It's Your Call, Part II

Thanks for all of your responses, regarding Ella and her desire to skip breakfast.

A comment from Faith brought up another topic of interest, “what kinds of foods has she tried eating”. Good question.

Ella loves carbs. She likes bagels, toast, fruit and things related to this. But, even so, often still wants nothing when these things are on hand.

The smoothie is a GREAT idea and she loves them, but not always the most practical. Anyone out there know what a morning before school looks like? It’s not usually a breezy, relaxed Sunday morning.

So this brings me to my thought, I try to set a good example. As I said, I love breakfast, so I eat eggs and fruit and nuts usually everyday. I cannot however interest my kids in this style of eating. Am I pushing them further away from healthy eating by insisting that they eat “my way”? If I don’t insist, am I setting them up to have to break all the bad food habits many adults are combating now? Is it better to just offer whole, nutritious foods, without worry of “is it Zone” or “Paleo” or whatever… and help them make good choices without stressing too much over details? Sorry, that was a lot.

Here’s the thing, we can all type on a computer and say “do this” “do that” but when your kids is looking in your eyes and says “I cannot eat that right now”, is it a disservice to them to make them? Because I think if they hear me say “where’s your protein” one more time, they will pack up and move out. :-)

What say you?

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7 Responses to “It's Your Call, Part II”

  1. Troy says:

    yeah. i go through this every morning too. i’ve gotten to where i can get “thing 1″ to eat an egg every now and then, so i try to offer that first then work my way down the “proper” food pyramid. i think something is better than nothing even if it’s just a small amount. “thing 2″ is still very finicky but i do the same with her.

    i completely agree about setting up an eating disorder. i make it a rule that if you don’t want to eat breakfast (or lunch or dinner) fine, but you’re not eating until the next meal or snack and then we’re starting off with the good stuff. that works about 75% of the time to get them to bite the bullet and eat what i’ve prepared.

    i also think that when they say they’re hungry and all the requests are for junk, they’re not hungry. i’ve seen my kids hungry and that’s when they eat their best (and with little or no complaints). i don’t think missing an occasional meal because they can’t get their way is okay.

    i mean, they pretty much start out squatting properly, we have to learn it. could it be possible that they are more adapted to IF (which is think is just fine) than we adults with years of maladapted eating styles are? if the stuff (grades, attention) are fine…

    when i was a kid, there were many times i had to “clean my plate” or deal with the peacemaker. it didn’t serve me well as i grew up and very likely put me on the path to eating whatever i wanted out of some sort of subconscious rebellion as a teen and young adult.

    a little trickery works sometimes too.

    i certainly don’t know. i’m open to trying pretty much anything because i don’t want body image to be a major concern in their young lives.

    okay, i’ll stop. i could go on and on till the cows come home or the grill gets hot.

  2. Mama Jac says:

    I would not want to be hypocritical and speak specifically to nutritional choices, since as a mom I was probably a pretty bad role model and disciplinarian in this area.

    But what I can speak to is the issue of picking your battles. Children need us to direct them. So, which battle is one of lasting importance? That is the one you need to fight and take a strong stance on whether they see the importance right now or not. Is it the specific timing of breakfast? Or is it the food choices? Is it following your nutritional guidelines hard line? Or is it the ability to make good choices over all? I think once you decide which battle is the one that really matters in the long run, you will know how tough to get and when it’s OK to be soft. And once you are really convinced, you don’t have to worry if kids balk. They were born to do that. They may never thank you for it: but you will see the benefits in their life as they grow.

    There cleared it all up for you didn’t it! Ha! And don’t forget to keep 1 Timothy 4:8 in mind.

  3. Debby says:

    Get a magic bullet type blender! You throw fruit, powder vitamins, protein powder and vroom instant smoothy. We also get cups (99 cent store) to take it in the car! Easy instant breakfast to go with some healthy stuff thrown in .

  4. Marthab says:

    Troy and Jacquie…great comments, thank you!

    Debby…we had one that broke. Need to replace it.

  5. jenn says:

    We’ve talked about this many times so you probably already know what I’m going to say but here is my two cents anyways. When it comes to kids and mine are PICKY I feel like it’s best to offer whole natural real foods regardless if they “like” them or not. I don’t worry about my kids following some sort of plan. Heck I don’t really follow one myself at least I’m not super strict. I basically try to encourage my kids to eat some sort of protein and some sort of carb at every meal SOMETIMES they eat both often times they don’t. But I won’t budge when it comes to the quality of their foods. There are 100s of different real food choices so there has to be things they like. I don’t give my kids much of an option because… well…we don’t have a lot of options in our house. That said I let them eat things I don’t each much of like whole wheat pasta and sprouted wheat bagels. And as you know I let them have “Sugar Saturday” once a week. I also allow them to enjoy processed foods on Saturdays as well. We’ve been doing this for about 2-3 years and it has worked great for us. I should say when there are social function like bday parties I let them and cake and so on b/c I’m not going to be that hardcore. :) I have no idea if this will stick when they grow up or not. I try really hard (probably too hard ;) ) to teach them why we eat real food. We talk a lot about immunity and how what we eat affects our immune system. We also talk a lot about diabetes and how we don’t want to make our “pancreas work too hard”. Sometimes I worry that I am too strict but I remind them all the time that I do this because I LOVE them. A few times they have even thanked me for “making them eat healthy”. I don’t really know how much of it sticks but I hope a little does. I guess time will tell. I’m just doing the best I can and praying that God will fill in my many gaps.

    An idea for the smoothie you could put all the stuff you want in the blender aside from the liquid the night before. In the morning just pull it out of the fridge and give it whirl.

  6. Jaala says:

    Martha, this is one of my favorite blog posts you have done. I feel like it is a “what to expect when you are a paleo parent” type guide.
    As a nanny I tend to be hardline, but also accommodating (does that make sense)? I believe I may be different with my own kids but who knows? I try to do the same as Troy; offer the healthy choices and have no food until the next meal as an option.
    However, I have asked my brother (he is a family doctor) what to do with younger children (below 3/4ish…which is not necessarily your problem) and he says that sometimes when a kid asks for a certain food it is because their body is deficient in a nutrient. I doubt that this applies to complex carbs, so maybe when they want bread, etc… fruit or a simple carb would be a good substitute.
    Then again, you are the only person who knows your kid so all of this advice could be terrible. That’s all I got for now :)

  7. Carol says:

    Ha haa ~

    I thought this was hilarious! (“where’s your protein?). Wherever your kids run off to is where my son is likely to join them ~ I am always telling him “you have to have some protein — you can’t just have CARBS!!!”

    Thanks for the assurance that I am NOT alone :-)

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