As I look down at the fresh new calendar book that I bought myself for Christmas, the crisp clean month of January stares back at me. I am motivated, inspired and ready to tackle whatever is coming for 2018. I start writing in the minute details of the upcoming weeks, turn to the meal planning section and write a sticky that says "research healthy meals" and hope for the best.
What really sets me up for success is the mindset of wanting to do better, be better and feel better. It's not that I don't feel OK right now, but I know that with more focus, determination and organization, I can push myself to a place that is better than where I currently am.
One of my goals this year is to be more disciplined at feeding my kids healthy foods. I do a pretty good job of family meal time and keeping healthy snacks in the house, but for 2 boys and a sparky girl, they eat like animals. They can rip through our "snack drawer" like a castoff from Survivor. And this is just after putting groceries away and before packing lunches. I think there is something in the brain of a child that allows them to constantly be eating, or thinking that they need to eat, or are bored and know that the feelings that eating can give them is preferable to their present state. I don't know what it is, but for me it can be a nightmare! I feel that I am constantly either saying they can have a healthy snack or saying "YOU JUST ATE!!! NO YOU CANNOT HAVE A SNACK". I struggle with this monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and minutely. No human should have to endure this kind of torture.
So I have been thinking of ways in which I can help stave off the madness and try to keep a closer eye on what is happening. This is how I am going to tackle this:
- Be a teacher. Describe to your kids what is junk food and why it is delicious and not nutritious. You can teach them (on their level) why your body needs nutritious food to grow, repair and feel good. Show them what natural foods are, where they come from and why they are essential to proper digestion and growth. If you start planting the seeds of healthy choices, they will be more likely to choose them when they have a choice.
- Encourage water drinking. This goes for the whole family, by the way. More water drinking leads to tons of benefits to digestion and helps to cut down on the constant snack requests. Cutting out sugary juice, soda and others will have a tremendous impact on behavior, sleep habits and well being.
- Have them pack their own lunches (but make sure they have the healthy choices to pick). I have taught my children to pick a protein, a healthy carb, a fruit and veggie and also one additional item of their choice. Some ways to help with the portion control would be to get a lunch box that has pre-portioned areas that will teach them about portion size. You can try: Bento Box They have fun, stylish patterns that kids will love, and gives them the freedom to choose what goes inside! (If you are interested, they also have an awesome newsletter and blog that will give you inspiring tips and recipes to help you shop! They are also offering a 25% off discount if you use the code ihelp25 )
Once you get a handle on your expectations for your health, be sure to explain to your kids what you are doing, choosing and experiencing and WHY. Kids are like sponges with knowledge and will internalize not only what you say, but what you do. Good luck, and may the snack odds be ever in your favor!