I have two Mac N' Cheese-loving kids.
When they were little and not eating their dinner, we would make mac n' cheese. And hot dogs. And chicken fingers. We accommodated them, and never explained that these were not healthy options.
And I've also been guilty of handing my kids a chocolate donut, thinking "they're kids. They’ll run it off." I've bribed and consoled them with sweets. Homework needs to get done? You can have dessert when you finish. Fell on the soccer field? Let’s go out for ice cream. Oh – and my favorite: Won't stop whining in the grocery store? Have a bag of chips.
But that has all stopped. I won't even buy sweets and snack foods anymore. My family is on a mission to get healthy, to stop the picky (aka "bad") eating habits and to prevent obesity – as well as a number of other illnesses and diseases. And I want to encourage you to join me!
I'm so happy to share that Care.com is a proud supporter of Let's Move! Child Care, a project of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort to help promote children's health by encouraging and supporting physical activity and healthier nutrition practices.
We all know that a child's relationship with food starts at home. And we all know how hard it can be to work around a "picky eater." But there are solutions to this. It just takes some work.
As for the "must get more exercise" mantra? There are fun ways to do this too – and to do it as a family.
What worked for us? Green juice. Honestly! About 9 months ago, my husband became "juice crazy" (I say that with love, I swear). He started making smoothies out of kale, cucumbers, parsley, carrots, berries, raw honey and a bunch of other healthy extras. And they weren’t awful. In fact, they were pretty good. We all have one at breakfast along with a lean protein. And it provides all these natural sources of vitamins and calcium – and energy.
We also try to exercise. We ride bikes, go for walks and runs and do yoga. The weeknights are hard to fit this in, but we can usually do something together – or separately – about four times a week.
It was ambitious at first… and sometimes felt like "work." But now I’m hooked. I just feel so much better. But the biggest difference has been in my 11-year old son. He hasn’t had a cold in 9-months. He has more energy for sports and isn’t craving junk. Of course, he'll eat unhealthy things at friend's houses. We can't control that. But he knows the difference between good for his body and not. And he feels the difference too.
So tell me, what’s the hardest food challenge you have? And will you join the Let's Move! Child Care initiative?
Learn more about the Let’s Move! Child Care initiative to fight childhood obesity. Including giveaways (a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and a Weelicious cookbook) and tips to nix picky eating, make exercise fun, prevent obesity and cook healthy meals kids will actually eat.