It’s been almost five years since we’ve transformed our lifestyle following our daughter’s health issues. This journey has been bumpy, challenging and exciting at the same time.
It is one thing to do something you believe in for yourself, but it is a completely other thing to inspire your family members to follow your lead and join you in that transformation.
I am very lucky that my husband supports my food and lifestyle choices, but when it comes to the kids, sometimes I feel as though I am doing more harm than good.
For example, talking obsessively about food, especially about what they are not allowed to eat (e.g. colourful candy, store bough pastry, white sugar) can create a situation where they want precisely that food, because it has become the “forbidden fruit“. Another example is hating vegetables because we talk about their benefit so much.
I have been thinking about it lately, and had a major epiphany.
Kids don’t care about anything other than FUN.
All they want to do, play, talk, wear, or eat has to be fun. So I think the challenge for us, moms, is not to shove that broccoli down their throats just to ensure they got the nutrients from it, but to think creatively how we can present that broccoli to them in a fun way so that they themselves choose to try it.
The Goal of Educating our Children About Healthy Eating
We all want our children to make good choices in their lives, and we know that it all starts with good and positive habits, and whether we like it or not most habits are picked up at home. So, in my opinion, teaching them about healthy eating when they are young is crucial for their choices later in life. Up to teenage-hood kids usually follow their parent’s lead, but after that there is not too much that you can do other than setting a good example. Therefore, our goal should be positively “programming” (influencing) them to choose better not when we are around, but when we are not around. Here’s an example of how this positive “programming” works:
A Five Year Old Said ‘NO’ to Junk Food
This week my oldest daughter made me very happy! She came home after March break camp and over dinner told us that the teachers offered hot dogs for snack (and she loves hot dogs!), but to my surprise she declined them claiming that she did not want to have “hard poop”. I was totally blown away! A five year old child understands that what goes in must come out.
My husband and I were shocked to hear her saying it so naturally and felt enormously proud. One thing that is pretty weird in our household is that we talk openly about poop and pee. We literally share each others “experiences and outcomes” in the toilet. Hubby and I actually greed and congratulate each other after coming out of the washroom.
I know totally weird!
Of course we laugh about it, but the point of it is to learn that poop and pee are important because they are our only way to see what is going on inside our bodies, how well the food was absorbed, are we hydrated enough, does protein digest well in the body? Does our liver secrete enough bile to digest fats? Our kids are used to that and they know that if their pee is too yellow they need to go drink water, or if their poop is too hard they need to go eat a cucumber (or anything raw). I guess we’ve done a good job so far since our kid actually refused a junk food because of that! That is exactly what I want! I want my children to make healthy choices because they choose so, not because I said so. I am sure that you want that too!
How Well Do You Know Your Poop?
I know this topic is stinky (literally) so I decided to make it both fun and educative for you. Here’s a cool infographic to help you understand your poop:
I’d Love To Hear From You!
Do you have success stories to share with other moms? Do you have weird family rituals? Share them with our community of moms in the comments below.