Between television ads, play dates and communal lunch time at school, our kids are exposed to a lot of outside influences in their food choices. It can be frustratingly hard to raise health-conscious kids in today’s pre-packaged, convenience-oriented, fast-food society, especially when you’re back-to-school shopping and looking for healthy lunchbox snacks. So what’s a mom to do?
For modern Bombshells who aren’t exactly keen on joining the homestead movement but kind of see the allure after your kid asks why they can’t have soda for the fifty-seventh time this month, here are a few healthy life hacks I’ve learned along the way.
1. Talk about your family’s values
Never put down another family’s choices, but be clear and concise with your kids about why healthy food choices are important to you. The last thing you want is your kid telling Sally that her lunch full of Frankenfood is bad for her and ruining the long term ecology of our farmland. Make sure you drive home that every parent is making the best choices they can for their family and everyone has different values and beliefs.
2. Give them a frame of reference
Explain that choosing healthy foods isn’t about limiting your life, rather you’re aiming to have the healthiest, longest life possible. Draw the correlations between food as fuel for our bodies and the ability for our bodies be at their best when we are giving them the best fuel possible. Don’t be afraid to go down the “you are what you eat” road, because there is a good amount of truth in the old adage.
3. Find a middle ground
Don’t be like me and go overboard. I’ll never forget the day my son came home and said, “Mom, can I have some treats in my lunch some time? Other kids have cookies and juice boxes and I have carrots and water.” I felt terrible for the kid and he truly did have a point. I found that choosing a “swap”, like organic healthy snacks for smiling fish, is a great in between. Also, add don’t take away. Keep the carrots and toss in a packet of almond butter and make your own chocolate chip cookies over the weekend. Remember, life isn’t all or nothing and your food doesn’t need to be either.