22 February 2010

Monday Musings....

I have a question for you. Would you offer your child a cigarette knowing that it’s an unhealthy habit? A habit that, knowing the health risks you chose not to partake in?
I mentioned in my last musings post that I am working on healing my relationship with food and switching my focus from weight loss to healthy eating. Often times our society uses those two ideas interchangeably. However, they have come to mean two very different things to me. My children do not need to lose weight, but they do need to develop healthy habits.
I was reading some weightloss blogs over the weekend and I noticed one recurring theme that really struck me. So many of these peole that were trying to lose weight were slaving over meale for their families, that they weren't willing to eat themselves because of their "diet". They were buying granola bars and other snacks for their children that they “couldn’t eat because of the diet.” I wonder, if these “diets” are supposed to lead us to optimal health and a fit and fun lifestyle why there are so many foods that these people are willing to feed their children that they aren't "allowed" to eat? After all, if the ultimate goal of these "diets" is ultimate health and not just a means to lose weight, shouldn’t the whole family be following them, not just one member?
In my quest for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy family, I can’t think of a single item that I feed my children that I wouldn’t personally eat because “its not healthy enough”. Yes, I feed my kids treats. They get plenty of them. More than I’d like to admit. But I’m not trying to teach them “if you want to be healthy certain foods are off limits, but if you aren’t on a diet, all foods are ok.” That doesn’t make sense to me. There are only a few things that I completely, and absolutely restrict from our diets. Well, one item actually that I can think of. Aspartame. I’ll muse about that another day, but, like the cigarettes above, if I’m not willing to eat it because of health risks, I’m certainly not going to offer it to my children! I’m trying to teach my children balance and moderation. Yes we eat chips, yes we eat boxed sugar cereals, yes we eat candy. But we also drink green smoothies (almost) everyday, we eat fresh fruit, and we drink raw, organic whole milk. We are all learning to listen to our bodies. Since starting this journey, my older child’s snacking has significantly reduced and I now hear him say, “hhmm, I’d love another cookie, but I don’t want a tummy ache so I’ll wait until later.” He’s learning these lessons on his own, by watching my example. So when I see blogs that say “I bought cereal, and pop tarts and granola bars and chips and, and, and,…for the kids, but I can’t eat them because of my diet” I want to scream and say “WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN????” Are we showing them that we value our own health more than theirs? After all, if we can’t eat it because some diet says it’s not “healthy enough” but we’re willing to let our children have it, what does that say? Are we simply setting them up to go through what we’re going through right now? Why can’t we, as a society, break this cycle? Why not focus on healthy eating for our WHOLE family rather than weight loss for one member?


  1. Makes perfect sense to me. Besides, sometimes one just needs a freaking poptart...it's unhealthy to fret over a poptart. Would I make a steady diet out of them? No. It's all about moderation over here.

  2. BTW, go on over to my blog to see my smoothie mayhem from the other day. www.dailydoseofu.blogspot.com. Great, GREEN fun.

  3. oh I am right there with ya sister :) Iam creating helathy habits, I am not on a diet. We all eat the same around here. Now, I will let my growing 12 year old eat a lot more servings, where as I try really hard to keep my portions down because I do want to lose weight, while he is becoming a bottomless pit...but it is expected at his age and we do talk about listening to our bodies (his just happens to always say feed me hehe)

    Thanks for the book btw. I got it today and have already started reading it (and I have linked to several of your recipes on my blog) because I am loving the green smoothies!! I am so thankful I found you last month! You are an inspiration :)

  4. Hey Jess - I'm a little behind but finally saw this and completely agree! We 'shop the perimeter' of the store and try not to even go in most of the middle aisles. I also feel that another thing parents do that puts their kids at a disadvantage foodwise is feeding formula and jar foods - if we start our infants on corn syrup and oil what else can we expect from them than bad food cravings? I nursed my kids for 2+ years each and introduced them to the food pyramid at an early age - it actually is almost a game for them to see if they can pick all of the foods for the day from the pyramid!! I also let them plan a meal a week (as long as it has foods from the right groups) - the combinations are often bizarre but it really gets them excited about eating healthy foods. We definitely have our nights we order pizza but I've learned that if I offer them fruit, veggies or cheese for snacks they will often choose that over processed snacks. The whole notion of buying foods for your kids that you wouldn't eat because they aren't healthy or have too many fat/calories is a perfect example of why kids grow up making bad food decisions. Sorry for my ramblings. . . and keep up the good work!!

  5. You are absolutely right! The only excuse for what you describe (yes excuse) is food religion. Food choice can be like religion. How do you raise kids when one spouse is devout Catholic and one is a devout Mormon? There is no perfect answer. Well at my house the religions are fast food, caffeine, chips and candy vs. whole foods and green smoothies. All the meals I cook are walking a fine line. I go as middle of the road as I can--zig zagging between my fervant beliefs and my husbands and that means sometimes I make meals I won't eat (all white flour, big slab of meat, pork). If I go a few days in a row without any truly unhealthy offering in a meal, my husband goes bonkers and orders pizza several days in a row and comes home with 10 pounds of candy and 3 boxes of ice cream (which he shares with the kids and they start standing on their heads and bouncing off walls, truly...). Not all of my kids are developing the healthy eating habits I'm teaching, but I think they'll come back to it eventually. Its all part of the joys of parenting.