“Mom, I’m only going to pack a sandwich for lunch. I want to lose weight”.
Blasted. What I’ve tried to avoid in my household just came back to bite me. Literally. Welp, what they say is true. Body image insecurities are most definitely inevitable.
I have two active boys. And by active I mean they are active about everything…sports, TV, eating. You name it and they do it actively. They play a lot, watch a lot and eat a lot! No matter what they do, they do it a lot. I honestly didn’t think I would have to worry about food and nutrition discussions. I have boys! Who would have thunk? But alas, it happened.
So what am I going to do about it? I am going to educate. I work in fitness and live my life surrounded by athletes, races, competitions and all things that require a healthy lifestyle. Our boys see us train daily and are involved in a sport themselves with set training days. We all know what burpees are and we all run up warped walls. That’s how our family rolls!
But we don’t talk about weight or dieting. We don’t deny ourselves dessert and we don’t count calories. However, we do follow some simple rules of nutrition to keep our family healthy and happy.
(So, it was shocking when my son brought up him wanting to lose weight. Who knows where he heard it from or where he got the idea. Point is he got and it’s my job to help him.)
Four simple rules we follow when discussing health & nutrition pertaining to food with our family:
Food is not the enemy.
No way is food a bad thing! My son’s statement to “only pack a sandwich” so he can lose weight is a cue for me to explain weight loss having to do with food not avoiding food. Food is fuel for our bodies.
Balance those plates.
My boys know what protein is, what carbs are and what healthy fats look like. But, I need to remind them to add more of those things to their meals. Bagels in the morning are great, but throwing in some meat, eggs or Greek yogurt help bring up their protein numbers which are what will keep them satisfied until snack or lunch.
Grab a second helping before dessert.
Almost every dinner ends with a dessert as long as there is time. But, we eat second helpings before we reach for the cookies. I never deny a cookie! But a few more bites of chicken and 3 cookies will do better for them than 8 cookies.
Eat dessert too!
Yes, I am a macro counter. But, if I’m not training for the stage, I indulge with my kids. It’s important they see me enjoy food…life…with them.
Our family is grounded in health and fitness but like any family, it is an ongoing journey to help our children understand the importance of good nutrition. As always our goal is to practice being healthy about our fitness and food…for us and our boys. I hope these simple rules for mealtime have been helpful to your family as much as they are to ours.