Thursday, September 20, 2012

Watch your adjectives!

This week I'm in preschool. I am teaching 3-5 year olds about how to take care of their bodies.  On Tuesday we talked about eating right.  I had each child bring a vegetable and show-n-tell about it.  We then made Vegetable Soup with all the veggies they brought.

It was really chicken noodle soup with peas, potato, onions, and carrots diced up really small and ABC noodles.  Every child ate some!  One boy ate 3 bowls, and the more picky ones only ate 3/4 of his, but still they all ate it. (and really he doesn't count because this kid won't even eat Fruit Loops)

We also all week talked about exercise.  We did an obstacle course and running races.  Afterwards we talked about all the amazing things our bodies can do.  Like climb, talk, run, skip, and compared it to animals who can't do those things.  Such as a fish, who can't climb a tree.  Or a bird, who can sing, but can't ask for food or for a hug.  This lead into taking care of our bodies, because they really and truly are unique and special.  We talked about how much screen time to have, how much junk food is OK, how late to stay up, brushing your teeth and taking baths.
Kids love to learn and they really are able to apply what they learn if we give them the opportunity.  I've taught these kids but it's now up to them and their parents if they implement any changes.  So I really encourage you to do this with your own families AND to make changes or keep encouraging healthy habits.

One of my favorite ones is eating a good breakfast.  Monday-Friday my kids are required to eat a healthy breakfast.  But on the weekends they get to have "Dad cereals."   That's when we pull out the Captin' Crunch, and the Cookie Crips.  That way it's kept as a treat and not a daily standard.  Also their pallet gets used to eating healthy foods.  They never have to make "life style changes," like us adults because they've grown up that way.  If a child never sees or eats Fruit Loops how does he know he is missing out?  He doesn't until he goes to a sleepover.  And by the time he's old enough for one if we've raised them up well the norm will already be established.  So so important to start from the beginning!

This will also help stamp out: ADD, ADHD, Celiacs, and Type 2 Diabetes.  ALL of these diseases are either inflicted by diet or highly influenced by it.

Another thing I like to do with kids is to throw out skinny and fat.  For a few reasons, one is that the goal is to be healthy not "skinny, or size 00.  If we label our goal as skinny, when do we get their?  Would a woman ever feel skinny?  I think sometimes in our minds we would think ya, if I'm size such-n-such I would say i'm skinny.  But really odds are not in our favor, for women that is.  Most women never feel skinny or "enough."  So just toss that out of your vocabulary.

If not permanently at least in-front of the next generation.  To also help reduce self image issues and unrealistic ideals.  Replace it with healthy.  We shall throw out FAT for basically the same reasons.  I've been at church when a child has called a woman fat.  This was not a one time issue.  We had 3 instances of this happening.  From different children to different people.  Imagine yourself as these Women or imagine your child saying these things.  There are better adjectives out there.  Again let's change this.  We can keep big, large, and wide.  But fat?!  Oh, and never let your kids hear you say your fat!!!  You can call yourself unhealthy, but that's the extent of that.

So I challenge you to teach your kids well so they never have to change the habits that you gave them.  Because really it is what we give and allow which then is consistent and thus becomes a habit.  For the past 6 months I give my toddler veggies and he rarely eats them.  But our rules are that no snacks or other meals are given until you've finished your last meal.  This has worked for us.  And today my boy ate his carrots first, even before the holy chicken nugget!  He has learned that he has to eat them and that he likes them.  (I do give them dip, because they need the fat and calories.) He's not even 3 and now we have a willing vegetable eater.  So it can happen it just takes time and patience, and is so worth it!

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