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HIGH  ALTITUDE  HEALTH

A weekly article by Debbie Holmes

“Be the Example!”

Since I am on vacation this week, I’m pulling a past article that makes me very proud. With a little up-dating, I hope you enjoy this week’s High Altitude Health!

I’m remembering a “mom” experience with my 11-year-old son, in a conversation regarding a trip to the grocery store. It went just like this. (My cell phone rings)

“Hi, honey. What’s up?”

“Mom, are you going to the store before you come home?”

“Yes, I’m on my way there now. Is there something that you need?”

“Could you get some more blueberry bagels and cream cheese?”

“Sure, anything else that you can think of?”

“We need some bananas and apples too. Oh, and get some of those clementine’s if they still have them.”

“Ok, will do! I’ll be home in a little while!”

Did that really happen? Was that honestly the grocery request that my 11-year-old son requested? Not a “Cheeto” or a triple/caffeinated soda on the list! No gum, no candy, no hot pocket? What have I created?

I’d say that’s a pretty good list and a very unexpected list coming from an 11-year-old boy.

Truthfully, I allowed myself to marvel in all the wonderfulness of that phone conversation for a minute or two. I know how difficult it is to get our kids to eat properly.

As perfect as I could make myself sound within the boundaries of these articles, I too am a mom that falls victim to the quick, easy, processed, pull-out-of the freezer meals and snacks more regularly than I’d like to admit.

It’s tough to get your kids to eat healthy sometimes and it’s next to impossible to get them to eat healthy all the time. Heck, it’s tough for every adult as well!

I’m not a nutritionist and I’m surely not a child or an adult psychologist, so all I can say is that I honestly have no idea how I instilled those grocery requests into my 11-year old’s brain. I promise it wasn’t through torture or subliminal messages being piped through his room while he sleeps at night.

The only thing I can go on from here is to believe that being an example for my kids and choosing to eat as well as possible has probably not gone unnoticed. My education (and my experience) has taught me that when it comes to trying to teach your kids the right and the wrong ways of doing things, you must do them yourself.

I know that my kids recognize when I’ve come home from an exercise session, just as I recognize when they’ve been out and about playing a sport or doing an activity that gets them moving. I encourage them and they return the favor and respect my time for structured exercise. It’s noticed, even if the exercise is never acknowledged, the kids know that mom and dad exercise. It’s got to click somewhere deep in those little brains, that exercise is good because my mom and dad are doing it!

I have a rule in my house when it comes to meals. This house is not a restaurant. “I never cook ‘yucky’ food!” It’s that simple! If by some mistake the food truly turns out “yucky” then none of us will eat it. Therefore, what’s placed in from of you for dinner, is dinner, take it or have it warmed up later!

Scientific or not, I believe that this is where the example is set. Preparing meals that are healthy (most of the time, let’s be honest) and having snacks available that are healthy. Then consume those same healthy food items with your kids, they’ll notice that you have eaten those items too. Then hopefully, it’ll happen, someplace deep inside (probably in a time far, far and away) that it’s O.K. to eat those funny colored string beans because mom and dad did, and they don’t cook “yucky’ stuff!

Hey, it’s a thought and it’s my thought this week. All I know is that your children can’t and won’t develop healthy eating and exercise habits unless they see you eating healthy and exercising regularly.

That I know is a scientific fact! Be the example you want your kids to be!

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