Monday, February 13, 2012

What Living Healthy Has Taught Our Children

Throughout the years I have always wanted our children to eat fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I mean, what mother doesn’t?  The fruits were always easy, but the veggies and meats, well that has been a different story.  I didn’t understand it! I would buy them meats and veggies and consistently serve it to them and they would flat out refuse and just not eat.  It was really not until today that I looked back and thought it is working! Things have changed.  As I sit back and reflect on the last month alone, my four year old, picky pants, battle of wills, sweet as sugar, but STRONG tempered little boy has eaten veggies with EVERY meal! Not just something smothered in cheese or mushed up in something else in a disguise of its real nature, but steamed fresh broccoli, steamed corn, lettuce, spinach, steamed green beans!  He really likes them! Today for lunch, he requested broccoli!!!  Oh and it’s not just the veggies!  The meats too!  He has eaten homemade chicken nuggets, taco salad, spaghetti and meatballs, tuna cakes and the list is steadily growing!  Now, I am not going to preach that we never have a battle of wills about food, but the gap is closing and those moments are growing fewer and further between!
So, how have we gotten to this point?  Nate and I are walking the walk!  Well that sounds like an obvious answer but it has been the key!  We cook these things, bring empty plates to the table and we serve our plates and allow them to choose from the dinner what and how much they want.  That second part seems to have taken away the power struggle!  Best part is, if he serves himself something and doesn’t eat it…he eats it for breakfast, before getting his pancakes or cereal.  Apparently, I make some really good Whole Wheat pancakes, because it seems that he will finish off nearly anything, to get his pancakes.  And our 2 year old and the older boys, well they will eat just about anything these days too, but it has certainly not always been this way for them either. 

Our children learn from us! No matter how much some days I wish it wasn’t true, they are watching us very closely!  One day I came downstairs to find my four year old hanging from the mantle. I immediately asked “What are you doing!?” and his response was “Exercising!”  The little ones aren’t usually up when we do our daily workout (doing RevAbs right now and love it, not really love the workout but the results!) but the older kids are around when we do, and they will often join in, or sometimes just make fun of us, but either way, they know that we believe it is an important part of taking care of the body God gave us! 

I nearly laughed out loud one day when our 10 year old said to us that some friends of his didn’t know anything about being healthy, they ate candy and drank Dr. Pepper all the time! He just couldn’t believe it and seemed appalled by it.  Of course, we explained that people make their own choices and different things are important to different people and it is not for us to judge someone else’s eating habits, but at the same time I was so grateful that he not only knows but believes in the basics of taking care of his body.

So, I guess today I am just simply thankful that my kiddos are growing healthier each day and are learning a little more everyday about making good choices.  And one day, when they are all grown up, maybe just maybe, a strong belief and background of living healthy will be deeply woven into their everyday choices.


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