I get a lot of questions about how in the world that I get my entire family to eat the way that I do. I am always being asked, "Don't your kids refuse to eat?" Yes they do refuse to eat some days but they are fewer and farther between now that we have set the ground rules. When it's dinner time the food that we serve on the table is what you will eat! If you are not willing to eat it then you get no snacks later and no juice or milk, just water! We have also resorted to bribery, don't get me wrong we are not opposed to a little bribe! Right now that the weather is warmer my kids are in love with the riding lawn mower. So right now if my kids eat their dinner then they get to go outside with Daddy for a FRACTOR RIDE aka Tractor Ride! Bryce will gobble down just about anything to have a FRACTOR RIDE!! I can tell you that there have been times where it was not smooth sailing. We would send Landon to his room, he would be starving later at night and we would pull out his dinner and require him to take a certain amount of bites before he got anything else. We have been very consistent with requiring them to try new things! If they truthfully gag and choke then we know that they don't like the food and next time I don't make it for them!
Healthy Kids Snacks
Last night as I sat down to dinner I thought about why on earth we feel guilty for making our kids eat healthy. Why is it that we go to the grocery store and look at those adorable little faces and continue to let them con us into the sugary cereals, pop tarts, and fruit snacks. We feel like we are doing them a disservice if we don't get them what they want! Wait, who is the parent here? Your kids or you?!?
That's what I thought! Its you! What you say as the parent goes, end of discussion. I realized that even I am guilty of this sometimes. I let their beautiful faces sway me into making a bad decision. I made a pact to myself, my husband and my kids that if I am going to eat healthy then they are to! I was making it my mission to find foods that we all like as a family. I was not going to put chemicals into their body then send them to school and expect them to learn! I vow to make healthy choices for my family.
But let me also tell you that YES I will allow them to
eat candy, have cake, ice cream and pizza! I will allow them to have special treats. I won't shield them from everything out there but I am certainly going to control what I can! They will be exposed to unhealthy choices every day, but my hope is that at least when they are at home with me, which is a lot of the time, that I will instill those good habits in them! Yesterday for example we had to drive to pick up a new lampshade for our kitchen and we passed the Butler Farm Market which has a deli and all local and natural produce, fruits and veggies! This was on the right and then on the left was a colorful building with a play set advertising burgers, fries, ice cream and more. Of course my kids wanted to go to the place with the play place right! But I chose not to give in to the temptation and we went to the deli instead! We choose our sandwiches, the kids each got their own bags in which they filled up nectarines and kiwi's with and off we went to have a picnic on the lawn. No complaining and they literally forgot about the place in two seconds that was across the street with the burgers and fries! Honestly it's more ME that feels guilty because they don't care!!
So I encourage you to do the same. I encourage you to give your kids options when you go to the grocery store. Let them see you reading the labels, tell them why they can't have pop tarts. Tell them that it is an unhealthy choice, that it has to much sugar or that it will not allow you to have the energy to go out and play. Teach them which choices are good and why!
I have found a lot of healthier alternatives to juice, fruit snacks, bread, and cereal just by google searching, reading labels and exploring the grocery store.
As a mom it's our job to provide our kids with love, support and guidance. This is just another way that we continue to nurture our kids into responsible young adults. I want my kids to have the brain power when they go to school to learn, play and blossom! Don't you want the best for your kids? Then, feed them the best too!