One thing I have been struggling with recently is finding a way to teach the children to lead an active lifestyle and eat healthy, balanced diets without making them self conscious about their bodies. Especially when one of them is a pre-teen girl.
There is a girl the same age as E that has decided to call her fat. E goes back an forth from thinking the girl is joking to over-thinking it and calling herself fat. The girl who has decided to tell E she is fat is an obese child. E on the other hand is perfectly healthy. Not overweight, not under, and I would have killed to look like her when I was 10. When we try to tell E that the other girl is the overweight one not her she is adamant that the other girl is not fat.
We are finding it difficult to tell her “no” when she asks for sweets or telling her that she needs to be more active without her considering it a suggestion that she needs to lose weight. She most certainly does not need to lose even an ounce of weight. I just want to instill in her the good habits that will ensure that she never will have to struggle with her weight like myself and her parents do.
It is interesting that in their eyes chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese are healthy. When we tell them that they aren’t then they are shocked that we let them have them. I try to use that as a teaching point for moderation. That things like nuggets and mac n’ cheese are good to have every once and a while but not every day.
I have a feeling this is one of those things where I will never know if we are doing the right thing. We just need to try to lead by example and hope that in the end they at least come out not eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every day.