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On My Mind | Taking Care of Our Kids...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

This has been rolling around in my head for some time now. So bear with me, please...

We all know that we cannot control the actions of other adults. Not only is it nearly impossible, it's rude and uncalled for. We CAN, however, control the actions of our children (whether biologically ours or those in our care for a time). In fact, it's our responsibility to do so!

Given this, why do I constantly see things like "I won't force my kids to eat healthy. Just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean they have to be"?

Now, I'm not talking a treat. Goodness knows I take great joy in introducing my nephew to the delights of lime slushies (what is an auntie for, after all?), but why would I regularly want to contribute to the unhealthy habits of those I love?

My parents introduced me to great, healthy, whole food from a young age. In fact, I had NO IDEA there were cereals with sugar in them until I went to school. No clue at all. I loved All Bran and Shredded Wheat (which wouldn't fit with my current lifestyle but certainly aren't the poison that Lucky Charms and Corn Pops are!), ate fresh seafood with my dad while watching the 80s Celtics, etc. They taught me a love of food that has made being healthy as an adult SO much easier because I don't have to learn to love all these foreign foods!

Why are our children's "go to" foods chicken nuggets and french fries instead of roast chicken and avocado? Why do they crave M&Ms instead of strawberries? Because we teach that to them!

Don't be afraid to introduce healthy eating from the start. My friend Christy is a great example of this. She runs a web site called Raw Y'all which, as you may guess, discusses her relationship with raw foods. She's completely a raw foodie and is raising her daughter to be the same. And her daughter not only loves it, but helps create new meals with her mom! She's not being deprived, she's being saved from a life of struggles!

I am so proud of my sister for teaching my nephew about real food. The boy simply LOVES fresh fruit. We laugh because my sister was going to offer him a surprise (a chocolate chip cookie) at the holidays and said something to the effect of "nephew, do you want a treat?", to which he replied in that wide-eyed way only a three year old could "A clementine?!?!?!" She's done good. :)

Even if your child has NO issues with weight in their lives, learning to eat real, whole foods will contribute to a healthy life in so many other ways. You wouldn't give them poison in a pill, let's stop doing it in food-form.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Excellent blog - I wholeheartedly agree!
    1783 days ago
    I am not a judge other parents type. I have taught for many years and it is my pet peeve with my colleagues. However, some people have asked me about my weight loss and and have stated that they have to keep snacks in the house for the kids. My reply is always "they don't need it either". More often than not they will laugh at themselves. I don't know if it changed anything for them but at least it planted a seed. I never respond to that comment with an I understand. If you are eating healthy so should your children. When I changed my eating habits and how I prepared my food my son, who was very over weight, loss as well. In fact his metabolism seems to have gone in reverse. He continues to work out and has not put the weight back on in over a year. I changed and he changed. A Healthy lifestyle is and should be a family affair.
    1784 days ago
  • LE7_1234
    BIL was visiting recently, and complained bitterly about the fact that we had no junk food around, and that my teenage daughters open the fridge looking for veggies as a matter of course.

    But it took a while to get to this point. I had to put on my own oxygen mask first--relearning the healthy eating my parents tried to teach me. Then I was able to start re-training my girls.

    The biggest part of that training (of me) and re-training (of them)? Getting rid of that word "diet". As long as the parents see healthy eating as a punishment rather than a reward, it will be really hard for them to pass on good eating habits to their children.
    1785 days ago
    What a great post! It's so true. I think that parents need to work harder than they used to because advertisers and food mongers creep into the minds of children so much more often than in the past.

    I don't have any answers but I often wonder if the introduction of High Fructose Corn Syrup into so much of our food is contributing to child-hood obesity. Do we really know what happens with GMO food? Could the modified carbs be more insulin resistant than old-fashioned table sugar?

    It's always a great day when you post a blog, Sarah!

    1785 days ago
    Wow...I had no idea there were parents who said that! Though along the same lines, the other day I read an article about a 10 year old diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Not Type I, but Type II. Whatever parents feed their kids as they develop is what they will expect as they grow older. Why wouldn't parents feed their children veggies and fruit instead of potato chips and french fries? That's not diet food - that's food!
    1785 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/31/2013 8:19:26 PM
    so true
    1785 days ago
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