The following post is from Selena Moffitt of 1 Mom’s Mission:
We pour cereal out of the box and give our kids animal shaped crackers. Do you ever wonder if they realize that this is truly a non-food? Do we realize it? What do kids think about vegetables? How do they compare it to other foods? Or does it even enter their stream of consciousness? Not so much…
It’s never too early to help your kiddos investigate the nutrition of their food.
Over at 1 Mom’s Mission, I posed a mission called “Unwrap Your Snacks.” The purpose of this challenge was to take all WRAPPED SNACK FOODS out of your diet (and your kids’) for a week. It took a little pre-planning, but it had great results, and my car has never been cleaner!** wink**
Unwrapping our snacks was the doorway to exposing food to my kiddos at a deeper level. Today, I want to share a tactic we came up with to nourish their knowledge of food to a higher level: God-made vs. Man-made.
Kids Are Sponges!
Here is how it started. My kids are learning about Jesus and my 4 year old has all kinds of questions… ALWAYS. Really good questions that astound me most days. For example, when my uncle passed away, my 4 year old asked, “If Uncle B is with God, and God is in our hearts, does that mean Uncle B is with us too?” Profound, don’t you think? But I digress.
Because I am a little crazy when it comes to the planet and all things nutrition, my boys absorb it by osmosis. Kids at such young ages are just sponges! We discuss food and the why and how of what we eat all the time. Admittedly, to a greater degree than the average family. **cringe**
I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarassed that my 4 year old spouts off to his smaller brother on a daily basis, “Slow down! You have to chew (your food) so it has digestion (digests) to go into our bodies.” All this with hand motions too! It’s quite adorable, really.
Those poor kids. It’s a good thing they love me.
When we had a short-lived cold in our house, I nixed all refined sugar. They were NOT happy. The treat was fruit, not chocolate. Blasphemy, I know!
This is how I explained it.
Me: “God created all that we see, right?”
Me: “He made this planet, and the trees, and the mountains, and our food.”
Son: “Uh huh.”
Me: “What He made for us to eat is what is best for our bodies; food that grows on trees or bushes, out of the ground, or animals. What He did not make usually comes in a package or a box. Those things are man-made.”
Perplexed look from the older boy. The younger one was shoveling food in his face, not caring in the least to what I was saying.
Me: “So, God-made things help our bodies to get better when we are sick and grow big and strong. We can eat these things as much as we want (okay, this is a general term that kids understand…I know that might have been a very blanket statement that has exceptions). Man-made things, we should eat only once in a while.”
Son: “So, does a pear grow on a tree?” (this was the treat option I had given)
Me: “Yes, there are pear trees.”
Son: “How about chocolate?”
Me: “No, there are no chocolate trees.”
Son: “I think there is a M&M tree!” **sly grin**
Me: “Nice try….silly boy!”
Man-Made vs. God-Made.
This is now the standard we use in our home. The God-made/Man-made comparison is something they understand. It helps instill good nutritional habits in our boys. Keep in mind, I am by no means perfect and this is not always a hard and fast rule.
Yes, I cringe inside when they have red dye #40 as they eat a fruit snack or M&M’s, but they need to know what those things are so they don’t completely rebel. Plus, I KNOW how AWESOME M&M’s are!
So, after that long story, here it is:
Your Mission, if you choose to accept, is to discuss Man-made vs. God-made nutrition to your families and see if you can have a higher rate of God-made foods in your diet.
You can do it! It’s not as scary as it sounds. I promise.
If you have questions, ask in the comments. For example, my husband, a professed peanut butter lover and beer afficiando told me, “hops are plants and peanuts grow out of the ground.”
Me: “Yes, but God didn’t roast the peanuts and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a beer river running anywhere around here.”
Not to say you can’t have peanut butter…but that is a different post!
What man-made foods could you cut out of your diet?
|Selena is a mom on a mission to make our world a better place, one person at a time. Her blog 1momsmission, aims to motivate change, invigorate people, and radiate joy! She blogs about the craziness of Momhood and how small shifts in our day-to-day can make an impact on the world around us.|