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?