Lighter Side: Healthy Foods Need Jazzier Names

I’ve pretty much always been a healthy eater. I mean don’t get me wrong, when I was a kid I was all about Creamsicles and Oreo cookies, but throughout my adult life, my diet has been mostly balanced and healthful.

I became hyper aware of nutrition when I was pregnant the first time. Like every other young and fit woman, I greatly feared the inevitable weight gain and hoped to keep it in check.

I studied nutrition guidelines and food labels obsessively. I held traffic up in grocery stores with my ever-expanding silhouette as I stood intently reading everything before it made its way into my cart.

Happily it’s a habit that has stuck with me through the ensuing 14 years. I know that not only am I better for it, but my husband and kids are as well.

When the kids were little it was easy. I had full control over everything they ate, with the exception of grandparent visits. I put that one-off to a time-honored tradition and let them shower the kids with chocolate and gummy bears. I only reminded them gently that you get out what you put in.

As the kids got older, more specifically when they started school, their tastes began to evolve. Apple wedges with natural peanut butter were no longer quite as interesting. Many of their friends had cleverly named and overly packaged snacks with more sodium than one needs all day. Addictive to children.

I stuck to my guns and continued feeding them a healthy diet while at home. I tried to look away as they scarfed back cutely named snacks cleverly marketed directly at children and their time starved mothers.

But, honestly how can you blame a kid for turning his nose up at a plate of carrots and hummus when he was just at a friends where he ate mini rainbow chocolate chip cookies, Kool Aid Jammers and Fruit by the Foot… a-hem, that ain’t fruit people.

My kids are a little older now and are able to understand the reasoning behind wise food choices. They are both very active and involved in several demanding activities. They feel how different foods affect their athletic performance. But like any normal teenager, they still enjoy junk. So now when they ask for an uncommon junk food treat, I ask them if they can read and pronounce every ingredient listed on the packaging. I smile as I watch them struggle with the scientific words for all the chemicals, and grudgingly return the package to the shelf.

I’m not so deluded as to think that they don’t inhale bags of Skittles and Mars bars from time to time. In fact I know they do. I find the empty packaging in the laundry, but happily they’ve rediscovered their love of apples and peanut butter.

For topics other than food and kids, you may find an interesting read.

Happy Lifting!

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2 comments for “Lighter Side: Healthy Foods Need Jazzier Names

  1. December 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! It is an ongoing struggle trust me 🙂 My boy is naturally lean as well and is trying to pack it on for sports (football and rugby) It’s very rewarding that he sees a difference in his energy levels when he eats junk. I think letting them see the difference clean eating makes themselves leaves a very clear message.

  2. December 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    This is one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately as my kid is 4 and I really want to instill in him the importance of nutrition. Nice to read from someone who done a pretty good job with this. Even though he’s thin as a rail and in the bottom 10% for weight at his age, it’s just too important to let him eat anything and everything. Thanks for the article!

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