Our kid LOVES her some sweets! It was fine when she was in dance earlier on, doing ballet and modern dance 3-5 times a week, and had her dancer body. When she stopped dance, she immediately started putting on some weight. We made her choose which activity she wanted to get back into, and she picked soccer. She’s been through two seasons now, and it’s been really great for her.
I am a certified and registered nutritional consultant, and I took her diet very seriously during the first few years of her life. However, I am not always around to control what she eats every moment of the day. At almost 10 years old, we have been trying to coach her into taking ownership of her eating habits. But, how do you do that while making it fun?
My husband coined it “Stealth Health” between the two of us, and I love it.
We began by talking about healthier choices and doing everything in life in moderation and started planting those seeds. Now, to step two: be sneaky about making her think things are HER idea!
She loves family time, so with the nicer weather, we spend family time working on the yard together. It doesn’t even seem like work or exercise to her when she’s doing it alongside us.
One of her other current loves is cooking – watching us cook and learning to cook things by herself. I’ve been letting her be more involved in choosing things at the grocery store and explaining what each food does to your body, good or bad. Feeling like she’s a part of the whole process makes her feel respected and more grown-up.
She also really wants to be like me these days, which is making me change my habits back for the better as well. She gets to feel like we’re on this health journey together. She sees me taking my multi-vitamins again; she wants to take hers as well. She sees me eat more fruits and vegetables and less carbs; she wants to do the same thing. She saw me train to do my first half-marathon last Fall; she wanted to be my training buddy.
For special mommy-and-daughter time this summer, I registered us for a virtual 5K run, and she will get to do an actual run with me, get her own medal and everything.
As with any desired behavior change, we have to see what motivates our kids and then use that! It’s fun for us as parents to feel stealthy about it, but it can also be really fun for our kids to make better choices!
What motivates your kiddos that could be turned around to encourage healthy habits?