Sunday, January 01, 2006
Get the Right Tools - Part 3
Posted by Chalene Johnson
Part 3 of Get the Right Tools:
Stop! If you haven't read Get the Tools Part 1 and 2, scroll down, read quick and hurry back..
My post today includes getting the right tools to help boost your energy, increase your sense of fullness, reduce your intake of processed, salty, fatty, foods and increase your whole food intake..as a family. I'm going to give you a complete shopping list, complete with some "neutral" foods. Let's face it...sometimes you just need some "Not harmful, but not full of calories/fat" choices.
Getting the right tools means buying the right foods and working to get EVERYONE in the family to begin transitioning to this healthier way of eating. I can't tell you how often I hear parents tell me they don't want to "penalize" their kids by eliminating the food they so enjoy. One Mom told me that she feels like she's being a "mean Mom" when she doesn't buy cookies, candy, chips and sodas becuase she knows how much her kids love them. She added, "They don't have a weight problem. I do. They can eat that stuff. I can't."
Hmmmm.... Time to change our mindsets as parents. Giving our children or even our significant others food as a reward, as a "compromise" (i.e., If you're good I will give you some candy") or as an intended gesture of love is simply conterproductive. When you want to show have your kids "feel" your love, try a bike ride, a game of freeze tag, a game of horse, some Turbo Jam together :)
I occasionally have the opportunity to work with families of obese children. They always say the same thing, "He has a slow metabolism." or "She has my Dad's genes." or "He doesn't eat much." It's true that genetics have some effect. As Nutrition expert Dr. Pamela Peeke says, "Genetics load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger."
I'm fascinated by reading research on the subject. We know that obese children are less active. Even when monitored in the same activies, these children find ways to move and do less. These children have one very strong trait in common, and "no" it's not a slow metabolism. Rather, these kids have very loving (sometimes overly mothering) parents. Surprised? You shouldn't be. In particular the Mothers of obese children reported feeling guilty when denying their children a treat or a second helping. That makes sense to me. Think about it. When you close your eyes and envision the perfect mother (a.k.a. June Cleaver) she's wearing an apron and pulling chocolate chip cookies out of the oven for her children. As adults we associate food with comfort. Therefore it's easy to understand why we over-feed our children.
Teaching our children that fatty, unhealthy, processed junk means Mommy loves you is perhaps one of the most damaging things we can do for kids. If my child has big flappy ears that stick out, he's probably going to be teased. Other children will do ans say things that will likely hurt his feelings. It's going to break my heart, but there's nothing I would be able to do about it.
Yet, if your child is obese (or headed in that direction...) your child WILL MOST CERTAINLY be teased. His/her self-esteem WILL be greatly diminished. YOU will put your child at risk of greater health problems, a shortened lifespan, the highest rate of teen suicide, diminished opportunities and on a path of a life long struggle to be accepted, feel loved, feel important and happy. You have no control over big ears. When it comes to obesity, you have control. Now, I'm not talking about having the thin kid. I'm talking about having a healthy kid. We do have different genetics. Some of us are destined to have shorter legs, skinny knees, chubby cheecks, etc. Be honest with yourself about your childs weight. If you're not sure, ask your physicia. We are parents create the environment and shape our children's view of food. 3 years olds don't pick the menu. 12 year olds don't go grocery shopping. Doing nothing about the health of your family and young children doesn't sound like love to me.
Now it's not my intent to offend anyone. If you're child is obese and something I've said offends you, I'll take that chance if it means helping one person to think differently about what they're doing to help their children be healthy.
Hey..I do NOT profess to be perfect and my kids eat their share of junk, but they eat it in moderation. They're moderately picky eaters, but they've got very healthy eating habits and a healthy attitude about food. I don't make them eat steamed broccoli for breakfast, but I do many things to exercise my right to conduct "parental brainwashing" on them. When they ask for a snack I offer fruit first. I try to get them to eat something every 2 to 3 hours. We eat small meals and I never tell them to clean their plate. I tell them to stop eating when they're full. When they ask for junk, I rarely deny them, but instead I suggest that they choose something that will make them stronger, faster or smarter. I'll let them have a twinky, etc., but later when they say, "I'm tired." or "I don't feel well," I plant the seed... "I bet it was that twinkie! Those things taste great, but they really zap your energy." With consistent and cleaver brainwashing you too can help your children avoid "issues" with food and maintain a healthy weight without it feeling like you're being the food police. Kids need carbs. They need fat. They don't need more calories than the average adult male. Don't let them drink their calories with sodas, juice, and chocolate milk. Teach them to eat their calories and use food as fuel!
Bottom line...your family can't eat junk if it's not in the house. Have a few treats on hand, life's too short, but an endless supply of junk does not make you a more caring parent, perhaps the opposite.
Drastic change should not be introduced overnight. Make a few subtle changes this week. Buy a little less junk and lot more fruit next week. The week after that, even less junk and more healthy stuff.
Here's a shopping list I give to my students. It's a great tool and yours for the taking!
Turbo Slim Grocery ListUnless indicated, all items can be found at whole food markets like Trader Joe's Henry's, etc. When shopping at a standard grocery store, avoid the end caps and fatty-junky isles. Stick to your list and start in the fruit and vegetable isles. This is a sample list. Add to it your own healthy favorites. It also includes most of thingredientsts for the recipes included in your guidebook. Buy as much of each item you like and is appropriate for your family meal planning. This list is meant to be used every time you go to the market. So make several copies and edit as needed.
Low sodium canned tuna
Extra Lean Ground Turkey
Salmon Patties (frozen or fresh)
Harvest whole wheat- whole grain bread
Whole wheat pita
Pure Protein shake
Soy Bean Butter (or low fat peanut butter)
Frozen whole Green Soybeans (Edamame!)
Reduced fat egg-less mayo
Frozen or fresh whole chicken breasts
Low Fat Rye Mini Whole Grain Toasts
Trader Joes Eggplant Humus Dip (lower cal!)
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Low Fat Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Dried cranberries or
Green Granny Smith Apples
Red apples (pre cut are fine too!)
Grape and or cherry tomatoes
Ripe slicing tomatoes
Can Whole kernel corn
Red seedless grapes
Blueberries or raspberries
Jalapeno peppers (2)
Every veggie you like
Pre-washed bags of salad (Spinach, Spring Mix)
Low Fat Skim Milk
Eggs or Pre-separated Egg whites (very convenient!)
Plain Low Fat yogurt
Mini and Large portabella mushrooms
Extra Virgin Olive oil (Basil flavored option)
Low Fat Shredded Cheddar cheese
Whole Grain Frozen Waffles
Low Fat 6 inch Whole Wheat Low Carb Tortillas
Chili Powder (Lawrys is fine!)
Bottled Water by the case!
Heart Smart Light butter
Heart Smart light butter popcorn
Balsamic vinegar and white wine vinegar
Non fat cooking spray (PAM)
Non fat Olive Oil Cooking Spray (Trader Joe's)
Sugar free Jell-o and or sugar free pudding
Light Cool Whip (keep it in the freezer!)
Frozen in the pod edamame (soy beans)
Splenda brand sweetner
Any Grocery Store
Crystal light GO- packs (cheapest at Target!)
Wasa Crackers (light rye is the best tasting)
Plastic containers and baggies - all sizes
Progressa Bread crumbs
What to Dispose of! (Seriously, throw it away today! Toss it and you can't eat it!
Cookies and candy
White Bread, rolls, donuts
Sugary Cereals and pastries
All processed junk
Any and all can't-refuse temptations
at 6:22 PM