When I first started losing weight, part of it was for me to get healthy but a lot of it was to be healthy for my daughter. Of course at that time she was still drinking milk and eating baby food. Options for her diet were limited. Now that she’s three and a half she has so many more choices for snacks and what she can eat or drink. I also can’t control what she eats or doesn’t eat when I’m not with her. So my job is to give her the best food I can when she’s with me. I want her to grow up loving food and not fearing it. So explaining to her that donuts are treats for every once in a while is hard because, let’s be honest, donuts are delicious and magical. To be honest I didn’t really think about what I was feeding her until one day I was at a restaurant with her and I realized kids menu suck. It’s always the same, chicken tenders and Mac and cheese. Those are the two things that always show up. Then I realized some nights at home I was making her macaroni and cheese. I was only helping with her unhealthy eating. Of course I’m not going to not let her eat that food, she’s a kid and should enjoy her childhood. But, I don’t want that to be the norm.
With the stuff going on with my headaches, I’ve taken the time to change how I eat. So why not do the same thing with Aurora. I don’t eat or drink much dairy, and the same goes for her. It messes with both of our stomachs and had caused issues for her in the past. I do occasionally give her greek yogurt as a snack with granola. She loves fruit and most vegetables. It’s always a great feeling when she asks for salad at home or when eating out. Most of the time you put food in front of her she’ll eat it, no questions asked. What I’m finding that works for us is eating the same meal. She looks up to me, which is such an incredible feeling. Every morning she’s next to me “putting on makeup” and wants to wear sandals like me or drink tea like me. If I’m doing it, she wants to as well. So eating the same meal just makes sense. Last night I made us turkey patties, quinoa pasta with pesto and corn. I did make modifications to the turkey patties, hers had a slice of sharp cheddar and mine was topped with grilled onions. She ate it all and enjoyed it. She loves seeing the same food on my plate that’s on hers. And I make it a point to sit down with her and eat at the same time.
I just want her to be healthy and grow up eating healthy foods. Growing up as a young girl there is so much pressure to look a certain way. I had issues in high school through my early twenties with my body. I don’t want that for her, I don’t want her to concern herself with what the world thinks she should look like. I never want that sweet smile of hers to go away. Instead I want her to love her body, and know that food is fuel for our bodies. And I’ve learned that all of that starts with me, her mom. It’s why I started to get healthy and lose weight. I can’t show her and teach her to do something, if I’m not doing it myself. And like I said, I’m not going to take away “treat” foods from her completely. Yesterday morning she woke up and asked for pancakes with a big smile. I couldn’t say no. I made her a pancake and on the side gave her cut-up watermelon, mangos and strawberries. Of course she ate it all, no surprise there. It’s balancing out the meal and making it as healthy as I can.
I love being a mom and it has truly become one of my greatest joys. Seeing her running around, singing, laughing and talking for hours on end is amazing and sometimes comical. Her enthusiasm for life is what gives me so much of my motivation to be healthy and to be the best mom I can be for her. I know that at the end of the day, one pancake or donut isn’t going to hurt her in the long run, just like it won’t hurt me (I can run it off later, right?). Her making healthy choices in the future starts with me teaching her those fundamentals now. It is a learning process for me as well and I’m happy to have her by side for this part of the adventure.