I grabbed onto this phrase from Tosca Reno’s book, The Eat-Clean Diet® for Family and Kids. The entire book really helped me rethink the food culture of my home. If you don’t have time to read this book, no problem. Just remember one phrase: Who is driving the bus?
I love this phrase because it reminds me that I am the adult. If I always gave into toddler logic to make family decisions we’d be eating marshmallows at every meal. One of our many unpopular jobs in parenting is to set standards. We want our kids to be polite, so we teach them. We want our kids to learn how to use a toilet, so we teach them. We’d never say, “He doesn’t like using the toilet now, but maybe he’ll learn to like it when he’s an adult.” (I’ve definitely heard this one about kids and vegetables.)
In the case of nutrition, we need to set and model standards that contribute to family health. If there are different standards for the parents, it is confusing for the kiddos. Healthy food isn’t just for crash-dieting parents. Set your standards high for everyone and stick to them. Let your kids be involved in selecting nutritionally-superior foods to replace the junk you used to eat. You may also want to try a little lesson on nutrient density to get everyone on board.
Today at the park, I was talking with a Don’t Panic Mom reader named Jill. She told me about a conversation she had recently with her kids regarding white rice. They whined to her that they really missed white rice. She then told them why she was sticking to brown rice. Wow. No backing down from this mama on the importance of whole grains. Bravo. Jill is a mother who is willing to drive the bus.
Do you feel like you’re driving the bus? Let us know in a comment below or on the Don’t Panic Mom Facebook Page.
Look forward to Thursday for a cheesy guest post by Chelsea Ellingson.