Friday, April 27, 2012

Fighting the Battle Against Unhealthy Food

As a mother, I am very concerned with what my children eat. I refuse to give my children food that is overly processed, not natural, or high in sugar. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a four letter word in our family, and is not in any of our foods. When I heard that Michelle Obama was trying to wage her own war on childhood obesity, I was excited. True, I'm not a President Obama fan, not at all, but his wife I support in this effort. In this day and age, when PE and recess are being cut out of classrooms, and kids are more likely to sit in front of a TV then play outside, it's nice to know that someone is trying to make people aware that kids need exercise and good, wholesome food to thrive. I was feeling optimistic... until I read this report . It is a sad state of affairs when the government won't properly back the children, but will go with those who have the most money.

Now, to be fair, parents need to step it up. My children see a McDonalds sign, and start begging to go. They never get it, and I always explain that it's because the food isn't good for their growing bodies, and swiftly switch the conversation to asking what healthy foods they want for lunch. I go so far as to not give my baby that nasty, over processed jar food. I make everything that he eats, myself, and use natural ingredients. It's not hard, and to be honest I don't understand why alot of moms don't make their own baby food. I love knowing that my son is getting living food that is good for his body and mind.

As much as I applaud, and support, Michelle Obama and her efforts, it doesn't start and end with her. It is, ultimately, the parent's responsibility to say "No" to their children begging and pleading, and make them do what they should. I've heard EVERY excuse under the sun, from other moms I've talked to, as to why they don't feed their children good food; including, "He won't eat it, he just sits there and whines till I get him something else.", "It's to hard to make, and I don't have time to make something really nutritious for them.", and "He refuses to eat it! If I don't cave, he'll never eat anything, and he'll starve!" First off, consistency is the key. My kids know that they have to eat their veggies and fruit, with every meal. My oldest decided, once, to try and fill up on the main course, then claim he was to full to eat his veggies. Well, we remedied that the next meal, and gave him his veggies first, then after he was done with those, he could have his main course. Secondly, your child WON'T starve! They may miss a meal, but trust me, if they are hungry enough they WILL eat it! In my house, you eat what I make, or you go hungry till the next meal. I offer an assortment of veggies, for every meal, and like to add something new, every once in a while. My kids know that if they don't like a veggie, that's fine, but they have to eat the others, and in a couple of weeks I have them try the veg again. I don't just say, "OK, you tried one veg, didn't like it, so you never have to eat it again!" Please! My oldest was convinced he hated onions, until he helped me make something with onions, then suddenly he loves them again! Kids are fickle! And if you're going to help them make GOOD choices, keep having them try the things until they can truly decide if they like it or not. Third, it's not that hard to make a nutritious meal! Seriously, if you're running short on time, opening a bag of salad mix, putting some in a bowl with some chicken, tomatoes, and mushrooms is a lot easier to make and eat then microwaving some TV dinner that's full of artificial ingredients and salt.

It's all about priorities and what's important to you. I understand that every situation is unique. I, fully, understand being so tired all you want to do is feed the kids so they can go to bed. Trust me, I do. But even if you don't have any time to make something when you get home, get a crockpot and make something. I make everything in my crockpot; from meatloaf to baked potatoes. It is possible to keep your kids healthy, even if you are working 3 jobs and have no time. I don't know about you, but I want my kids to long out live me, to have lives that are healthy and productive. It all begins with you.

Until Next Time,

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