Happy New School Year! I hope all the kiddos are settled into school and enjoying themselves. It's no secret - I despise the school year. It's monotony and running everywhere trying to stay alive. And someone needs $10 by tomorrow. And someone needs the damned poster board for a project at 9 pm. Did we not need this poster board at 6 pm? And I forgot to buy lunch meat, so you will be eating carrot sticks and bread. I hate it all!
My girls also attend schools that are 50 miles apart. 50 MILES. Not 5, 50. Yeah, it's easy. On Fridays, one gets out at 3:12 and the other 3:15. It's joy. And I live right in the middle. Either way, I am backtracking or something. We do car pool and one parent works closer to at least one kid, so that works. It is just a logistical nightmare. But, we make it work. We two-wheel it into gas stations and holler for the kid to get out or jump in. And off we go. It works. And now, my oldest is driving and plans to start driving at least one day a week. That's another topic though! Eek.
Both my girls are also picky with food and I might be a little picky about what they eat... so, they bring their lunches. I taught them early on to help with making their lunches. Because, let's face it, if I'm in charge their lucky if they show up with actual food! I tend to forget... I've lasted four weeks so far this school year, I'm sure I'll give up soon! I place a big basket with snacks on the counter and they can grab what they like. I also try and keep the refrigerator stocked with yogurts, natural juices and cheeses. But there was also this -
The 2012 candy corn incident. This actually came out of my mouth- I swear.
Child gets in the car that afternoon.
My family still laughs about the candy corn incident. My brother laughed for days and days.
Here are a few of the lunches I have made this year.
I typically only send chips or pretzels with my girls 1 day a week. I think they take chips from their dads house a few days, so I try and curb chips from being brought every single day. I have friends that say they don't care what their kids eat at school, as long as they are eating. I disagree. I don't mind if my girls eat crap sometimes, but not constantly. One daughter has a friend that will barely come to our house because she claims she don't have anything to eat or drink when she's there. I have a ton of food, just not soda, chips and cookies. Sorry.
My girls don't have sugar crashes and caffeine headaches either! Wonder why? Mom win.
Kids will try you and prefer the sugar snacks and crap! Just don't give in. It's really simple. And don't make a big deal if they do choose the not so awesome choice. I had a mom try and hire me as a nutrition coach for her overweight daughter. It did seem that genetics was playing a role in her weight but the more I dug around, the more I started to feel sorry for this little 9 year old. The mother was naturally slim and ate fairly well. (and was a licensed social worker!) The father was not slim and ate poorly. The mother CONSTANTLY talked about this. She made comments to the little girl everyday. She told the little girl to take the trash out each afternoon because that would add some exercise to her day. She labeled foods with signs that said, "Not for you ___." She made comments like, "You are so beautiful, hopefully you will lose your baby weight." She truly did not understand why her daughter was hiding foods in her room and gorging herself when she went to friends houses. She asked for my honest advice and I gave it to her. And I lost a client that day! She was to blame 100%. She bought the bad foods. She shamed her daughter daily. She bought the older, slim daughter cute outfits and bought this child clothes from discount stores. She made her daughters weight HER issue. She was ashamed to have a chubby daughter. I did tell her that she needed to reevaluate her thought process and to imagine how she made her daughter feel. I did tell her that she needed to consider counseling for herself. She did follow my advice somewhat.
There's one thing I try hard to never do around my girls - discuss weight. I have never mentioned to one of them about gaining weight. Losing weight, etc. If they mention my weight, I will answer their question and that's it. I don't call myself skinny. Or fat. I don't use the word diet in my house. I will explain to them if I'm doing some type of exercise program or trying a new food plan, but the D word is never used. If they want to discuss some diet fad, I will discuss the benefits and cons. They are curious about nutrition and exercise and not scared of it. That was my goal. Mom win again.
Here are some great options for kids:
Veggies: Carrot Sticks, Celery, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cucumbers
Natural Peanut Butter (Not the low fat version please!)
Pretzels, Baked Chips, Pita Chips w Hummus
Fruit of any kind
Here's one of my favorite graphics for you -
Also, be a good example for your child. Don't be frantic and go running to slap the chips out of their hands! Fix a variety of whole and fresh foods and you eat them too. Don't make a huge deal out of food. Food is for nourishment remember. My youngest has just started running cross country and she has really gotten heavy into her diet. I gave her some suggestions and answered her questions but I have kinda stepped back hoping that she would think about her diet on her own. I strategically placed some veggies and fruit around. I accidently made a smoothie with fresh fruit one morning. She loves any type of fruit and immediately jumped on that. After a few runs, she began saying things about her eating and how she felt better when she ate good. No comment from me. It was all I had to not roll my eyes and scream "about time someone in my life says that." Two weeks in and she has taken control of her eating with no help from me (except I did buy the food she put on her grocery list). I am so proud of her! I hope she can maintain this even after her season is over. Especially, since candy corn season is among us. Have you tried the Candy Apple kind? What's going on there?
Try and make one healthier choice a day this week for your kids. Put the veggies and fruit in their lunch boxes. They may not eat it at first, but they are noticing. Keep doing it each day and you might be surprised what happens.