The importance of eating healthy

December 8, 2009

Other than for the obvious reasons, it's especially important to eat healthy in this house. With my son's food sensitivities, if we get off track, it can make a huge difference in his behavior in general, with me and his sister, and ends up affecting my relationship with him, because we end up fighting a lot. I've talked about his sensitivities issues more in past posts. You can read about it HERE and HERE.
Even though I got rid of all the Halloween candy to avoid what happened here, I had not realized that I was headed down the slippery slope of convenience foods meets bad attitude. It was easy to eat healthy this summer. Produce was cheaper and abundant and there was lots of variety. And my normal purchases always included lots and lots of these:

(I do buy veggies too, but fruit is so much prettier to photograph!)
But with the arrival of fall, the start of my son's preschool and when I started going back to work after my summer vacation, convenience foods slowly started making their way back into the house. It's something that happened slowly, that I started doing without realizing. It can really sneak up on you if you are not careful. Not that I started buying Hamburger Helper or frozen chicken nuggets, but it was mostly the kids snack foods that were the issue. Crackers here, granola bars there, new kind of yogurt here.... you get the idea.
And then Sunday happened.
Can you see the mischievous look in his face?

I let them do some Christmas stamping on paper that day.... and when I was giving his sister a bath that night, he got hold of the stamp and used it on the fridge.

And that's just one thing that I could take a picture of... and it was washable. But trust me, he had bad attitude. Attitude that was not like him. Like he was a whole other person.

And then Monday happened.

To make a long story short, I let him have yogurt for a quick breakfast, as I was rushing to get to work on time (I take the kids with me to work :) and he was crazy within minutes of eating "breakfast". He took off on me in the mall when we ran quick errands, grabbed everything in sight in the store, threatened to hit me with his water bottle for no apparent reason...

I was able to get him to have a much needed nap after lunch, got my daughter to nap too and cranked up my iPod and sang out loud. It felt so good! What a release! But somewhere between Cold Play and Black Eyed Peas, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. The yogurt. It was a different kind from what I used to buy them this summer. He had it for breakfast. Had been crazy since. Had it the day before too, and the day before that. We've been struggling with attitude for the past few weeks, on and off. Duh!!! And I realized it's not just the yogurt. It was a lot of other snack foods. It's my own fault in the end, I'm the parent, and I'm responsible for deciding what they eat. So it's up to me to "clean up my act" (and my fridge).

I actually explained to him last night the issue with the yogurt and the other food he reacts to and he completely understood. I mean completely. This was our conversation:

Me: Ashton, you know how I say your allergic to gold fish crackers
Ashton: yes
Me: Do you know why you can't eat them?
Ashton: Cause they make me crazy!
Me: (Surprised) Um, yes, well, the stuff in those crackers is in other foods as well. Can we get rid of that yogurt you had this morning? Because it makes you crazy too.
Ashton: No it doesn't!
Me: Yes it does. You've been crazy since you had it for breakfast. And remember the big melt down before nap?
Ashton: Oh. Yes. (he goes straight to the fridge and takes them out) OK then!

How smart is he!?! I was in awe.

So today is a new day. No processed snacks for breakfast. No processed snacks at all. Lots of fruits and veggies ALL the time, and there is no looking back. Ever. I just don't have a choice, for all our sakes. It would not be fair to him.

And how is our today so far? Peachy!!! The kids are playing well together, and I got lots of snuggles from my happy and well behaved boy (still very energetic, but hey! He's 4!) this morning with lots of : "mommy, I love you!". Now that's my boy! He's back. And it's up to me to make sure it stays that way.

Here are the kids in our yard on Sunday. This is to show you how much snow we had falling in 24 hours. We could see some grass before the snow fall. And now it's still in the minus 20 celcius!

Walking in a winter wonderland

Have a great day everyone! Going to make the kids a veggie plate for snack now :)


Hope on December 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog! I'm jealous of your snowfall!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, I am really with you on this. I have the exact same situation with my son but it is sooooo hard to be on the ball all the time with food, so hard. But I get when you say that there is no looking back, i feel like that too but then I let thing slip again. I read a book when I lived in Australia called Fed Up With ADHD by Sue Dengate and it had some good dietary advice/recipes. I don't follow it any more because I found it so hard - it basically cuts out a lot of fruit and veg which are actually really high in something called salicylates. I am sure it makes sense as the fruit/veg she says can cause problems are the ones he actually likes to eat (tomatoes/strawberries/citrus etc) but it might be of interest to you.

Stephanie on December 8, 2009 at 5:27 PM said...

Thanks for the book referal. I'll see if I can find it... but my son dosen't have ADHD, just food sensitivities that make him seem like he has ADHD. But I've seen a boy with ADHD recently, and realized that even when my son acts out, it's still mild compared to a kid with full blown ADHD. I'm with you on the fruit/veg thing, I couldnt cut out the healthy things he likes, unless I absolutely had to. But it's really interesting though, I'm going to google that tonight :)

Mrs. M on December 8, 2009 at 8:21 PM said...

Sing it Sista! Oh, I know this story all too well. It's amazing how one minute or day or week of I need easy, I'm in a hurry turns into...hmmmm...hell on wheels..or more like hell in a package! But changing food is so easy compared to the other option and doesn't it feel great to have your little man back and to like him again? That sounds harsh and I don't mean it to but those behaviors that come with sugary, preservative, dye, foods are evil and evil again.
Good for you for your Aha moment! Isn't it also amazing how the kids know what affects them and are eventually willing to give them up? My son always amazes me with this!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I know your son isn't ADHD, (mine has it as part of his diagnosis but it is more autistic spectrum) - but at the time I found the book really interesting - not just for adhd issues - more the power/negative impact that food can have on the body. There is also this book you might like
Healthy Food for Happy Kids: An A-Z of Nutritional Know-how for the Well-fed Family (Paperback)
by Suzannah Olivier

Stephanie on December 9, 2009 at 1:12 PM said...

Don't appologize, I wasn't insulted. I'm sorry if it came across that way, I didnt mean to. I was just ponting out that he didn't have ADHD and was wondering if the book would be pertinent to us. But by your description, it seems really interesting and I'll be looking for it. I just find it so interesting to see how nutrition can affect people (of all ages) in so many different ways. Plus, if I want to be a holistic nutritionist, it wouldnt help for me to read as much as I can about it. Thanks for the other book title too. It seems very interesting. I'll have a massive stack of book to read pretty soon! :)

Stephanie on December 9, 2009 at 1:14 PM said...

Ooops! In the previous comment, I meant to say it WOULD help for me to read as much as I can. ;)

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Stephanie xx

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