Monday, April 12, 2010

"Is this a healthy choice?"

Do you think that the green monster smoothies my kids drink cancel out those blue slushies from Target?  Because I'm operating under the assumption that they do.  I can't get through a trip to Target without buying the kids some sort of treat, and usually it's a pretzel, but sometimes I get the slushies if I'm feeling particularly weak.  "Is this a healthy choice?" Skyler asks when I hand her the fluorescent blue thing.  "Nope, not at all," I say.  But all the slurping keeps them so busy and quiet, which is totally healthy for me.

For me, being healthy includes not being too strict with myself or having too many rules about what we can and can't have. 

We've always been healthy eaters actually, but our "healthy choice" mission was fine-tuned a few months ago when I vowed to stop using the need for convenience as an excuse to feed my kids quick foods like chicken nuggets.  My kids are picky eaters, and I wanted to own up on how much we had created that problem.  And we're making progress.  I hear Skyler and Reed talking about what is a "healthy choice," asking about what has sugar and what does not, and some other hilarious misunderstandings:  "Mom, I'm going to drink this nice glass of water because I really need the protein today."

I find that making only good decisions at the grocery store makes for better eating all around.  But I'm not afraid to say that I sometimes bribe my kids with chocolate, reward with frosted donuts, and I might even go through a drive-thru (gasp) if I'm just having that kind of day (you know the kind). And then there was Easter breakfast when Sam made a beautiful spread and I looked away as my kids shoved gobs of chocolate eggs into their mouths and then sat at the table claiming they weren't hungry.  That's just life with kids.  Sometimes you just need to look away.

And sometimes you need to make food more interesting, like pancakes shaped like unidentified large-eared animals.

Balance, moderation, and not having any junk in the fridge or cupboards... that is working for us.  

I'm working on a post about some of my new found ways to sneak veggies into kid food, so stay tuned for that. 

6 comments:

Joanne said...

Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" is a wonderful cookbook in the use of hidden veg. purees (most which can be made ahead and frozen) in some really nice recipes - very kid friendly!

Kelly Dahl said...

I'm trying to work on putting something together on my frustration with grocery stores. Why are there only coupons for crap? Why does the junk only go on sale? Why can't they discount bananas? or other produce at times other than a split second before it is rotten? Eating healthy is about so much more than choices, don't you think?

Shannon - www.thedailybalance.com said...

I second the comment on the Deceptively Delicious cookbook - lots of great tips!

Emilie said...

Thanks for the reminder about Deceptively Delicious. I've used recipes from her book via a friend, and they were great. Kelly, I totally agree. There could easily be more healthy choices in the cafe area at target or coupons/ sales on actual food. And, I could just not buy the slushies. There is that.

Lisa Eirene said...

That's so cool that you are teaching your kids what healthy choices are.

Kirsten said...

I do think that donut flexibility makes for healthy eaters in the future. Making them fun and ok to eat here and there and not as a "guilty" pleasure might mean less gorging on the no-no foods...