2012 5:21PM

    It's very difficult to constantly monitor our kids' food intake. I buy healthy food, for the most part, and the occasional ice cream (or we make cookies). Portion control is more the issue in our house. But our boys are out & about with their friends, going out to eat with them after an event, and I'm sure they eat a lot more junk food (certainly more fast food!) than my hubby and I do. The good thing is that we try to eat our main meal of the day at home, so I know there's some good homemade stuff going in. I consider any visits to grandparents as a total loss as far as nutrition, between the cooking methods (lots of fat) and abundance of junk food, as well as the constant encouragement to "have more!".

As far as the physical activity goes, I try to lead by example -- they're not tremendously active as far as sports go, and I'm still learning how to be active myself -- and I invite them to join me on walks or bike rides.

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JOYCECAIN 9/20/2012 3:36PM

    I loved the blog. You can only do so much for the kids. Quit beating yourself up. Things will be fine.

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JMARIES51 9/20/2012 3:04PM

    Great blog and I think you are doing your best by keeping the kids interested in being active. It is a fine line about nutrition for kids, and they always will have their likes and dislikes. Hopefully they just make it to adulthood without too many traumas and bullying and you have won! emoticon

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ROSES4ME1 9/20/2012 2:49PM

    Kudos for being so honest about how hard it is! I raised 2 kids as a single working Mom so just being able to afford food was a priority over making sure it was healthy. And I wasn't home much to supervise what they ate or when. But they are adults now and neither is overweight although one eats healthy and exercises consistently and the other has a diet of mostly fast food and coffee with very little exercise. They are both parents now and struggling to make sure there kids eat healthy and get plenty of exercise - so the circle continues. We do the best we can with what we know at the time .I think kids learn much more by example than by nagging and you are an amazing role model so I'm sure your kids will be super.! emoticon

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GOSPARK45 9/20/2012 2:07PM

    You sound like you're trying as best a you can. I know my kids never ate the best. But we also didn't have a battle like some people had. Yes there really is a bitter gene that 80% of kids have and that's why so many hate vegetables, including me. As we get older our taste buds change, so the more they see you eat, the more likely they will get there as they grow up. Keep up the good work!
I know about in-laws, even not in the house. My mother-in-law gave them tons of candy and ice cream when they were little. I didn't even have any of those things in my house. She also came up with a ketchup sandwich for my son. A what?? Anyway, once I peeled them off the wall the next day from all the sugar, we'd get back on schedule. Good luck!

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CLUTTRELL8 9/20/2012 2:05PM

    Our 10 year old just commented this past weekend how they 'eat healthy' all week at home and get to go to grandma's on Fridays for 'treats and junk food'. lol Now, I know they get to indulge more at their grandmother's but it's not all 'junk food' either. They think they're getting to eat free that day and so be it. The kids are eating healthy at home and we try to concentrate on teaching them what the healthy foods do for their bodies... what's good for skin and eyes and bones, etc. They have more interest in it that way, for us, it seems. But they are not completely banned from other foods that are higher in calories or fat sometimes. We don't want them growing up thinking they have to pig out on what they never got to have at home. They get these things sometimes, on occasion, and know there are just some foods you do not eat every day and some foods you NEED to eat everyday, like fruits and veggies. It is all about balance, so I don't see you being a hypocrite either. Just keep going with it, one thing at a time, and being the good example is the strongest thing you will ever do for them. They will remember more what they saw you do growing up than they will remember what you said. It'll stick with them when it's most important. Great blog! This is something I read on a lot. It's gotta be balanced... I want them to think 'eat healthy' and 'be strong' not 'lose weight' or 'be skinny'. I don't want them to have to deal with obesity OR eating disorders when they're older. It can be a tricky tight rope to walk.

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FITFOODIE806 9/20/2012 1:32PM

    I think you are working your butt off and doing an amazing job. You can just tell that you are such a loving mom. Your kids are bound to be well rounded individuals.
I do not use the word "diet" in our house and I don't want my daughter see me step on the scale. I emphasis exercise for feeling good and having fun. Eating healthy foods to be strong and healthy. My kids are young so it's easier not to buy crap. They haven't had as much social pressure. I think the media is a HUGE factor in childhood obesity. Look at the awful commercials that run during a kid's show. There is candy at the checkout of every store. Fastfood places give away toys. This issue is much more complex than just parents. But you are on the right track: let's all start with our own kids!

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IRONBLOSSOM 9/20/2012 1:32PM

    This is a topic I'm pretty conflicted about. For one thing, I don't have kids, and in dealing with one 8 year old that I see approximately once per week I'm very very glad I don't have kids.

ON the other hand, I was a kid once and my family was super duper incredibly healthy eaters. All organic, all natural, vegan, etc etc etc....BUT, my mom was not a very good cook in those days (to be fair, I am 100% aware that it is not easy to cook well in the massive quantities 6 people, 5 of whom are active athletes, 4 of whom do sports approximately 6 hours per day). So we always always always longed for "better" (really worse) food and would grab it whenever we could. Oooh, I saved up 50 cents! I can sneak a candy bar out of the vending machine at the tennis club and hide it in my bag for later!

My brother would go to the kitchen after dinner and have 4-6 pbjs (he really did need more protein than our vegan lifestyle was giving him, and as he got older my mom started cooking meat for him because he was just too skinny).

SO, bottom line, as soon as I turned 16 and got my driver's license? I hit McDonalds for french fries. Nothing else, just fries. I'd never had McDonalds, but I'd smelled it, I'd seen others eating it, I KNEW those french fries would be wonderful. And they were. They SO were. And that was the beginning of the end, really, because I had learned to hate healthy food and idolize junk food. Now I do find myself going back to those early lessons and cooking vegetables like my mom used to, only with spices and sometimes even healthy sauces. But it's taken 14 years for me to reset my mind from "garbage food GOOD, healthy food BAD."

I think my message to you is, showing your kids that a balance of food is healthy is good. Showing that it's okay to eat some "bad" food as long as they're also getting their veggies and other healthy stuff is good. Showing that there are ways to enjoy vegetables that don't consist of wilted broccoli in large quantities on a plate, VERY VERY GOOD.

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/20/2012 12:57PM

    I am also passionate about this issue. I want my daughter to have a healthy self image and not just eat healthy and be active for weight reasons. She has noticed that when she eats ice cream it gives her a headache or when she eats too many sweets it gives her a stomach ache. I'm hoping that this is teaching her to pay attention to how the food makes her body feel. I think that is more effective than telling her she can't have something. Everything in moderation, right? I get upset sometimes at my in-laws because they buy her cookies and juice and if she eats that she won't be hungry.

I want to instill in my daughter a love of sports. She does swimming and ballet and has done gymnastics in the past and I want to sign her up for a soccer team (she just loves playing with Mommy and Daddy). She has done one kids race and is doing another in November. She learned how to ride a two-wheeler in the summer. Who knows? Maybe a Kid's Tri is in her future. She knows Mommy exercises and sometimes joins me. I think being a good role model and showing her a healthy lifestyle is more effective than me telling her she should be active.

I think buying healthy foods and eating it and making tasty healthy foods and showing our children that healthy food is enjoyable and activity is fun is a powerful message and combats obesity. I also talk to my students at school about nutrition, drinking water, and signed up to be a Network for a Healthy California representative at my school and educate students about fruits, vegetables and nutrition.

I think being proactive and having a balanced attitude is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our children emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 9/20/2012 12:07PM

    IMHO I don't think you're a hypocrite and teaching kids is not a black-or-white issue. As you know, life is about balance and there are no clear lines. It's just about teaching the best you can. emoticon

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ERICADAWN1986 9/20/2012 11:48AM

    I LOVE your blog. I'm a nutritionist at a WIC agency (for low income pregnant women, infants, and children) and I spend a lot of my day trying to encourage parents to feel more like you feel. Heck, nobody is perfect but I think noticing and trying to make small changes is the best thing you can do for your family and a HUGE step. Congrats to you!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 9/20/2012 11:47AM

    At my house the key is definitely healthy food being offered consistently because you never know what they are going to like. We do really good for dinners here at home with extremely healthy meals and they like fruit and whole wheat bread (toast or a sandwich) or oatmeal for breakfast, but I let the kids eat junk for lunch like mac 'n cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. I am trying to clean up their lunches, but admit to being overwhelmed most days. We do really good on the exercise front as well and that makes everyone happier. I am trying to help them learn the difference in how they feel when they eat junk as opposed to healthy foods, especially before exercising. It seems to be helping, but we are definitely a work in progress.

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OPTIMIST1948 9/20/2012 11:43AM

    Thank God for someone finally writing a balanced article about the need to feeed good foods and exercise as well as the difficulty in doing so. Child is testing our resolve rignt now. on this issue. Its so hard sometimes.

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MEH50BEWELL 9/20/2012 11:31AM

    Amen! And it's not just kids -- I have had to take the same baby steps to push my DH to eat outside the norm. He has finally moved to my side - LOL. My in-laws live next door - have several health problems but I still try to get them to put down the bologna sandwich and cheetos and go for a walk with me. 1 "person" at a time!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/20/2012 11:14AM

    It is a balancing act at times, isn't it? If we haven't been setting a good example from the start, expecting our kids to jump in wholeheartedly to eating healthy is not realistic. When our daughter came to live with us just before she turned 12 (she is adopted, obviously), she had a lot of set ways and ideas already about food; we had to pick our battles carefully and wondered if she would EVER let something green pass her lips. She is now 30, a mom, and eats salads and greens regularly. Starting with our own habits and setting the example is the best way to help our kids start eating better and becoming more active.

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