Susan cooks multiple meals for three children at dinner time. One child doesn’t like fish, another doesn’t like rice and the third doesn’t like chicken. Unsurprisingly, none will eat vegetables.
Stacey fills her cabinets with processed snacks. The kids eat them liberally. Stacey says she doesn’t like to argue with them so she lets this slide. Like Susan, she wonders why her children do not like to eat vegetables and are overweight.
Carole takes her two girls for pizza, but won’t eat a piece herself because, she tells them, she’s on a “diet.”
These are all true stories, but I’ve changed the names in each. All are loving mothers with good intentions.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a healthy household and have a mother who instilled in my brothers and me a balanced relationship with food. This is what she did:
1. She cooked one dinner and would say, “You get what you get.”
2. She didn’t bring snacks to the playground (although she did bring water). We went to the playground to play – not to eat.
3. She always kept fresh cut carrot and celery sticks in the fridge.
4. Most nights we had a home cooked dinner as a family and she gave us sensible portions.
5. We had our share of pizza, submarine sandwiches and fast food. Once in awhile, we’d go out for ice cream as a treat.
6. She role modeled for us a balanced eater. The question is, are you that role model to your children?
We’d love to hear your suggestions!