Monday, February 4, 2008

My Kids Eat Healthier Than Yours Do

ThirdKid is usually at our house for lunch, but his mom usually sends him a lunch (it's SO cute to see him carrying his lunchbox!!!). Today he was coming at a different time, but leaving right after he and my kids usually finish lunch. His mom asked if I could just feed him with my kids if she wasn't able to send him a lunch (long story, she's having health issues).

I had every intention of serving the kids clementines, peas, and Spaghetti-Os. Except I couldn't find the Spaghetti-O's in pantry. Anywhere. I knew I didn't have enough chicken nuggets for all three of them (because my kids have eaten so many lately), so I decided to stick with fruits and veggies. They all had 2 clementines, 1/3 can of peas, and 1/3 can of corn for lunch today. They loved it and they ate almost everything. Not a big deal for my kids, they love fruits and veggies. ThirdKid was a bit more of a struggle, but even he ate most of his peas- the one thing he told me that he didn't like!

When his dad came to pick him up, I explained what had happened, and that the Prince's favorite lunch is a can of corn and a can of green beans. (I am SO not kidding!) ThirdKid's dad was really surprised, and rather impressed that I got his kid to eat all of that for lunch! (He rarely eats even 1/4 of what his mom sends, and I NEVER let him have the "fun" stuff before he finishes his healthy stuff. That's the rule I use with my own kids, and if he's going to eat with us he can follow my rules. His parents think it's a good rule, but they don't use it.) ThirdKid's dad then says "I hope he doesn't grow out of that soon" or something to that effect. I responded by saying how that's what my kids are used to- they eat a lot of fruits and veggies.

Until I was sitting down to type this out, I didn't really realize just how much healthier my kids eat than pretty much anyone else we know. The Prince's friends always have cookies and juice and other treats at their houses- even strawberry milk! My kids know that these things are treats. They love cookies and juice, but we rarely have them in the house. I don't buy juice... if they're thirsty, their options are milk or water. When we go out, SOMETIMES I'll let them have a non-caffinated soda, but usually they get chocolate milk (and that's a nice treat for them!).

I am NOT saying that they don't eat junk, because they do. But I think my idea of them eating junk is a lot different than most people's. They snack on popcorn and fruit, and sometimes I'll make them chocolate milk or lemonade to drink. Sometimes I buy them crackers or yogurt to snack on. I buy Honey-Nut Cheerios and Fruit Loops and they love those. When I buy them fast food, I usually choose the fruit option (and yes, the Prince does use the carmel dip for the apples at McD's)... or I'll get one meal with fruit and one with fries, and they'll split both. Good grief, as I'm typing this I'm feeling more and more like my kids don't eat anything fun... but that's certainly not true, it just isn't the norm at our house.

The Prince had a friend over a while back, and when the Prince wanted a snack, his friend said "Me too! Let's have cookies!". He was almost confused when I said that we didn't have any cookies- like it was something that never happens at his house. My SIL always has tons of junk (yes, junk- candy bars, bags of sweet snacks, juice boxes, etc) at her house, available for the kids to help themselves.

Is this the norm? What is it like in your house? In the houses of your friends?

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