Tuesday, June 3, 2014
I know I'm a health nut. And I like that I'm a health nut. But lately I've been having a hard time finding balance. I'm fine when it comes to me. I have my guidelines and I follow them 90% of the time. But when it comes to my kids, I really struggle. I want them to be healthy. I want them to learn to make the healthy decisions on their own. But I also want them to have fun and enjoy being kids!
On the one hand I have guilt over letting them have peanut butter and sugary jelly sandwiches. On the other hand, I feel bad when I hear that other kids have Oreos in their lunch and my kids' dessert is an apple.
The other night we met my parents at a restaurant. We placed our orders and I must not have been paying attention because the next thing I knew the server showed up with a chocolate milk, a lemonade and a Sprite. I said, "What's this?" and my kids said, "Dad said we could order what we wanted." Had I been privy to that conversation I know I would have made them order waters. And I had to work really hard not to be annoyed that my husband had let them order glasses of sugar with their pizza. But I reminded myself that it was a treat and treats are ok sometimes.
I have cut sugar out of my diet almost completely (expect for my creamer...that's my vice. And the occasional ice cream cone). But lately I have noticed that I'm seeing sugar every where I look! I'm not that tempted by it anymore, but when I see my kids eating a bowl of cereal (8g of sugar per serving) it's like I am watching them shovel spoonfuls of pure sugar in their mouths. Even watching them drink a glass of milk (12g of sugar!!) makes me cringe. I am trying to switch them to almond milk (0g of sugar), but they don't like to drink it. I insist they have it on their cereal, though, so they aren't having 20g of sugar to start off the day.
Speaking of almond milk, am I going nutty? Both my husband and I have struggled with our weight our entire lives. I don't want to watch my kids go through that. But I also feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. My husband, who grew up on sugary junk food, has come a looooong way, but he's definitely more relaxed about what the kids eat. Therefore, he's the fun parent...letting the kids put chocolate syrup (20g of sugar) on their waffles and giving them juice (26g of sugar!). I'm the one who swoops in and says, "That's more than enough syrup!" and makes sure they have half a glass or less of juice. My husband takes them to the school carnival and lets them get candy. I'm the one who throws it all away when they aren't looking. They aren't shy about letting it be known who they prefer to hang out with. And, frankly, if I were 8 and 10 years old, I'm not sure I would want to hang out with me either.
Maybe I should be grateful that I have a husband who keeps me from going completely over the edge. Who lets our kids have a treat every once in a while. And maybe, just maybe, those same kids will thank me someday.