As my year as a blogger on the Hidden Valley Ranch parent panel comes to an end, there’s something I was reflecting on recently that I thought I’d share. It’s funny that when our children are young, we take the time to make sure we’re giving them everything they need nutritionally speaking. All the mashed baby food veggies when they’re infants old enough for solids and as they grow, we introduce them to cut up veggies as finger foods and on it goes. As I’ve been writing for and involved with this program it showed me something about my own home I hadn’t realized.
I’m the stickler for diet in my home. My wife keeps a candy stash drawer in the house and the children know where it is. She also loves junk food in the form of snacks and makes sure we have ice cream in the freezer and soda in the fridge. She’s also an amazing cook but darnit the woman loves sweets! Me on the other hand, I’m the veggie heavy. Literally.
At 6′ 240lbs, I don’t have the body type which allows me to graze and eat sweets whenever the mood strikes me… I also never liked veggies too much. I was a bad example, but still I urged (I’m being PC here) my own children to eat their veggies until I actually began craving them myself one day. The thing is this, as they’ve grown and are all now teens, I’ve noticed over the course of this year that I’ve grown ‘lax and haven’t been making sure they eat enough veggies at dinner time or pack some in their lunches. Sure, we buy the carrots with dip and celery sticks when we go grocery shopping, but I wonder how many we’ve thrown out because they expired? I don’t really know but I’ve become more aware of these things lately. I’ve become more aware of my own intake as well. I mean, if I’m not doing it, if I’m not setting the example how can I expect the same from them?
I’ve learned a lot during this time working with Hidden Valley Ranch and picked up some great recipes as well, but I think the most important thing I walk away with having had this experience is that it’s time to double down, not lighten up now that my children seem more self sufficient. These are the most important years of their lives, when they’re growing by leaps and bounds and their bodies need the good things that the vibrant palette of edibles Mother Nature so graciously provides. Your turn to share… is there something in your own household that you’ve become a little layed back about setting the example for or making sure it’s done? Let me know in the comments below. I can’t be the only one!
I have been compensated to participate in the Hidden Valley Ranch “Love Your Veggies” parent panel and will be posting content pertaining to getting your family (and especially those kids) to eat their veggies. It’s for a great cause and it’s all about healthy habits but in the interest of transparency and full-disclosure, these posts will always be clearly labeled.