Hartenbos parkrun! 005 (1)I’ve always enjoyed eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis.  Taking good care of the one and only body I’ve been entrusted with just feels good, and being able to run around and have fun with my family feels even better. During my first pregnancy, many moms warned me that my kids would never eat the healthy food that I keep in my house.  Viennas, biscuits [cookies] and fish fingers would soon become our new household staples. “It’s all they’ll eat,” they said.  I just shrugged, smiled, and refused to budge.  How on earth have we come to believe that nutritious, delicious foods are somehow inferior to, or less tasty than, overly-processed, unhealthy products?

And since when are kids the dictators?

Three years down the line I’m happy to report that we’ve officially proved the naysayers wrong: my two Brussels sprout eaters are content.  Until a week or two ago, Miss K (3), our eldest, had never even heard the word “cola” before–she pointed to someone’s glass of it and said, “Mommy, that friend is drinking black juice.”  (Just for the record, she’s since tasted it, but hates the “bubbles.”)  She was also very fascinated by the nanny’s “blonde bread” (white bread)–something she’s never seen in her own home before.

So, are we food-obsessed Nazis who never let a crumb of processed food pass our lips?  Of course not.  I’m all too aware that obsessing over food now can have a massive impact on the way that my kids view food in future.  I simply offer them healthy, nutritious food options without making too much of a fuss about it and teach them to enjoy healthy food, as well as the time spent together eating as a family.  We do eat treats–-and enjoy every, single one!–but they definitely don’t form the basis of our diet.

What a huge responsibility we have as moms and parents to teach our kids how to value and care for their own bodies.  May we all get the grace and wisdom to tackle this sensitive and hugely important issue in a way that will lead to a fit and healthy future generation.

How do you teach your children about food and nutrition?  Can you see the impact of your food choices on your kids?

This is an original post written by Karien P. in South Africa for World Moms Blog. She can also be found on her blog, Running the Race.

Photo credit to the author.

Karien Potgieter

Karien Potgieter is a full-time working mom of two toddlers. She has a master’s degree in ecology and works in the conservation sector in beautiful South Africa. Her other big passion, apart from her family and caring for the environment, is running. To date she’s participated in races on three continents and in six countries and she dreams of travelling to and running in many, many more. You can follow her and her family’s running adventures on her blog, Running the Race (http://www.runningtherace.co.za).

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