I came across this video in my newsfeed today, and of course, as always, it sparked a blog post. So here we are. Check this out…
To say I felt convicted is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Any parent would. But convicted doesn’t get us very far without some encouragement, so I hope you be able to bring you some encouragement AND practical tips to help set our kiddos on the right path to a healthier upbringing. And believe me, I’m right there with you in this, so let’s make a change together.
The part that really got to me was the “it’s the only thing that will make him stop”. I know we all do it as parents. We give in because we’re tired. So tired. Sometimes exhaustingly tired. We just want to have a few minutes where no one needs something or breaks something or is fussing about something. I get it…boy do I get it.
We adore and love our kids so very much…SO much. But some days are just so not easy. And on a rough day, where kid 1 and kid 2 are pushing our buttons faster and harder than we think we can handle, it’s just easier to give in to what they want. And let’s face it, they usually want candy or toys LOL.
Toys are one thing, and a whole different topic when it comes to raising children…but food. Food is what I came here to blog about.
When you think of your own kid on an operating table….missing out on life when he’s only 30, that’s tough. Hard to think of. Hard to swallow. But the worst part (at least for me), is seeing dad ordering the pizza, mom driving through to grab the fries, candy from the teacher at school.
I’m a firm believer in never depriving yourself if something sounds good, everything in moderation. So I don’t usually allow total binging or out-to-eat-ing, but even just every so often can really set the tone for what a kid wants, craves, and ends up throwing a tantrum just to get b/c he knows we’ll give in.
I know in my case, it comes down to discipline. Both for me and the kiddos.
I have to discipline myself to meal plan and prep. Always have the healthy snacks in the cabinets and fridge and just not even buying the junk food.
I also have to learn to discipline the kids. NOT just give in to make them stop. That teaches them nothing. And while it may require even MORE patience and a little more of my time, I know it’s best for their bodies and their future.
SO, some tips to help us ALL be more disciplined, and to help those little kiddos learn to make healthy choices!
Meal plan. I know everyone says it. And it doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t even have to be THAT healthy (at first 😉 ). Grab a calendar and jot down 7 of your favorite meals to make. Then buy the supplies you need to make them, and actually prep and make them on the day you wrote them. This will force you to remember that you do have what you need to cook dinner, and will help you see how much better it could taste and be for you than grabbing quick fast food on the way home.
Meal prep. This one is a little more time consuming that planning, but gives you more time when you’re in the crunch time between end of school day and dinner time. When you’ve prepped your meals ahead of time, it’s that much simpler and faster to put a homemade meal on the table. Trust me, you’ll feel better about yourself.
Snack time. Toss the crap. If it’s been pre-packaged and processed, just chuck it. The kids may whine, but when you offer them the option of a READY TO EAT healthy snack, they’ll take it if they’re actually hungry 😉
- Carrots and Hummus
- Crackers and Hummus
- Baked Oatmeal
- Boiled Egg (easily prepped by the dozen to be kept in the fridge)
- Avocado on whole wheat toast
- Almond butter on while wheat toast
And those are just a few quick snacks 🙂 And presenting their snacks or food to them in a fun way can help get them over their fear of trying new things! Sneaky, eh?
Time out chair. When the kid freaks—put em in the chair. Every time. I think the biggest setback we parents have is when we stop being consistent with discipline. Kids are persistent little things, and they’ll push our buttons as many times as possible if they think they might wear us down to get their way. So don’t give in…ESPECIALLY if you know that what they’re demanding isn’t in their best interest. I’m all for choosing your battles, and sometimes fruit salad for dinner wins. But most of the time it comes down to consistency. EVentually, kids will stop poor behavior, temper tantrums, and the like when they realize that you’re not swaying. It requires
deep-breathing patience on our part, but it develops healthier kids 🙂
Let them help! Kiddos can be amazing helpers. They just want to feel included too sometimes. Allowing them to help prep the meals gives them first hand kitchen experience, which allows them to get excited about the meal. Tricky, eh? 😉
Give them choices. When kids are given 2 or 3 healthy options, they don’t feel limited or forced. THEY get to feel like they’re making the choice, and as long as you know it’s good for them…it’s a win-win.
Keep a car bag. Sometimes you’re running errands and the desire to drive-thru is overwhelming…especially after you’ve wrangled kids through the grocery, the DMV line, and Target. But if you have a bag with easy, on-the-go snacks, you’ll avoid the drive-thru and keep everyone’s levels balanced until you can get home, get situated, and cook real food.
Keep a Pinterest board of quick meals. We all struggle with wanting some variety. I know in my house growing up, we ate the same dinners pretty much every week. If you keep a Pinterest board with recipe ideas (only pin ones you know you’ll ACTUALLY make), you can easily login, check your board, and whip something up.
Phase into healthier choices. That menu plan I talked about earlier? The 1st step was to just start planning and making meals at home. The initial focus wasn’t overly healthy meals, just home-cooked meals. But as you get better at that, start adding in new dishes OR substituting healthier ingredients into your tried-and-true meals. Here are some of my favorite substitutes in some popular meals:
- Almond milk for regular cow’s milk
- Honey for sugar
- Egg whites for whole eggs
- Avocado for butter
- Coconut oil for ANY oils
- Dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
I think when we apply these tips, we’ll do so much better for ourselves and our families. We won’t always stay on track and be perfect, sometimes, as moms…pizza night is just the best it’s gonna be. I get it…HEAVENS, do I get it! But when we’ve done a good job every other day, we can pat ourselves on the back knowing we’re helping our kids to have a healthy start and grow up to make good choices. <3 Now, let’s do this!
Tags: eating healthy, health, healthy aging, healthy eating tips, healthy families, healthy snacks for kids, kid advice, kids, meal planning, motherhood, motherhood advice, parenting, parenting advice, parenting tips