I have three strong-minded boys so I’m constantly facing resistance when trying to get them to eat well. The typical response is “Mom what’s the big deal, it’s not going to kill me to eat a Big Mac!” They make a really good point! We are in agreement that it will not “kill” them to eat a Big Mac. This is how the conversation goes …
“Consider this, your body is a bucket. You are born with certain genetics that may predispose you to ailments such as allergies, heart disease, etc. So right off the bat there is already stuff in your bucket, and everyone has different stuff. Add that to everything we are exposed to in our environment. Much of it is outside of our control—such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and different chemicals in the form of pesticides, etc.
Everyone’s bucket fills up at a different rate depending on many factors. Once the bucket overflows, that is when we feel bad and get a cold or the flu, for example—or sometimes we are diagnosed with something more serious.
Ok, now back to the Big Mac. If you KNOW that the Big Mac is going to put you closer to your bucket overflowing then why would you eat it? Doesn’t it sound like a better idea to choose real food that has proven health benefits–food that may REDUCE the amount in your bucket?
As your bucket fills up you might not feel so great. You may choose a drug store product that basically puts a “band-aid” on your symptoms, but doesn’t actually address what is really going on. You might feel better temporarily, but these products just end up adding more stuff to your bucket!”
Is it really getting through to the boys? The answer is–I’m not sure. But, what I do know is that I have to keep providing real food options and continue the conversation. My hope is that at some point, they will remember my words and actions—they will make informed choices about what they put in their bodies and be tuned in to how those choices make them feel.