So why should my child have to sacrifice what they want to eat just because I’m on a diet, you ask?
Who said it was a sacrifice? Didn’t I tell you anything was fine in moderation? I Corinthians 6:12 states, “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.”
We are free to eat fast food, processed foods, donuts, cold cuts . . . just not every day because it would become a wrong habit, polluting our bodies with junk and not honoring God. Our goal is to stay in control, know why we eat and ensure that any food doesn’t control you. There are actually two chemicals found in fast food, ghrelin and leptin, that stimulate a desire for additional sweet and starchy foods. So by giving in to your child when he screams for a fast food hamburger, you are setting him up for challenges later on. Is that really what you want to do?
When you think about it there are only two things that could go wrong with reaching your family’s goal of eating healthier:
- Long ingrained habits
- Food choices
Try to establish a habit of sharing meals together. Strive to build only happy memories around dinners shared. This should be a time of fellowship. There is a wonderful film entitled, Avalon. The movie begins with three generations sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying lively discussions and companionship. As time progresses, generations and society changes. The film ends with one family sitting quietly, no more lively discussions – only consuming TV dinners around the nightly news. That scene states so much about the loss of family values in today’s world! Strive to build happy memories and a solid foundation of closeness as you eat together.
Regarding your family’s food choices, train a child early so he’ll choose what’s best for his body and you will break the chain of events that lead to your own unhealthy eating lifestyle.
I urge you not to become an enabler to your child. He doesn’t need to place junk in his body any more than you do! Consider it a life lesson in self-control. How many of you when you see a child staging a temper tantrum in a store because he expects something now, want to take that child home with you? “Oh isn’t he precious?!” you say, don’t you? Not on your life!! When we see a child however, who is well-mannered and in control of his actions, we know that the parents have trained him to be at an early age to be self-controlled.
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) Good eating habits become ingrained in your child. By your personal actions of instructing and educating your child in healthier ways, you’re setting him on a path that won’t lead to the common illnesses that plague so many today, such as diabetes and heart disease. Your child will be a better scholar and athlete Your child will excel at independent decision-making and begin an upward spiral of success! That’s not sacrifice, that’s accomplishment!
What are some great snacks for a child? Apples or graham crackers with peanut butter, cut vegetables with an herb yogurt dip, fresh fruit dipped in a sweet yogurt dip or with dark chocolate, unsalted popcorn without butter, crunchy granola made with Chex or other whole grain cereals, raisins and nuts, Triscuits and white cheeses. Make snacks together and create warm memories together! Happy eating! Ellie