Saturday, February 20, 2010

They Are Changing, Too

This morning, my kids were mmm-ing and ahhh-ing over the freshly baked wheat bread I brought home yesterday. They were eating it and not complaining. They LOVED it. "May I have another slice, please?" This is a scene you'd have never encountered in my home a few years ago.

I was raised on Wonder bread (is that even really bread? Or is it some kind of fabricated air with a thin web of starch?) When I grew up and had kids, we didn't buy bread very often. I baked bread every week, and usually it was white bread. There is nothing like a loaf of hot, fresh bread coming out of the oven, ready to be slathered with butter! (I used to make 2 loaves so I could eat one myself before my husband got home from work.) I figured I was doing better by my kids by making my own bread. Sometimes I made wheat bread but they turned up their noses.

Later, when I got divorced and had to work, I didn't have time to bake bread very often. I'd bring home that fake "wheat bread" that has NO whole wheat in it, and my kids would eat it and moan, "WHY can't you just get NORMAL bread?" Sometimes I'd buy white bread to make them happy, and they loved it.

When I started changing the way I eat, I started buying 100% whole wheat bread with no corn syrup or junk in it. It is dense and flavorful and moist, and I love it. But my older kids avoided it like the plague. It didn't matter if they were starving and I bought them ham, turkey, and all their favorite sandwich fillings, they were NOT going to eat that "icky" whole wheat bread. They just hated it. So I kept buying them the 'fake' wheat bread because I didn't want them to have a taste for just white bread. I hoped eventually their tastes would change. And I raised my last child, my 4 year old, on the whole wheat bread that I eat. She loves it.

Well, things *have* changed. I didn't push it. I kept buying the 100% whole wheat bread, and then I'd buy the fake wheat bread sometimes but let it run out. I kept putting a plate of whole wheat bread on the table with dinner as a side option. And guess what? After awhile, the older kids started eating it. And asking for more. AND LIKING IT.

One of my teenagers pretty much only likes junk food. He spends his entire allowance going to the store and buying crap food because I don't buy it anymore. He wouldn't touch a fruit, vegetable, or healthy item with a ten foot pole. He is all about soda, fried pizza rolls, and donuts. He worries me a bit.

This morning, that boy sat down with a breakfast he chose and prepared for himself: a chicken artichoke sausage (low fat, 110 cal, high protein), 2 slices of whole wheat bread with homemade butter, and a glass of organic local apple cider. I woulda never believed it. This, a kid who if allowed will have a Coke and a pile of donuts for breakfast!

"This bread is good," he said. And then asked me why the homemade butter was so yellow. I got to explain how milk and cream from grass fed cows is so much richer in beta carotene from the cows' diet, and how that is better for us. He got it.

I put a salad out with dinner often. Most of the kids eat it now. Maybe someday this kid will too. I just keep giving them healthier options, and slowly I see their tastes changing. I see them choosing fruit as snacks, and not complaining as much about vegetables at dinner. I am so happy to see my kids choosing better foods for themselves. I'm glad I started changing in time to make a difference.

26 comments:

Keri said...

Quick story about Wonderbread. I accidentally left an already old loaf at work for weeks vacation. When I got back I was scared to look in the bag for fear that some green monster would jump out at me. It looked exactly the same as the day I bought it, that was even scarier. You have to "wonder" what in the world they're putting in the bread.

She woke up FAT said...

We are still adjusting to the bread. I have noticed that the complaining is getting fewer and farther between.

Seren_Sighs said...

My mother always bought Nature's Own 100% whole grain bread. It has no sugar. And I hated that bread. All I wanted was some nice white bread like I had at my fathers or like I must have had as a kid. My mother tried to have us eat healthy food however I was raised on junk food when I was young. So when the healthy food came around I never wanted it.

I vowed when I grew up I would never have that bread and would always have soft white bread in the house.

Well, guess what type of bread I buy now. Nature's Own 100% whole grain. I used to get the double fiber they have but it turned out to not be 100% whole wheat, and I found the whole wheat variety to not be substantial enough. It might not be my favorite bread but I'm used to it now and I eat it for the health benefits.

Tastes do change.

And I hope to be consistently healthy with my kids so that they enjoy healthy food.

juliasjourney-finallygettingfit said...

I've noticed less moaning about the healthier bread, veggies and fruits than I used to get too.
I started watching 'you are what you eat' with the kids and found that helped them see how bad the junk food is.

WTG on being persistant on healthier things.

Jamie said...

Hey Lyn ltns I miss the AOL board I should go see if it is still there. I moved into a house and the guy only eats white bread I tried some because I was craving bread and realized I so do not miss the fake tasting stuff! I started a blog on a book you should check out called You Can Heal Yourself by Louise Hay its awesome here's my blog:
http://icanhealmyself.blogspot.com

Tammy said...

What a great post Lyn....so glad to hear the kids are coming around to the healthier foods! :)

Brandon said...

That's a great story. I really hope to be able to do the same with my kids. I currently have a 2 year old son and a 2 month old daughter. My hope is that by them seeing me eating healthy and making healthy choices, they will end up doing the same. I'll set a good example for them, and just as you do, give them healthy choices (even if they don't always choose those).

moonduster said...

It's rewarding to see our kids adopting some of the healthy changes we have made, isn't it?

My kids love fruit, and with so many kids in my family, dh and I have been having to spend about £30 every two days just to keep stocked up on fruit! It's expensive but worth it for them to be eating things that are healthy and nutritious instead of chocolates and crisps.

Recently, my 7 year old daughter came home from school and informed me that they had made butternut squash soup at school and she liked it and wanted us to make some at home. :)

redballoon said...

That's awesome, Lyn. Congratulations!

Seth said...

"Wonderbread (is that even bread)" ----- HA. It's scary what we so willingly put into our bodies sometimes.

spunkysuzi said...

That is definitely the way to teach children the way to eat healthier food!!
My daughter would never touch vegetables. Now she loves roasted broccoli, salads, and is willing to try whatever i put on the table. And another miracle is that she is willing to try fruits. She may not like them all but she does like some :)

MargieAnne said...

Victory! You'vegot it right.

How awesome to see your children responding to your gentle method.

screwdestiny said...

Ugh, I can't stand Wonderbread. My parents always fed us good wheat bread, and I never even had Wonderbread until going over to friends' houses (where I also had other nasty items like American cheese...). I was like, "What the heck is this? Where is your real bread?" I'm lucky I never had to force myself to like good wheat bread.

mk said...

This may be one of my all-time favorites of your posts. I gave birth to my first child just 13 days ago, and I want so much for him to have a healthy relationship with food and to make good choices. From what you say here, just exposing him to good foods will make a huge difference. I'm so happy for you that, as you said, you started making changes in time for it to still make a difference for your children. Keep it up! And thanks for keeping this blog, I love reading it.

:)

lauralei said...

it is so interesting how your tastes change - i used to love white bread and now i LOVE the dense bread -the denser the better

M said...

Parents truly are such models for their children. I constantly remind myself to watch what I put in my mouth because my twins are watching and learning from me!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! Actions always speak louder than words. They are lucky to have a great mother like you!

Tamzin said...

:)


Thank you for sharing that. It was really heartwarming!!! I hope that they all make better choices from your example.

Kristin from the NW said...

Glad to see someone else stoked about their kids adopting healthy habits. I made some whole grain omega3 pasta over the weekend for a modified carbonara, and the kids loved it. I also tried out some quinoa on them--again, they liked it--even had some broccoli in it. Your post makes me want to get some bread going tonight after work--last time I made WW bread, they scarfed it up immediately. Kids really do follow what you do, not what you say :) Kudos!

Lyn said...

OMG, I have to add... I made baked Mahi Mahi tonight, NOT breaded, NOT in cheese sauce... just baked fish filets, plain, with garlic powder and pepper on it. My older kids ALL ate it AND the picky son asked for seconds! I almost fell out of my chair :)

Metroknow said...

I had to laugh - my 5-yr old had very white bread at a restaurant (in the Wonder Bread category), which he has never eaten in our house. He had leftovers, so we packed them up and took them home, but all he wanted was the remains of the bread they gave him. He was very intent on making sure it was there the next morning...apparently the sugar and who-knows-what-else is pretty addictive to kids - imagine that! :)

Thanks for the post - I'm new, but subscribing. You've got a great, easy writing style. Well done.

Derek said...

I love your persistence, Lyn, without forcing it upon your children. You gave them the option, and they eventually made better choices. And, the best part, is they probably feel like it was their own decision.

I love the smell of freshly baked bread, but never took the challenge of making it. Maybe it's time for a bread machine?

Lyn said...

Derek~

I never had a bread machine. Making bread is so much easier than people make it out to be! And kneading dough is super fun and a great stress relief and meditation time. Try making a loaf by hand sometime and see what you think!

beerab said...

My husband is the same way. He eats so much healthier now it's totally surprising. The other day he actually asked if we could have zucchini with dinner. I almost died lol. I think aliens kidnapped my real husband ;)

NewMe said...

Oh teenagers!

I was brought up on what used to be called "health foods"--whole grain breads, fruits, veggies, almost no sweets.

As an adult, my diet has been full of these good foods, but I have to admit that I love sweets. Fortunately, I can keep my consumption of them in check.

There is very little junk food in our house and what is there gets eaten quite slowly. Our two teenagers have never been served wonderbread in our home, though I suspect they may have eaten it at friends' homes. My boys are happy with fruits and veg and are generally adventurous eaters. I can't remember the last time we ate a McDonald's.

BUT...

My fourteen year-old loves to get my goat. He has announced that when he moves out, all he'll have in his home is Nestle Quick cereal! He says that to drive me crazy, but I know that he too has a sweet tooth (his grandmother-husband's mom-- was a fervent believer in always keeping junk food handy. Her home was junkfood heaven. She passed away last year at 82--not too shabby for a lady who believed in the major food groups: nicotine, caffeine and sugar!)

I'm sure my boys will become responsible eaters as adults, but right now, at least one of them is rebelling by eating junk--just not at home.

AGirlWorthLosing said...

Great Job Mama!