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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Growing Is Not the Same as Growing Healthy

I started this post as a little bit of a rant about my children's food habits.  But as I was typing away, so frustrated with them I realized, they're probably doing OK. 

Here's the situation - I've eaten according to a few different plans that go along with conventional wisdom's way of looking at food.  Then, about ten months ago I found out about the Primal Blueprint and fell in love with the common sense of it all!  So, I started eating primally and have been working on changing the habits of my whole family.  We've made progress, but have a ways to go too.  Tonight, when I first started writing this, I realized that I have some more progress to make on my own too, and not only in my grocery choices. 

The topic I was going to growl about earlier was Gracie and Tyler leaving food on their plate every night at dinner.  I don't give them very much to begin with.  My strategy is that they can always ask for more, but I'd like to throw away as little as possible.  They're also supposed to try everything on the plate and if they don't like it they don't have to eat it.  That's it.  I've always felt like my rules around the dining room table are pretty simple.  But they seem to make it so much more complicated. 

Gracie makes up her mind about whether or not she likes something before the fork hits her mouth, not that there's enough on it to actually taste anyway.  Drives me nuts!  Tonight we had some pork that she really liked the first time I made it.  Tonight she wouldn't eat it.  ARG.  Well...that's what I felt at dinner.  And that's what I felt when I started typing.  I figured I'd list the things Gracie eats on a daily basis, for meals and snacks, and you'd all confirm that I had every right to be frustrated.  But as I was typing that list I realized that the irritation I was experiencing was coming from a place of conventional wisdom. 

Here's what I mean. 
  • Conventional wisdom (CW) says that we should eat every three hours, or several small meals a day.  The Primal Blueprint's (PB) way of thinking is that we eat when we're hungry. 
  • CW says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that we should never skip meals.  PB allows for fasting by skipping a meal or skipping several.
There are several other differences too.  But these are the two that I'm going to start working on.  What I realized when listing our meals was that we're all eating according to those two primal points, but I'm still getting aggravated according to CW thoughts.  No longer did I feel ARG, instead I felt a little smile.  Maybe all my preaching is working. 

Here's what I mean by that...the kids know all about the PB (we even did a unit study revolving around it).  They see me skip meals or eat just a little.  They see me having primal snacks when I need a little extra something.  The food I'm offering them is, for the most part, primal and, therefore, healthy.  So, they should be allowed to eat it when and if they want to.

As I was considering this tonight, before re-starting this post, I realized that Jace already does that.  He's been putting off lunch until later and not eating much.  He's still as active as ever, just knows he's not hungry after only a three hour break.  And it's not like any of my children aren't growing.  Even Tyler's little legs are getting longer.  And when I've discussed my food frustrations with people that's often been the way they've tried to help, "They're obviously growing."  It's true, they are.  But I want them to grow healthy, with good habits and the ability to know when they're hungry and when they'd just eating to pass the time or whatever other reason.  Upon consideration, and after calming down, I think they are.  They're not just growing, but are growing healthy. 

I'm keeping the dining table rules.  Gracie will still likely not like what she doesn't think she will, at least for a little longer.  But I'm not going to be upset with that. Because I'm going to keep chipping away at the years of conventional wisdom.  Promise.

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