I was asked by my daughter why weight is so important to adults. First, I’m not sure it’s weight exactly, but more how and what we eat. Weight is just the easiest thing to pinpoint. We can see if our clothes are getting too tight. We cannot see if our blood work is getting dangerous. This is a dangerous topic when you have a tween, because you want them to eat healthy, but not obsess about weight. It’s hard to explain why she can eat more of certain things than I can. We did discuss how your body changes as you get older and necessary eating habits need to be changed as well.
Is this really true, or have we just been programmed this way? Yes, your body changes as you get older, but do we need to change eating habits? What would happen if we started healthy eating habits from birth? I know part of the answer to that. School lunches would need a major overhaul or we would need to start packing lunches everyday. I know for my family, it would not work to make any drastic changes. They would surely notice. I have had a year or so to do research on eating since my first scary test results. I would not say I am an expert, but I have made some changes around here. One of the first things I learned is that the fewer the ingredients, the better. I am taking control of what my family consumes by knowing what ingredients are in each dish. Of course, in order to do this, we have had to prioritize eating at home and cooking our own meals most days. Snacks mostly consist of fresh fruits and vegetables (good thing my kiddos like them). We try to shop on the outside edges of the stores to get fresh and frozen fruits, veggies, & meats and Dairy products. We eat processed foods and prepacked foods as little as possible. We also love to "eat the rainbow" around here. The kids like trying new fruits and vegetables in the whole rainbow of colors. I am far from perfect in what I eat, but I am trying to provide healthy meals for my family.
Another way we can teach why eating right is important is that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to care for the temple. "Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body." (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Message) If we don’t take care of the temple, we may not be physically able to do the tasks God has for us to do. In my case, if I do not take care of my temple, I may need to spend the money on a new, wider wheelchair than use it for a ministry task. God provides us with one body for this life on Earth and we have the responsibility to take care of it.
Watching what you eat does not mean obsessing with what you eat, depriving yourself, or focusing too much on food. This is not healthy or a good way to minister either. We should not make food our idol. Our focus should be on God and not on our food--counting calories, hoarding food, hiding treats, etc.
What great tips for eating healthy do you have?
How do you manage the with kiddos (especially a tween or teen girl)?