Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Apple Never Falls Far... HEALTHY KIDS, PART I

You know that moment when you open your mouth, and your mother's voice comes out?  I had that un-cool experience the other day.  I can remember vowing to become the "cool mom" when I grew up, but clearly, although cool, I'm also my awesome mother's daughter, and a disciplinarian, at that.

It's funny to me, that no matter how hard we fight it, some part of us will take on the traits of our parents- both good and bad.  

Whitney Zaino writes, in her healthy kids book, 
"Parents are a huge influence. As leaders in the home, we must practice what we preach. How could you possibly expect your child to live a healthy lifestyle but they see you eating donuts, cookies and fast food? The same goes for what you complain about. If you turn your nose to anything green and make negative comments about healthy food, you can bet they will play copycat. We can all agree that how you are raised impacts how you will live when you are an adult. Let's give our children a running start with their health and teach them healthy habits so that when they are older they will not depart from it...." 
Whitney makes some great points here. I love how she challenges us as parents to make wise choices and become who we want our children to be.  I've noticed the "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy really doesn't seem to work out all too well in our house... or anywhere, for that matter,  So when we committed to eating healthier, we knew we were responsible for trying new things, and doing it with the same attitude we expected from our children (you'd be surprised how well I've managed to master pushing past my gag reflex with a smile on my face...  just sayin'.).  And my supplier, (my husband) had to stop sneaking junky candy snacks in his car and at night when he thought no one was looking, because we learned that it was really sending the wrong message to the kids, who ALWAYS seem to find out about these things (they're spies, I tell ya).

But there are days when I just don't FEEL like eating clean (and my scale reminds me of this).  On those days, I might cook something really healthy for the kids and pretend to be busy, so as to avoid said nutritious food, or I'll completely have the wrong attitude when I sit down to eat with them.  And apparently monkey see-monkey do in our house, so when the minis see momma with her poor attitude, they quickly adjust their thinking to mirror my poor attitude, and meal time turns in to war time- where nobody wins.

Even still- when I have a wonderful attitude, I come up against opposition at times.  Whitney writes:

"There will be some children that will inevitably rebel against the new changes around the house.  Who buys the food? You do, of course. Only buy the food you want your child to eat. Parents be parents! Give them choices or nothing to eat! I haven't heard of to many cases of starvation from a child refusing to eat food in the house. Don’t be a short ordered cook. Make the family meal and refuse to make something special for one of the kids that is not eating their food. This is sending the wrong message to the family and especially to this child. They will not starve. When they are hungry, they will eat. As long as it is a healthy meal, it should be what everyone else had for dinner. This is another great opportunity for discipline!"

Thanks Whitney.  I so needed that.  Especially on an evening where spinach and kale are a certainty.  As I was preparing our menu for the week, I went through a mental checklist of everything my kids might say and, knowing that I have a lot on my plate this week, I found myself planning a menu that was more conducive to pleasant attitudes.  You know- the easy stuff that you know they will eat quickly and without complaint.  I have been doing better about eating healthy my self (for the most part) but have found myself giving in more and more here and there to simple temptations

This week, I also entered myself in to a new contest.  This is a summer transformation contest, and I couldn't be more excited.  Unfortunately, I cannot eat all of the things my kids want to eat.  I had to think back to last summer when we first started eating healthy and I had to remember how much my persistence with the kids paid off.  I can remember weeks of tears and fighting and eventually my kids were begging for asparagus, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, spinach, etc.  Although my kids still enjoy those foods, I have found myself more willing to make exceptions for the sake of simplicity.  If I'm really honest with myself, I'm making exceptions in the kitchen so that I can afford to be a little more lazy as a mom.  Truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but it's always necessary.  I don't want to raise kids who are spoiled.  I don't want to raise kids who have no respect for the hard work of others, or for their authority.

So what do I do?  I buck up.  Period. I plan the menu that will bring us all success, I prepare ONLY THAT FOOD, and I take a stand.  I refuse to be a short order cook, and I remind them, in the words of my beloved Momma "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

Yeah, this apple didn't fall far from that tree... and I couldn't be more thankful to come from such a wise tree.

Love you Mom,

The Fat Girl,

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