Our Family Health: A Series, Part 2

By Jenny Steadman May 12, 2017

Like your family, we are always striving to have a healthy balance in our household. We are starting on a new journey and I plan to chronicle it here with you. If you missed Part I, you can find it here.

Last time I shared our new family rules about treats and dinner.

We took back the word “treat” to mean something special as opposed to the piece of candy they were having every day after school.

Dinner is dinner is dinner. There is no second choice (within reason).

What steps did we take to help ease these new rules into our family routine?

We told them no more treats/candy at home. We reminded them that there are often treats at school and there are always so many birthday parties! We also told them that this would allow us to surprise and treat them with actual treats. Ice cream after dinner? Sure! That’s easy when you don’t have candy every day! Surprisingly, they were instantly on board.

Unless I’ve made something completely absurd or something I know they don’t like, they have to eat what is cooked for dinner. I work hard to make sure there is always something they will eat like a favorite vegetable, a grain on the side or fruit salad. This way, even if they don’t like the main dish, they are still eating enough of what I’ve cooked.

This big question: How’s it going?

  1. This was super easy at first. They were completely on board with not having candy after school and it took just a few days to break the habit of asking for it. My oldest, who is 9.5, even noticed that she didn’t crave candy after school anymore! This was a surprise and a relief to me! Then, Easter came around and the candy piled back up. Since then, the daily begging for sweet treats has returned. It is time to start over again.
  2. This has been a struggle. My 7-year-old had a very limited palate for years and then it started to grow. Now she’s just downright stubborn. The thing is, she will eat things but only if she is in the mood for it. I need to do a better job of making sure she has more options on the table that can fill her dinner plate.

What next?

  1. We’re starting over. Instead of keeping all of the candy in a cabinet in the kitchen, it’s going far away. I’m not going to throw it away so they can still have it on occasion but, it’s not going to be so easily found.
  2. I need to work harder to offer more options on the dinner table. Some options I’m thinking to always include: a bowl of cottage cheese, raw carrots, a plain grain (like brown rice) and fruit salad. This way she always has a choice.

Let’s see how this works!