I am far from perfect in my nutritional habits.
Actually, my food habits now have been about 15 years in the making and I’m still a long way from where I truly want to be. When I was a kid, I thought I had it made. All of my friends had to sit at the table and finish their veggies, but I didn’t even have to eat them. I’ve been told that when I was young I threw up at the table eating my vegetables and then that was it…not worth the fight…I “won.”
My health throughout childhood can only be attributed to the fact that I never stopped moving through play and competitive sports, but as I got older and played less, it got harder to control my weight while keeping the good stuff as far away as possible.
Fast forward to when I was 23 and on my first date with Laura. Now, in Thailand, my favorite phrase followed any meal I ordered, “mị̀ s̄ı̀ p̄hạk” – without vegetables. So our meals arrived and I began my pre-meal process of picking through my food to make sure any semblance of a vegetable really wasn’t there. I know…super embarrassing now…and when I was finally done I looked up and my lovely date was already finished with her meal! I always tell her that she scarfed down her food, but the reality was that my bizzare food issues had me picking while she ate!
Jump forward again to my mid-30s and I am now the father who “makes” my kids, and myself, eat their vegetables. Sometimes there is groaning, sure, but what we ask of them is far from unreasonable and the goal is for our family to have a well-rounded taste for and view of food – even if I am learning it late in life. I am determined for them to be open to new, especially healthy foods, to be willing to try new things, and to understand where foods come from and what constitutes “good for you.”
I love living in a farming community now and helping our boys understand even more about where food comes from and how we can grow, hunt, and access the best of the best when it comes to fueling our bodies. With more appreciation for where food comes from, we are able to make better choices. By equipping them with this knowledge I am setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits. But I must set the example and I’m determined my kids will never pick through their food on a date or refuse nutritious food because they see processed food as “delicious” and real food as a burden.