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Food With Benefits

Carla Birnberg

Posted on February 24 2015

In our family we DON'T do food sneaks.

We all need to do what works best for our family and, for us, *sneaking* in the health means my nine year old isn't *building* healthy habits.

We are fans of the open sneak (we do try, for example, to “hide” extra veggies in our regular foods and see if we can taste the difference)---but that's not what we're chatting about today.

Today we are focusing on the H-WORD.

The healthy.

The word which, thanks to peer influence, my daughter suddenly associates with less-than-tasty and more-than-a-bit-vitamin'y.

Cue Mama sad face.

It's not that she's refusing the healthy foods (yet).

She's just suddenly become aware my choices intuitively veer toward healthier fare while the other grown up in the house may choose more processed stuffs.

Right now, I'm still using the approach of offering up choices (where I'm OK with either option) and mostly letting her choose her foods.

Sometimes she chooses the more processed, yet I'm seeing how her 9 year old body *knows* what it needs and is sending messages to her.

Recently, after a crazy Saturday filled with the dog park and softball, she was famished.

She eagerly said YES YES YES!!! to an offer of burger & fries yet later, as we lolled in bed chatting about her day, she moaned her belly didn't feel good.

It hurt.

Are hamburgers not healthy, Mama? Are french fries bad for me? Are they not healthy? Is that why my belly hurts?

It was in that moment of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-yoga-pants parenting an idea was born.

I spontaneously decided to lose the word healthy and go with F.W.B. 

Food with BENEFITS.

I can't lie to you. Here's where I also spontaneously broke it on down into singing WHO'S DOWN WIT' F.W.B.?

To my delight a game was born.

No longer did my girl ask the annoying Is this healthy? (<----Im woman enough to admit this was indeed annoying to me. The constant barrage of that query was exhausting to this intuitive eater.).  The next morning it immediately shifted to:

Is this an F.W.B.?

Now she examines foods with an eye to What are its benefits? versus a generalized Is it healthy?

Will this help me poop better? Are there vitamins for my eyes in here? Fats to make my hair shiny?

It's a welcome change from the *sighed*, distrusting:

Is this healthy food, Mama?

Not surprisingly, the more she learns about the foods she’s eating (Who's down with F.W.B? Yeah you know me!) the more she chooses ones which *benefit her body* rather than sap her strength.

Now you.

Lay it on me.

On us:

Are YOU down with F.W.B.?


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