Confession: I am a junk food junkie. I live for my fix of candy, french fries, potato chips and soda. In a judgement free world, I even consider these perfectly delicious and acceptable breakfast options. As an active teenager, I ate all of them in mass quantities and never paid the price. Then came college, and though my activity level changed, my diet did not. The first time I tried to pull on a pair of last year’s Summer shorts, I had a very rude awakening. The freshman 15 is a misnomer, much like morning sickness, in that it is not limited to the measurement given in it’s name.
I needed to learn how to eat properly, and fast. The longing for instant results led me down a many years path of unsuccessful fad dieting and it was only after the birth of my first child that I got a grasp on what eating healthy really meant. I was not going to be one of those parents who let their children drink soda, eat high sugar foods and frequently opted for fast food dinners, hotdogs, and microwaved chicken nuggets in place of a well-balanced, home-cooked meal.
Fast forward almost five years and I can honestly say the only resolution I’ve managed to uphold is my ban on soda. Both of my kids regularly eat all of the above listed and though I try and dilute this by offering them more healthy snacks like yogurt, low fat string cheese, and fruit, putting a vegetable on their plate evokes the same response I imagine I’d get if I offered them a turd sandwich. Yes, that’s right, a turd sandwich. That is how repulsed they are when I suggest they try a green bean.
Our family diet is a work in progress. I try not to beat myself up on the nights when I arrive home after six and opt for a pizza delivery in place of preparing dinner. After all, that new mother to one just beginning her career making bold statements about what she would never do from five years ago is very changed from the mother of two working two jobs that I am now.
That’s not to say that I’ve given myself a pass on fostering a healthy lifestyle in my children. It’s just that I’m still learning how to balance motherhood, my career, being a wife, and our diets. While I may not get them to down steamed veggies anytime soon, it’s following tips like the ones in this article that have made me feel like I am making some progress.
I love tip number seven best. Whether we’re having our supper from a sack or dining on a casserole I’ve slaved over for hours (and secretly snuck vegetables into), we do so as a family. We talk about our day. We take our time and enjoy each others company. You know, unless I make the mistake of serving Anders on the green plate instead of the blue or one of his foods touches another food. In that case, World War III is waged, but that is a topic for another blog entirely.
What are your tips for getting your kids to make healthy food choices?