Thursday, February 5, 2009

Working Healthy Eating into the Conversation

Time for a healthy eating tip! (**Reminder... I sort of have this business, that sort of deals with this kind of thing, I tend to digress a lot, and my kids distract me, so I'll try harder to consider those of you who visit my blog to learn about something other than Red's potty triumphs, Blondie's pink eye, or Biscuit's Halloween costume drama.) So, let's get to it.

Ever hear the rumor that kids who sit down to dinner with the family, versus with the T.V., are more likely to develop healthy eating habits? Look here and here to see this is no rumor, but true as can be. I'm a big believer in this I also believe there is even more you can do as a parent to help your kids eat healthy, which brings me to my big point...

A great way to help your kids eat healthy is to talk about healthy eating away from the dinner table.

Here's a true story.

Little Red crawled into bed with us one morning, and in the midst of kisses and snuggles, we examined our hands.

Red: Your hands are big, Mommy. My hands are little.

Mommy: You're right. And one day your hands will be big like mine. Probably even bigger.

Red: **giggle**

Mommy: That's because you're growing up fast.

Red: Like Biscuit?

Mommy: Just like Biscuit. Do you know why you're getting so big?

Red: (look of interest)

Mommy: Because you eat things like broccoli and noodles and drink lots of milk.

Red: And suckers don't make me big?

Mommy: Not big and strong.

Red: Bananas make me strong.

Mommy: Bananas, peppers, rice, oatmeal...

And this continued. Until he got tired of naming off all the foods he could think of.

Now, to me, this conversation came very natural. Because I eat, sleep and breathe the subject every day. For you other hard-working parents, who might have other things on their mind besides SuperNoots, it's a conscious effort to have conversations like this, but imagine the benefits.

When kids are little, the last thing they need are parents lecturing them on why Cheerios will reduce their cholesterol, or why there are starving children in Ethiopia who would give anything for a bite of broccoli. However, working in relevant, encouraging conversations like these into your child's life make a tremendous impact on their eating habits.

Okay, now I have to throw this in, especially for my California friend, Francesca, who is constantly amused by my East Tennessee antics...

Once upon a time, one of our children touched an outlet. No harm done, but an adult, who shall remain nameless, said, "Don't mess with plugs." I realize this statement would only be made south of the Mason-Dixon line, so to clarify its meaning, these four words mean touching an outlet is dangerous so don't do it. That being said, after Red and I rattled off healthy foods in the aforementioned conversation, he said,

Red: And when I get big I can mess with plugs?

Mommy: **laughing** Yes, when you get big you can mess with plugs.

Red: **pause** And blinds?

Mommy: **more laughing**

Red: And lamps?

And so it went, until he named off all the no-no's in his little life. My favorite?

Red: And EggNog's tail?

Monday, February 2, 2009

When it Snows in Tennessee...

I believe in global warming.

I can't give you hard statistics, nor can I recall the theoretic details of melting ice caps and unusual weather phenomena, but I can tell you what I think is proof of global warming...

When I was a kid, East Tennessee saw lots of snow, and as of the last five years, nothin' but empty promises from the weather man and a little white dust.

Until today.

Here's my little Red enjoying his first snow.

Now, I have to stop here for a second and give you a little insight into how much it snowed when I was a kid, and how little it snows now. This is important, because it will explain a very confusing picture at the end of this post of a child careening down a hill in a cardboard box.

Back then:

1. Snow days were factored into the school calendar for a reason, and we used every one of them.
2. Everyone owned gear. Water-proof gloves. Hat with a chin strap. Snow boots. And most importantly, a sled (or an inverted garbage can lid with the handle broken off, God bless the innovative Southerner)
3. Speaking of sleds, we all have at least three scars from crashing those things into curbs or a parked car at the bottom of a hill.
4. Every family had a snow routine. Play outside until you couldn't feel your fingers and toes. Sit by the fireplace while Mom rubbed feeling back into your limbs and gave you hot chocolate with marshmallows. Listen to Mom try to convince you to stay inside. Go back outside.


1. No.
2. No. Gloves, maybe.
3. Nope.
4. Afraid not.

That's right. Sad, sad, sad. The snow boots section at Target is like half a shelf. I'm guessing there are probably a few sleds for sale in Knoxville somewhere, but I've never seen them.

So today when the snow hit, we improvised. Try to follow me here, I'll start from top to bottom.

Hats, check. No longjohns, so each child was layered with two pajama tops. Red has a big head, so he needed a scarf since the neck holes of his pajama tops are stretched out. To keep legs warm, we pulled Biscuit's soccer socks all the way up to Red and Blondie's thighs. Then pajama bottoms. Then the ever-so-classy plastic shopping bags for the feet, then warm-up pants over that to hide the embarrassing plastic bags. A pair of socks over the bags, then insufficient shoes, but that's what the bags are for... water-proofing (we already know we're genius, you don't have to say it). Coats, check. Mittens, check. Except for Biscuit, who had to wear his mother's gloves, which explains why he looked like Edward Scissorhands.

And now for the pictures. As you will see, we do not own a sled, but our children will not be denied.

TDH caught this picture of me on our snow day. Joy.