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He’s got a golden ticket…

This is my son’s first year to play t-ball, and I know there are concession stands and junk food around and I was prepared to deal with that, no problem.  But what I wasn’t prepared to deal with was the fact that my son got a “ticket” after each game to get whatever he wanted from the concession stand after the game.  Really?  What ever happened to a high five or an “atta boy”?  Do we really have to bribe our kids to be active?

I know, pick my battles, right?  It’s such a fine line between helping our kids make good choices and not “depriving” them of a treat every now and then. I think it all comes down to educating our kids so they can make good choices for themselves.  Let’s face it, if you guys eat well, (and I know you do!), then junk food is a battle whether it be at school, on the field, or anywhere else for that matter. Teaching (and leading by example) will serve as lessons that will help our kids for the rest of their lives. And honestly, if we don’t teach them, who will?

My daughter is playing soccer and the snacks are well, just different then what we grew up with. We use to have orange slices and other refreshing fruit and there was nothing more satisfying. It was my turn for snacks a few weeks ago, and, of course, I brought water (because gatorade isn’t really necessary unless it’s a intense 4-hour game) and slices of watermelon and oranges. And guess what? The kids LOOOVED the fruit and ate every bite.  Many people were surprised that the kids loved the fruit as much as they did. And, it was such a hit that another mom on the team actually brought the same thing to the game the following week. Yay!

Anyway, for my kid’s last t-ball and soccer game, I told them they could get a popsicle.  So off they went to the concession stand and they came back, I kid you not, a popsicle bigger than their arms. Why can’t I just let my kids get a regular old popsicle that doesn’t have 100 grams of sugar and a gallon of color, but there were no other options…except cutting it in half, which is exactly what we did.  When did portion control get so skewed and everything become so super sized?

Sometimes it’s hard to always fight the fight, or know when to surrender. And for what it’s worth, I won’t ever surrender.  Maybe I’m extreme, maybe I’m not extreme enough, but, knowing or figuring out a balance is a constant challenge.  I am doing the best I can, and hope that at some point, they will learn from it, develop good habits, appreciate it (maybe I’m a little too optimistic there) and well, most importantly, just be healthier and happier in the end.

These sweet guys were happy to show off their popcilles…

I told you they were big!!

landriav - I am SO with you Tutti. Seems like there is a birthday party, Columbus Day, St Patricks Day, 100th day, Friday, you name it party. And yes, when did food become the reward? One of my kids actually got goldfish for standing on a circle in preschool, almost every day. It’s just hard when we work so hard to have them eat healthy, right? Anyway, thank you so much for your comment. It’s nice to hear there are others out there in the same boat!!

tutti - i feel your pain and this being our first year not homeschooling and going to a typical school, the celebrations/food rewards/snacks have been OUT OF CONTROL. i am delirious from baking/cooking at night and trying to keep track of it all, as i provide everything that goes in their mouths. i am exhausted and wondering if i can keep this up or if i will just tell the teachers next year that my kids are just going to eat their normal lunch and have a normal snack, even if it’s a special day. why do kids need to eat dessert every day and why do they constantly get rewarded with food? Keep the up the good fight!

landriav - Thanks for that Chris! I was a bit nervous about this post because everyone has such different views but hey, I guess it’s called Stir It Up for more than one reason. And you’re totally right, we can’t control it all, as I’m learning, but will do what I can so in the future, they can make their own positive decisions. At least that’s the goal, right? And sorry but totally laughing out loud when I read your last comment about your friend and pop tarts. Being so passionate about nutrition, it’s hard to keep our mouths closed sometimes, isn’t it?!? :-)

Chris Colwell - Wow – Lan, you know I am with you…..and take heart, my guys eat fairly healthy as adults (well, except for the fact that they love Mountain Dew! Seriously – could they pick anything worse? oh well – they never had soft drinks in our home growing up. You just can’t control it all)
But I will never give up the fight either. I had to apologize to a new friend at the gym the other day for almost attacking her after she told me she ate Pop Tarts for breakfast every morning!!!!!!

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