{Guest Post} We Don’t Use the S or F Word In Our House

6 09 2011

We have an awesome guest post lined up for you today! Dorothy, of Mile Posts is here to share about healthy habits she’s teaching her kids. Dorothy is a fantastic runner and mom of 3! She recently ran the Hood to Coast Relay as part of the After-Nuun Delight team. Yea, she’s a stud! I hope you enjoy her post!


When you think of *bad words* – fat or skinny are probably not the two words that come to your mind first. Sadly they are one of the first ones that come to my mind, which is why I choose not to use them in my house.

Food is fuel for our bodies; it gives us energy and powers us in training and during races.

In order for my children to have a healthy attitude about food, I must teach them. I must serve as a good example to my daughter and sons. Children are often compared to sponges, soaking up everything faster than we know and probably would like. Before we even realize they are learning our habits, ideas and thoughts, they have already started mimicking them. I realize that these years are some of the most important years in determining the relationship my children have with food for the rest of their lives.

We have *good for us* foods in our house, like apples, bananas, carrots, peas, peanut butter, yogurt, and granola. We also have *not so great* for us foods like cookies, ice cream, sugary fruit snacks, and lollipops. The *good for us* foods make us a fast runner, a strong ballerina, or quick soccer player. They make my children grow to one day be taller than their mom and dad. The *not so good* for us foods will not make us fat – they can be enjoyed – but they do not make us stronger, faster, or smarter.

I give my children choices.

The spinach on their dinner plate will make them grow to be strong. The cookie they are saving room for won’t. If they choose to save room for the cookie and only eat a couple of bites of spinach, so be it. It is a choice they make. More often than not, they will finish their vegetables when reminded of this choice. Sometimes they also go for the cookie, but their tummies are so full of good for them foods, that they only have room for 1 cookie instead of 3. They are allowed to indulge in *not so good* for them foods. They should be able to eat these things in moderation. I do not want to be their moderator. I want them to learn to make the best choices for themselves.

Because my children are little we have a rule in our house that they have to ask if they want to eat something unless it is a fruit or vegetable. Any time they are hungry and want to grab a banana, they do not have to ask, they are welcome to take it. I smile when I look in the fruit basket and there is less in it than the last time I looked. It makes me feel as if giving them the power to eat healthy is working.

We do not want to be skinny in our house, we do not want to be fat, so why even introduce them to the idea that eating or not eating makes you either of those things? If you eat healthy and are active then you will be exactly where your body was made for it to be.

You may be heavier than someone else, you may be smaller than someone else, but breaking the cycle of comparing yourself to others is something I am trying to do with my children. I want them to grow up to be strong, active, fit, happy adults.

I do most of my marathon training while pushing 1 or all of my 3 children in a single, double or triple running stroller. I have been doing this since my children were first born. They do not know what life is like without running. They know that mommy needs her exercise and that is important for not only me to be active, but for them as well. On most of our runs we stop about a ½ mile from our house and my 2 oldest (soon to be 5 and 3) jump out and run home. They race each other.

They are both winners, and I remind them of this every time we run. Running is a beautiful sport. Every person – man, woman or child, who crosses that finish line is a winner whether or not they came in 1st or 500th.

Question of the day: What are ways you keep your house healthy and active?



13 responses

6 09 2011

I love the last pic. GREAT post! I also like the “don’t have to ask for fruit” rule – brilliant.

6 09 2011

This is a great post! I would guess that there aren’t many parents who take this approach with their kids. All 3 of them will be so much better off for it as a result. Way to be a great role model for them!

6 09 2011
Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal

Thanks for having me as a guest blogger!! xoxo mileposts

6 09 2011

I LOVE this post. It’s such a smart approach and something I’ll steal from you if and when I ever have kids of my own. And I bet watching them race each other down the street is so much fun 🙂

6 09 2011
Racingtales - Alison Gittelman

Great post, Dorothy! I think it’s so important to teach our kids to make these choices for themselves…and to recognize good and not-so-good. We have similar rules – you can help yourself to fruit, cheese, and yogurt, but not the other stuff.

6 09 2011

I love this post too. I appreciate that you are teaching the children moderation, the value of exercise and a love for fruits and vegetables. They are blessed to have these learning opportunities early!

6 09 2011

What a great post!! I love your idea about them not having to ask to snack on fruits and veggies but on other things. What a great idea. I am implementing it immediately.

6 09 2011

GREAT post. I hope I can exercise the same with my kids someday. ❤ that last picture too! Pretty in Pink!

7 09 2011

Great ethos, loved this post. 🙂

7 09 2011

wow this really was wonderful! i am not a mom but these are some ideas that I would hope to embody!!

9 09 2011

Fabulous post!!! I love it!!! What a great idea! I really should try jogging with my son!!

10 09 2011
Life's a Bowl

I too hope to be able to influence my [future] children’s eating habits and help them make healthy choices to make them stronger! I also like how Dorothy’s approach doesn’t stress fat or skinny so the children are not worried about their body image, rather growing bigger 🙂

13 09 2011

Love this! I do really try to teach my kids healthy eating thru leading by example and discussing what our body needs to run well. But I admit I still find myself obsessing over whether they ate their veggies or not.

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