After Bug’s little rant the other morning I was not so sure how our new Awareness Plan was going to go. That’s what I’m calling it now. It’s not a weight loss plan but a way for us to become aware of what we are eating and what we should be eating. (Just clarifying.)
Buddy is doing what Buddy always does and that is what he has been told. After every meal he extracts the appropriate Food Bill according to what he ate and puts it in his “belly.” He has also taken to emptying and loading the dishwasher in the morning because he earns a gold token for his screen time for that. I had told the boys 1 hour of exercise would earn them a 15 minute token but I am adding other things like the dishes because it is something productive and that is not involving sitting in front of a TV or computer. It’s up to me if a token is given and for what but mostly I want to see real action! Buddy has also put together that he should check his “wallet” for how many bills he has for which foods and even plans ahead a little.
The first two days I had to remind Bug to move his Food Bills to his “belly” after eating but now he is doing it with out me asking. Both boys seem to rather enjoy monitoring their intake this way. Bug really enjoys reading labels and measuring out portion sizes. He has been surprised to learn what various serving sizes amount to.
Man is still being a man. I rather like that he is but I would really love for him to be more on board with this! One of my concerns for Buddy is that he drinks way too much juice. It is always his beverage of choice. The Worm does not gain weight from the sugar but I think it is staining his teeth and fruit juice is starting to get as bad a rap as sodas. We are careful to buy the 100% fruit juices but labels must be read. They are not always what they seem. My new rule is that if they have consumed 5 glasses of water then a juice serving would be allowed. As we were sitting down to lunch yesterday Man scolded the boys.
“Who didn’t finish their juice this morning?”
“Juice? Baby, I told you they need to drink their water first!” I lamented.
He rolled his eyes and argued, “You can’t have water with breakfast.”
“Yeah. You can. Or milk. Well…” I started to bend. “Was it orange juice?”
Orange Juice is one of the good guys, right? I amended my rule that one may partake of juice but only one serving a day. If they choose to have it at breakfast that’s fine but then there is no more after that.
Yesterday afternoon I was working on getting our patio cleaned up. When I came inside the kids were watching a movie with popcorn and juice boxes. Man’s treat. Today I served whole wheat pasta with olive oil and Parmesan for lunch along with some sliced cucumbers. Bug did not want it. Instead he wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich.
“Well, you had an egg for breakfast and Daddy is going to grill yummy Bratwurst for dinner. That would be two meats and that is what the food pyramid allows.”
“Then I would like a peanut butter and honey sandwich please,” Bug requested.
“Peanut butter is a protein. It’s a meat,” I said apologetically.
Man glared at me.
“Dear…” (Dear means I’m in trouble. Otherwise I’m referred to as Babe.) “Dear…the pyramid is just a SUGGESTION.”
Good point. Ideally I’d like my kids to have a protein, fruit and a veggie with each meal. Bug ended up eating the pasta with cheese but I chewed on a little more than that while I lunched. The cheese on the pasta would provide the protein but what would be so bad about peanut butter or a lean meat like turkey? The main thing I want to achieve is balance and knowledge. It’s not like Bratwurst is a super healthy choice either.
After lunch Buddy and Bug went to Caren’s to play. Not long after their time there Caren called.
“Michal, Bug and I are just calling to see if he has enough of the right food slips to have a home made yogurt Popsicle. They are Greek yogurt, berries and a little sugar.”
Bug did have enough slips for the treat and knowing how Caren’s kitchen operates a little sugar is a little sugar.
“Well, I just wanted to call to check because I want Buddy and Bug to know we are all on board with this.”
THANK YOU! It’s so great for the kids and I both to have the accountability. Plus with Man trying to rattle my system it is nice to have a “team mate.” Caren’s support is a huge help!
In fact I have received e-mails, texts and phone calls from many of you to offer your support, kudos and advice. One of my favorite tips was from Dana. Noting that Bug liked to sweeten his oatmeal, she suggested freezing banana slices. When we want to sweeten our oatmeal we can take a few banana slices out, defrost them and mash them in! This is genius! I used to slice a banana into my Grape Nuts to sweeten it. Same concept.
She also said that in her home they have one All You Can Eat item at dinner. Everything else she serves on the plate but the All You Can Eat food is on the table for the family to help themselves. It is usually a vegetable though it has sometimes been a fruit or a lean meat. This lets your child feel they have a choice in what they are eating.
My friend Shawn called this morning to give me encouragement, empathy for Bug and a great tip! She suggested using a food scale and sugar cubes to allow Buddy and Bug to measure out the amount of sugar that a label tells them a particular food has. I think each cube is a gram. Reading a label that says this food has 12 grams of sugar as opposed to seeing just how much 12 grams of sugar is could really be impacting! I know it works for me to visualize 4 sticks of butter when ever I lose or gain a pound.
The part of our plan that I still have not quite settled on is how strict should I be in regards to sugary treats. I am personally saying no to sugar but I still have it every day. I won’t eat sugar in bread or a dessert all day but then in the evening I will grant myself a glass of wine (fermented sugar) or 5 chocolate covered strawberries. I was still able to lose weight even with this allowance. Knowing how hard it is as an adult to say Absolutely No Sugar…I can’t ask that of my kids. I can’t not have a dirty little boy, swinging his legs off of the deck while eating a Popsicle. That’s some sort of Right Of Passage.
Dana had said what works for her is that they are allowed one sweet a day. Mom chooses the treat but Boy chooses when he eats it and only one portion. “It is typically something fairly benign like Jello, 2 cookies or a 100% juice pops. Sometimes its chocolate cake, or something really yumm but he only gets one portion.” This again gives a child a sense of choice and control in his daily diet.
Friday at school Bug had said that he had some birthday cake to celebrate a classmate’s birthday. We had planned to have dessert night on Friday night in the hopes of keeping dessert to once a week. I decided we could still have dessert with no sugar. After dinner we made fruit smoothies, careful to measure out the appropriate serving size for the yogurt and fruits that we chose. The boys love smoothies and felt like it was just as special as a slice of cake!
Tonight for dessert we took a page from my book of having chocolate covered fruit. We got a little naughty though from this idea I found on Pinterest.
My sister had told me that she recently saw an interview of skinny chefs and they said that a dessert should be no more than three bites. Based on that idea I allowed the boys to have two each of our mini banana splits. Their sweet tooth was satisfied and I did not feel guilt ridden for giving them too much sugar.
Olivia texted me yesterday:
O: Keep trying to empower him to make good choices. I really feel like when he sees the “power” in it you will see big changes. I’m sure there will be bumps but don’t stop fighting for it. We both know you don’t “grow out” of a love for food.
Me: Ain’t that the TRUTH.
O: I’m standing with you!!!
I know that she is and that so many of you are as well. Thank you so much for your encouragement, prayers and ideas. I love that Bug’s story has hit a chord in so many and not just parents but everyone who is dealing with their weight and health.
I mean, who isn’t?!