Teaching our kids to eat healthy starts with us!

I try to be the ‘nice‘ mom and allow my kids to eat cake at birthday parties, and they end up throwing up all night after the party because they aren’t used to the sugars, dairy, gluten and dyes. They’re old enough now that they know what happens to them if they eat that kind of food so they decline- most of the time, and then get sad after getting sick if they do. It really, REALLY sucks!! But, I feel they also have to learn what eating junk food does to their bodies.

Some people believe my kids get sick after eating processed foods because I made them that way.  Like if I let them eat cake mix box cakes every second day they’d just get used to it and not get sick anymore. And the win there would be?

I make all traditional comfort food free of dairy, gluten, refined sugar, soy and preservatives. So they’re used to eating these foods, but not in the same way. Not in the ‘run up the walls, major sugar headache crash’ kinda way.

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I have been the one that has sat up with them day and night puking pink and blue icing up, when friends, family and school representatives felt that mommy’s rules were a little “unfair”.

What’s unfair is the disrespect and the judgment we receive for the way we eat. What’s also unfair is realizing that children do not have the ability to choose the foods they get to eat. During their growing years, they need nutrient dense foods with tons of good fats, protein and vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies. Let them decide how and what they want when they’re adults. Recreate treats made with better ingredients.

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Recreate your own norm. Maybe instead of parents worrying that their kid is the one being left out, think about your child being the pacesetter for some of these kids that only eat processed foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When they see other kids eating salads, pieces of meat cut up, raisins, and real fruit and vegetables, they might be more inclined to ask for those items in their own lunch bags. This is also why I feel healthy eating initiatives and wellness policies are paramount in schools and learning environments for children to have the chance to see healthy food prepared in ways that look appealing for them.

When I was a young child in school, teachers only had a coffee cup or mug at their desk. We never knew what was in it. We never saw them standing around drinking coffee when we arrived at school, and NEVER saw a take out cup of any kind ever in their hand. However- we didn’t have a whole lot of fast food chains around either, but still. This is setting an example that take out restaurant orders are a normal part of an adult’s life.

Where are the water bottles, mugs of tea and smoothie shakers? Why are teachers teaching with a Tim Horton’s cup in their hand?

As adults, let’s set an example for healthy eating. We know that disease and disorders are linked to the food that we eat. We know how important nutrition is. We know this. So let’s give our children the best foundation they can get until they’re old enough to make their own choices and can purchase their own food. I guarantee that teaching them proper food education and not including emotional attachment to their food, will help them become healthier adults, physically, mentally and emotionally.

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