First, let me say I’m not looking for a debate on this subject or for parenting advice. I’m simply sharing what’s working in our home and how thus far I’ve raised veggie loving kids that have an interest in health & fitness.
Oh where to start with this one. What happens when someone tells us we can’t have something? We want it EVEN more, we crave it and often we’ll find a way to get “it” and make sure no one knows. I’ve come to believe the same goes for kids and food. The more I say “no” to a food the more it becomes forbidden and the more they want it – it’s science or something I’m sure.
That photo above is of a donut Sawyer asked for at the grocery store the other day. I took that photo right before I threw it in the trash. That’s right – not even a full bite was taken. At just 3 years old she’s learning how to make good choices – because I let HER make the choice. I have no idea how this is working but it is so I’m going with it. She also bought a donut for her brother and Kevin….those didn’t even make it out of the bag – I threw them in the trash this morning.
Last week she asked for ice cream for breakfast….again, I let her. She got her bowl and teaspoon and scooped 3 teaspoon sized dollops of ice cream into her bowl. A few minutes later she was finished….I washed about 2 teaspoons of it down the drain. Then she proceeded to “go to the gym” and do her “exercise” while I babysat her Bunny. Her gym routine is pretty wicked and often includes running laps around the living room, jumping on her bed or a dance party. Then she moves on to her yoga portion which is just as entertaining!
I’ve taken away the “off limits” stigma from food and they seem to be figuring it out on their own that there is no fun in pushing for something if I’m just going to say “yes”. Make any sense? I hope I’m writing this effectively.
Sawyer will ask for treats at the store on occasion at the checkout and I usually reply with “we don’t eat the stuff – it’s not healthy” and she then proceeds to drop it (most of the time). This also comes from the same child who asked for peppers in every color in the produce aisle!
Sullivan has also been known to say “mom, I’ve had healthy snacks all day, can I have a Popsicle?”, and then I let him. He’s 4 and is learning how to balance treats and healthy choices – I’ve done something right I guess! He also HATES chocolate – I know right – who doesn’t like chocolate! His friends mom brought over treats for them the other day (KitKat’s) and Sawyer devoured hers, he said “no thanks – I don’t like chocolate”, crazy right!
So basically what I’m trying to ramble about here is how I’m teaching my kids at a young age to have an interest in what’s in their food, how to make healthy choices, and I’m trying to remove the stigma of “forbidden” food from their minds in hopes that it won’t create kids who only want junk because they can’t have it. Make sense? I try and lead by example – like how Sawyer helps me make apple juice and will help with any baking we do. They are both interested in the process, which makes me happy! Do you kids like exercise and/or healthy eating?