It's been fascinating watching this week's videos with the Mad Life team, reading about how you guys all tackle this huge part of raising kiddos. In a totally selfish way, I'm glad we have this topic this week. Selfish because it's one of the main parenting juggles that I worry about: making sure my daughter feels good about herself and her body.
I'm not sure what kind of body type she will have...sometimes, I think hers will be more like mine, other times, I think she's naturally built like her dad. Regardless, I want her to take care of it and have a good relationship with food and exercise. We all know how so many girls suffer from eating disorders, from unhealthy eating and exercise habits. How do I help Kiddo like her body?
Part of it is teaching good eating habits. When anyone - kid or adult - feels like he or she is putting fresh, good-for-you food in their bodies, they feel better overall. If we move our bodies on a consistent basis, we feel better physically and mentally.
I'm trying to be mindful of this...not only encouraging Kiddo to be active and get out and move her body, but show her how I try to take care of mine and how I do it to make me feel good, not necessarily look a certain way. We talk a lot about what goes into a good meal - protein, veggies, fruits and so on. How calcium is important and all that jazz. I'm thinking of getting a few cookbooks that are geared toward kids, so she can start to feel empowered in the kitchen and really take part in preparing what goes into her body. (One I'm definitely looking at: Cooking with Children by Marion Cunningham, which teaches the basics, the how-tos to prepare food.)
The hardest part: dealing with candy and sweets and snacks. The experts say Instead of calling those foods "bad" for you, call them "sometimes" foods. Veggies, fruits, proteins are "always" foods, while ice cream and cookies are "sometimes" foods - not bad just ones you eat, in small portions, sometimes. This "word tweak" really worked for Kiddo.
How do you teach your kids good eating and exercise habits?
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