Moms hold the key...use it wisely!

I recently had a long discussion with an acquaintance about her five year old’s diet. Now initially I was quite horrified that anybody would even think to put their child on a diet and I did what you are all probably doing and felt my hackles rise. But then I took a deep breath and actually listened to what she had to say. And the reality was that her daughter was overweight (classified obese although I don’t like those BMI classifications at all) and instead of sticking her head in the sand, she did something about it. What is interesting is that her family are super healthy. Dad loves cycling and she is still svelte in her designer jeans. They are an active family who drink a lot of water and eat a lot of veggies and fruit. So why was her daughter fat? She really had to take a long, hard look at her family to find out. It all came down to portion control. Her daughter simply was eating too much. So before she could get bullied at school or before her weight spiralled out of control and started impacting her health, her mom put her on a diet. She also made some simple lifestyle changes like not parking right at the school gate, enforcing a bit of exercise on the daily drop off. Having seen the before and after pics of the five-year-old in question I had to grudgingly admit that what the mom did for her daughter and family was the right thing. Invariably it led me to think of our own habits at home. I am that mom who keeps ice cream and chips on tap and the kids get what they like, when they like. I know: it’s a terrible admission to make. So after the discussion, I went on leave and while on leave I literally changed our habits. I didn’t keep the junk and soon found that the kids stopped expecting it. I offered my picky eater veggies along with his staple chicken nuggets and was surprised to see him actually eat them first. As moms we are often hard on ourselves but sometimes we also don’t see what we should. We are sometimes part of the problem and that is a very tough thing to admit. Many of our cultures celebrate “fat” babies as a sign of health and early solids are endemic but it’s really not healthy and as moms we hold the key to ensuring our kids are healthy and happy. So use it wisely...

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