This Sunday in Sunday School I taught the kids about Solomon. I taught them that God told Solomon that he could ask for anything, and that God would grant it. Solomon asked for wisdom, to lead Israel. God was so pleased that Solomon did not ask for riches, or fame, or a long life, but instead asked for a wise and understanding heart, that he not only granted him wisdom, but the other things as well.
Keep me from saying words, that later need recalling;Guard me lest idle speech, May from my lips be falling;But when within my place, I must and ought to speak,Then to my words give grace, Lest I offend the weak.
Lord let me win my foes, With kindly words and actions,And let me find good friends, for counsel and correction.Help me as you have taught, to love both great and smallAnd by your Spirit’s might, To live at peace with all.
Let’s face it ladies, husbands are no good at commiserating over morning sickness. The only time they get that sick, it is their own fault, and they keep pretty quiet about it. But girlfriends will share their tried and true remedies.
Girlfriends know the precise level of honesty that you want to hear when you ask how you look in a new outfit or haircut.
Girlfriends know when you need a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Girlfriends can understand when you are so proud of your kids that you feel you might burst, and they know that you are not gloating, just proud.
Girlfriends share secret family recipes.
Girlfriends point out with a giggle when your teen is wearing sweatsocks with dress pants, and they know that it snuck past you on the pre-church inspection.
Girlfriends understand your need for long phone conversations about nothing at all.
What is your best girlfriend story?
Anyone who reads this blog for any length of time knows that nutrition, especially children’s’ nutrition is a subject near and dear to my heart. As the mom of four and soon to be five, I take my role of shaping my children’s’ futures very seriously. Not only am I responsible for their moral and emotional well being, I am responsible for what sort of shape they will be in the future! Really I am!
I’ve battled my weight for most of my adult life. While most would look at me and not call me obese, according to weight charts, I am. I’m sure numerous pregnancies have added to my weight, though pregnancy and lactating seem to be the time periods in which my weight is well managed, and I even LOSE a little weight, probably because I am much more conscious of my intake.
If you look at my sons, you would probably think me silly to worry about obesity for any of them later in life. They are all quite slim, and one is even on the downright skinny side. To look at them you would think, “wow, they have some good skinny genes in that family”. But, if you were to look at the family tree, you would see that on both sides of the family there is a history of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, joint problems, and diabetes. NOT such a great legacy to pass down.
So, is there a way to fight genetics? Thankfully, yes. Many of the above mentioned problems are linked almost directly to nutrition. Almost all of those diseases are TOTALLY preventable! What better gift and legacy can I leave to my children.
Imagine my delight to see that Parents Magazine devoted a lengthy article in their August 2009 issue to my “pet soapbox”!
Allow me to recap some key points in this article, entitled “Raise a Slim Kid in a Supersize World” by Sarah Mahoney:
1. Monitor your baby’s weight gain. A new Harvard study has shown that babies who gained weight very quickly in their first six months were more likely to be obese at age 3. That is a scary statistic. Here are some calculators to check the BMI (Body Mass Index) of all of your family members.
2. Breastfeed for as long as you can. It has been a long known fact that formula fed babies tend to be heavier than breastfed infants because they consume up to 20% more calories. Nursing babies stop eating when full, while formula fed babies are often encouraged to finish a bottle even when they are ready to stop eating. babies who begin solid foods before 4 month often tend to weigh more. Follow your doctor’s advice and breastfeed for at least a year and delay solids for 6 months.
3. Know your child’s BMI Children who fall between the 85th and 95th percentile are overweight, and those above the 95th are obese.
4. Make lifestyle changes as a family.
5. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. I keep lots of precut carrots on hand, my kids eat them like candy. We also tend to go through about 10 pounds of apples a week when they are home for the summer. I probably make at least one extra trip to the store a week to get more fruits and vegetables, but I consider this an investment in their future health and not an inconvenience or expense. Snacks in our house are fruits and veggies…period.
6. Don’t Be too Fast to Feed this applies to babies as well as older kids. As moms, we instinctually go to feed our babies every time that they fuss, but often fussienss is not tied to hunger. When I know that my kids have been well fed and start rooting around my kitchen for more food, I blast the inevitable culprit…boredom! Once my kids have something constructive to do, they forget their imaginary hunger and eat a hearty dinner an hour later! Also, thirst often masquerades as hunger. I usually ask my boys to drink a glass of water and wait five minutes before asking for another snack. The water often does the trick. It works for me too!
7. Add more whole grains. Not only are the whole grains full of great nutrients and fiber, they digest more slowly, keeping kids fuller for longer and they help stabilize blood sugar. I am known to sneak wheat germ into any batter I can. I mix whole grain pasta half and half with white and have almost completely switched to brown rice…the only complaints come from the 13 year old!
8. Make bedtime a priority. Kids need way more sleep than they think they do. They may even need more sleep than you think that they do! Sleep helps regulate the hormones that control appetite, so a lack of sleep can actually lead to obesity.
9. Dethrone your picky eater. In our home dinner always includes two choices, take it, or leave it. I am not a cruel tyrant. I take individual tastes into account. I’ve been known to leave sauces of off meats and serve stir fries beside rice instead of on top of. Each son has something that they remove from their salad. This however is not the picky eater I speak of. It is the picky eater who refuses anything but chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, and a harried mother, who has enough on her hands obliges. This, however, leads to a vicious cycle in which Jr. now refuses to try anything new, and it is difficult to even go to the Smith home for dinner without a lunch pail for Junior.
This is NOT a behavior issue. This is a HEALTH issue. Our bodies require numerous nutrients that are metabolized best when gotten from foods, not gummy vitamins. Heathy eating habits when young build up to healthy habits as adults. I come form the old school of “no child will starve herself”. My children have been known to refuse her dinner. I’ve silently obliged. I’ve also pointed out that evening snacks are now off limits, though the dinner plate may be reheated. Otherwise, Junior eats a hearty breakfast the next day. I do not, however, recycle that same dinner dish for the next four meals. That is cruel. Each meal starts anew. I’m not a harpie, just a concerned mother!
10. Eat as a family. Not only does eating together serve as good modeling for nutrition, it is just good practice!
11. Know what 1,000 calories looks like. a 2 or 3 year old needs 1,000 calories a day. Serving sizes should be in teaspoonfuls. Kids 4-8 need 1,800 to 2,000 calories depending on activity level. Protein servings should always be the size of their fist.
12. Rethink drinks. Beverages in our home include two cups of milk per kid, and water. We serve whole milk here, because I am trying to put some healthy weight on two of my kids, and we drink milk in moderation. Overweight and obese kids should have skim milk after age 1. We do serve the occasional glass of orange juice when I make “fancy” breakfasts on the weekends, But juices, sports drinks and teas can replace calories that kids should be getting from whole foods. Now, when we are on vacation, or out at a restaurant, I do allow my kids to drink soda. I try not to make certain foods forbidden fruits, as kids tend to crave them all the more. Which leads me to:
13. Make your goal moderation, Not Deprivation. We try to keep things healthy, but at the same time, we are not going to skip The World’s Best Donuts when we visit Grand Marais, and if I am ever in a city with a Baskin Robbins, you know that my boys are going to enjoy what I consider the world’s best ice cream!
Thank you again Parents Magazine and Sarah Mahoney, for a fabulous, timely article, and some inspiration. I’ll be sure to watch for next moth’s second part on healthy school lunches and after school snacks! I can always use inspiration in that area!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying to steer my family toward a meatless meal every week…this is not so easy, considering that I live with a bunch of carnivores (myself included). You are not going to see Tofu on the menu any time soon. So, on Sunday I was in a dinner pinch and was not in the mood for much. But I grabbed a box of pasta and a can of artichoke hearts and wondered what I could whip up that would be yummy. 30 minutes later, this pasta dish was born!
Totally yummy, and so good for you too!
Now, my kids were a bit reluctant to try this…until they saw the spinach! they love spinach! They were not nuts about the artichoke hearts though, which is fine…I ate the extras!