I, like so many other Americans, have struggled with my weight during various periods of my life. It’s something that I hope my children will never have to worry about. I do my best to encourage them to eat well, to get up and move, and to skip the TV. As I’m sitting here, thinking about ways I can lose all the weight I gained this passed pregnancy, I’m struck with the fact that my child’s relationship with food is my responsibility. At least while they live in my home and I’m footing the food bill.
Just like all the other lessons I wish to teach my children, I have a limited amount of time to get this across. I am always saying that whatever behaviors you want your kids to have must be behaviors that you have yourself. So you can imagine how humbling it was for me to find myself snacking on some Pringles and surprised that my kids wanted some too. How could I possibly ask them to choose an apple, or carrots, if I didn’t choose that either? Why would they choose water when I’m choosing Coke?
I don’t want to be the food police, I want my kids to love food and appreciate good eating when they get the opportunity. I never want them to feel guilty for indulging in some ice cream and cake at a birthday party. I do, however, want them to understand the purpose of food and to have a healthy relationship with it. Now when I’m choosing my snacks I ask myself if it is something that I would want my kids to eat. If it’s not, I’ll pass. This way I can ensure that I am setting the right example for them, and being healthier myself.