Thanks, Mom.

I was wiping Little A’s nose today and she was obviously displeased. To make myself feel better about her squirmy rioting, I started to say a classic line, “One day you’ll thank me…

But I stopped myself short from completing the rest of the line and laughed out loud. I am certain that I will never be thanked for wiping runny noses. Ever. What a silly phrase.

There are millions of nurturing tasks that mothers do that will never be acknowledged. But that’s just part of the job. We are awesome because we can do what is best for our kids without a high-five, thank you note, or cash bonus. This is especially true with health habits. How many times have you helped your toddler brush her teeth? How many times have you gone to the park? How many bananas have you helped her peel?

Health researchers know that you are powerful forces in the lives of your children. For example, Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D., a professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, stated in an interview:

“We know that parents have tremendous influence over how many fruits and vegetables their children eat…When parents eat more fruits and vegetables, so do their children.”

I loved how she said, “tremendous influence.” This can either make you panic under the pressure or feel empowered. I hope you feel empowered.

Thank you to all of the mothers in the Don’t Panic Mom Community. You are making your child’s world healthier. And you are making my child’s world healthier because you are part of my family’s social network.

Want to thank another Don’t Panic Mom for fearlessly serving broccoli? or for switching to brown rice? Leave some comment love below.

Read the rest of Haire-Josu’s study summary about working with parents to increase fruit and veggie consumption in toddlers at RedOrbit.