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Help Me Teach My Kids A Better Way!

Friday, February 24, 2012

So, I've been watching (or actually, just listening) to a bunch of TED talks online as I work today and one of them was very powerful. It's a talk by Ann Cooper, the Renegade Lunch Lady, which portrays school lunches and the terrible state that they are in right now as a social justice problem. It's very interesting and if you happen to have an extra 20 minutes or so, you should definitely check it out: www.ted.com/talks/ann_co

It really got me thinking about the foods my kids eat. And it opened my eyes to how little GOOD food my children are ingesting regularly. I am pretty lucky, in that I have kids that like SOME vegetables. But, they have also grown accustomed to eating frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, nachos and a whole lot of junk food. My younger two kids are in good shape, even tiny. My oldest is doing OK but she has a built-in propensity for gaining weight. I would say she is at an average weight right now, but I do need to look into getting her more active because she gains weight quickly.

My husband and I have been a terrible example, activity-wise. Bluntly put, we are fat and lazy. It's just the truth. And it doesn't help that we live in the same house as my in-laws and I would estimate that literally a quarter of the groceries that they buy are cookies, cakes, and horrible junk foods like Pizza Rolls. They are aware that they are feeding the kids too much junk food, but no changes have been made at all. It's frustrating and frightening to know that the four of us (my husband and I and his parents) are literally all working together to kill our children. It sounds dramatic, but that is what it comes down to. I am done with brushing off the matter of health like it's no big deal. It is DEAD SERIOUS.

We have all the tools we need to change our family's eating habits...we have access to a great health food store and I am beginning to shop there regularly for healthy, whole ingredients. I intend to control my own eating and cook more for my family. And we are joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) this Spring/Summer, so there will be fresh vegetables from a local farm coming into our home weekly for 26 weeks. I have a man at our local farmer's market that sells me WONDERFUL, grass-fed, hormone-free meats that are absolutely delicious.

But, even with all these advantaghes, I don't know where to start to get my kids to eat my food. Most nights, I will cook something incredible and my kids won't touch it! They have been brought up with the picky, junk food, processed culture and I don't have any idea how to turn that around.

I need help. Big time, folks. HOW do I change their eating habits????
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Eating more healthy takes time and retraining children to eat healthy is possible. The best way to begin is through small steps. Pizza in itself is not a bad food, but you got to watch the fat content. My doctor told me this truth and my husband always likens pizza to a full meal. You got your bread, tomato sauce and the protein, but eating it every night, not good.
    Introducing fruits is also a wonderful way to lead your children to eat something healthy. Perhaps you could add apples, grapes, bananas and oranges to your children's diet. I remember growing up we had fruit and many times when I would come home I would fetch an apple for a mid afternoon snack.
    Do your kids like salads? This is a good way to introduce veggies. Do they like frozen veggies like carrots, green beans and such?
    Do they like raisins, or nuts? This makes a wonderful trail mix and it taste yummy?
    Have you ever thought of making fruit smoothies? These taste yummy, but above all they are more healthy then the soda pop.
    As for the cookies and cake, portion is important if consummed. It is best not to have in the cubboard, but it is hard not to eat when others bring it into the house.
    I am a big sweet lover myself and so I undertand the lure of this sugary temptation.
    May your search for new ways of eating bring you to new recipes that the whole family will love.
    Blessings to you.
    2279 days ago
    The fact that you blogged this shows that you want to do best for your kids.

    Beating yourself up does you no good and doesn't change the situation. Don't worry, you're not killing your kids! Our son is 45 and he finally figured it out. Honestly, I don't have an answer given your circumstances. However, I saw this woman on TV and I thought she had some good strategies.


    It would help to get your in-laws on board with your efforts to get the kids eating better but there's probably something you can do. Hang in there Mom.

    2279 days ago
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