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.
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?