I’m two weeks into my 30-day cleanse, which for the record does involve eating quite a bit of “real” food. But it also includes two nutrient-rich shakes each day, which have generated some interesting conversation with my little lady. Each morning when I whip together some concoction of the chocolate or vanilla shake with a little fruit or extract to punch it up, after the whirl of the Magic Bullet blender (it’s awesome, get one if you don’t have one yet!), she’s been piping up with: “You’re having another shake, Mommy?!” At which point I remind her that I’ve committed to healthier eating and that said shake has tons of protein in it.
However, there is something here that doesn’t connect. I told her I’ve committed to healthier eating, and what she’s seeing is an awful lot of drinking! She doesn’t see my mid-morning or mid-afternoon healthy snack – cucumbers and hummus, anyone? – and if I choose to make lunch my real meal for the day, she doesn’t see that either. Ever since noticing this unfortunate trend, I’ve made a concerted and conscious effort to eat dinner with the kids each night.
Being a good role model for my daughter – and my son, too, of course! – is a top parenting priority for me. When I workout and she’s not home, I often tell her about my great class or what I listened to on my iPod. And when I make dinner for any or all of us, we love talking about how colorful it is – a colorful meal is a healthy one!
Small but Perceptive
Certainly it’s no easy feat to always be our best selves when we’re around kids, watch what we eat and what we say, but sometimes it’s important to check in with a reminder that whether we’re mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandparent, caregiver or whomever, kids see and hear everything. And everything they see and hear contributes in its own small way to their development.
I figure my kids have a lifetime to learn to be critical of themselves and others, and now is the time to be the best role model I can be. And if that means drinking a little less and eating a little more in the months to come, I’ll still reach my healthy lifestyle goals and earn some parenting points, to boot.