I’m a bachelor. I have one kid. Eating healthy isn’t always the easiest thing. First off, it’s hard to cook any sort of real meal because there is always so much left over. Second, as bachelors, sometimes it really is so much easier to just grab things on the run. And as much as I want to believe that I will get healthy stuff when I’m out and about, it doesn’t always happen because you just get tired of the same old grilled chicken on lettuce.
That doesn’t change the fact that I constantly am aware that I need to help get my son excited about eating healthy. After all, what he learns now is probably going to be a driving motivator to the way he takes care of his body when he’s older. And weighing 300 lbs when he’s 25 isn’t something I want to be responsible for.
So we’ve done a few things together to start this process.
First, we sat down and had a talk about our bodies. I showed him some pictures of the skeleton and the muscles and the organs. We talked about some of the most important ones, and then we talked about which ones he wanted to take care of most so that he could be big and strong like Daddy.
Then we talked about how daddy eats too much crap and even though he’s big and strong, he won’t stay big and strong if he doesn’t start eating better.
From there, the entire conversation somehow turned from me wanting him to eat healthy to him wanting me to eat healthy. The thought of his dad not being big and strong and tough didn’t sit right with him.
His questions turned from questions about being big and strong and tough to questions like, “What happens if you don’t take care of your heart?” and “What happens if you eat too much pizza?”
The timing was perfect because Wendy’s is sponsoring a few of my blog posts here on Babble Voices, so I told Noah we should head over there and look at the menu and really look at what’s healthy and what makes it healthy. I told him he could order whatever he wanted when we got there.
I, of course, got one of their new berry salads. I mean, talk about yum. And I’m not just saying that because they’re sponsoring me. I have loved Wendy’s salads for a long time now, and their new ones are fantastic. Noah sat looking at the menu for some time and started asking about each individual food that he usually loves. Hamburgers. Cheeseburgers. Chicken nuggets. We talked about each one and in the end, and with no help from me, he chose to share a salad with me. Suddenly, the unhealthy stuff just didn’t seem so great anymore.
That was three days ago. Ever since then, healthy food has dominated the conversation. And then, last night the ultimate moment came when Noah said, “Dad, I think we both need to always eat healthy, K? If you will then I will.”
We pinky promised (it’s our new thing) and baked up some fresh tilapia.
The truth is, I may not always be able to cook fresh meals. But I can always get fresh meals, and those meals can be healthy. I just have to be willing to go where the healthy options are.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What are you doing with your child to enjoy eating healthier?
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