That means, 5 year old Emily likes pizza and dare-I-say...ice cream. Not the almond or coconut kind, either. The dairy kind. And, her favorite flavor is (deep breath here) the mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Yes. The artificially colored green one. I know. Really. I know.
That means, you'll occasionally see me in pizza parlors and an ice cream shop. Why? Because I'm a mom and I have to balance a long-range view of the relationship I want Emily to have with food.
If I am militant and deny her these occasions, then I'm afraid of what will happen when she goes over to a friend's house and they have these typical food items.
I don't want her to "sneak" foods in that are not "allowed" in our home. I don't want her to go to college, and be in the dormitory or sorority and go HOG WILD in the cafeteria because I'm no longer there to monitor or regulate her food choices. That's not my role.
My job as Emily and Claire's mom, is to guide their food choices and to encourage healthy eating habits. I want to empower them with the knowledge of what is nutritious that will fuel their bodies for health and growth and sports. And most of all, I want for them to have a healthy relationship with food.
This is an important life skill I want them to have for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately, like most women, I do the shopping for the most part for our family, so I control what comes into our home. That means I head off a lot of the poor choices by not buying them in the first place. We almost never buy potato chips (Emily loves Sun Chips) or hot dogs (because then we would have to eat 6. Or is it 8)? There's no Hostess products lurking in our pantry. We almost never buy soda which, sometimes is embarrassing because when we have company it's "Would you like water or water?".
Guiding their choices for me, means exposing them to different cuisines and having a broad exposure to different fruits and vegetables. Expand out from apples and oranges! There's star fruit to be had! There's passion and dragon fruit to be tried! Emily doesn't like mushrooms but she will happily eat crab and peach arugula salad with me. And I don't have to be Deliciously Deceptive about it. She just eats her vegetables. Right there on her plate. Out in the open. And it's not a big deal.
So I grit my teeth when she wants the green mint chocolate chip ice cream on the odd occasion. Because I know soon enough, she will pop cherry tomatoes in her cute mouth and eat her greenie-beanies and everything will be okay still.
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