I have come to believe that if we just follow our children’s lead, we would all be much healthier and happier. Let me explain…see children have no filter on what they say or do. They purely act on instinct for which is usually right. So many things that children do are the ways we have forgotten or have been conditioned out of us. Just watch kids play. Their movements are some of the best exercises you can do. My daughter who is only three likes to try and carry our kettle-bells around the house (15/30 lbs, never mind trying to lift a heavy game off a shelf that is far over her head. Try imitating and playing like a 2-3 year old for an hour…you’ll be exhausted from all the crawling and acting like an animal, jumping, dancing , jumping off of things, running in circles and doing random yoga moves as you color laying on the floor. If they have their way kids are usually is running around barefoot, even outside.
Then comes food. Kids eat when they are hungry. They will always let you know when they are hungry, believe me. We do not need to fit our kids into a schedule for eating. Kids, if not exposed to a lot of sugary juices as a small child(1yr) by the time they are 2-3 usually choose not to drink them. They treat them like a treat. My daughter prefers water, and we lead by example. No matter what kind of lifestyle your family follows, a few things are clear to me. Kids, by choice, will always crave fats and good carbs(sweet potato, rice). Recently over the Easter holidays I sat at the table with the extended family for dessert and while my daughter, who eats a ton of good fats on a regular basis, devoured frozen banana ice cream with a spoonful of nutella for dessert. Her younger cousin who doesn’t consume probably as much, sat at the table, pushed away his dessert and pointed to the butter dish. Since he was sitting on my husbands knee, he allowed the little fellow to eat spoonful after spoonful of straight, salted butter. We had to actually stop him from eating over a 1/4 cup of butter. But that just shows you that we need fats for growing and brain function. My daughter has been cooking with me since she was 6 months old and always has reached for the butter. A friend texted me the other day, because she know ‘my butter thing’ and told me her three year old boy was helping to bake and grabbed the butter. When the mom asked him to wipe his hands so the butter wouldn’t get everywhere, he said “mmm…greasy butter. Butter makes me feel good!” Need I say more!
Kids unlearn their good habits from us. We use food as rewards (I do too, which I know I shouldn’t), we passively teach breakfast foods are generally sugar and carbs, we think kids should be bundled up when its chilly, and heaven forbid we put socks and shoes on them to go outside in the yard to play and get dirty. Being exposed to chilly and even freaking cold weather has its advantages(for a short duration). Kinda like if you wear your winter coat in the house for an hour, when you go outside you are still going to be cold because your body has become used to the temperature. It isn’t healthy to over bundle. Kids and teens rebel against us and undress as soon as they know we are out of sight. They hate being too warm, let alone have movements restricted. Children are in constant motion and their metabolism is so high they are always warm. Socks and shoes outside, give me a break! Most kids hate it! I hate it…well I do like my flip flops, but I’d rather go barefoot in the yard and on the beach. Anyone that knows me, knows I would wear my flip flops all year round and am 95% of the time barefoot at home. Being barefoot and grounded to the earth may have some advantages. Grounding mats and the theory behind them are a fringe idea, but one that I have fully accepted.
Anyways…just some food for thought.