Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Food Nazi Mum

I have turned into a food Nazi when it comes to my children...

It is not due to weight, as they are both skinny malinks.  It is all about nutrition and bad habits that I can see forming.

I struggle every morning to get my children to eat breakfast, and the rule in our house is no TV until both kids are ready to walk out the door for school (or just the day ahead in relation to my youngest).  So breakfast eaten, uniform on, shoes on, bed made (for the eldest), room tidy, teeth cleaned, hair brushed and bag packed.  I have put this rule in for a number of reason - first and foremost I got sick of nagging them to get ready in the morning, and secondly they are usually so slow moving that they only get 10 minutes of TV in before it is time to leave.  I prefer no TV in the morning, but it is just that little incentive to get them going, and for the 10 minutes they get to watch, it is worth it.

However back to the food issue.  After an hour and a half of nagging to have them eat breakfast with no luck, the minute the TV goes on they are suddenly hungry.  It is purely out of habit that they will both go and raid the pantry or fridge as soon as the TV goes on they must eat.  So we no longer have the TV on AT ALL if we are eating - so far so good.

We also put a child lock on the pantry, as if we ever left the kids in the TV room to watch a movie or show unsupervised, we would inevitable come into the room minutes later to find food packets strewn across the floor after a pantry raid while mum and dad are not looking.  So lock on (not soon enough as the day before I found my 6 year old had eaten half of 500gram packet of lollies that I had hidden but she had sneakily sniffed out).

Whilst I have no problem with the amount me children eat (I don't deny them, honestly), I have a a big problem with the habits that we have formed.  After suffering from an eating disorder for a good few years in my teenage life, I know that having a sensible eating plan and sensible eating habits are the key to a sensible diet.  I spent all my childhood watching my mother and sister embark on various radical diets, and although I didn't have a weight problem and of course I lay no blame on my family for my illness, I think witnessing this strange relationship with food that habitual dieters have aided in my eating issues.

I therefore am determined to make sure my children are exposed to a good and healthy diet with healthy eating habits from day one.  I am lucky I guess that I married a sporty man who thrives on exercise and I have always (on a lesser scale) exercised, so our children already know that exercise is part of daily life, but sometimes it is hard to present a balanced diet.  Especially when you have a chocoholic in the house (husband).

So whilst I feel a bit mean sometimes, it will be beneficial in the long run.

What house rules have you enforced that have made an immediate difference?


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