You know that I love you! I can’t help myself — I want you and nobody else….
I’m sure you’ve heard that Four Tops song, right? It’s quite catchy and I’m a fan. The reason it’s stuck in my head, however, is what I’m not a fan of: I started singing it last weekend, when Joshua managed to convince two different people — my sister and Hubs — to each give him an ice pop. Yep…two ice pops ingested by a 32-pound, 38″ tall two-year-old, within a matter of two or three hours. And the saddest part was that he’d been misbehaving the whole day, so they rewarded the naughtiness!
Oh, to be a parent.
Hubs learned the hard way that night that Joshua had waaaaay more sugar that day than his body could physically handle. Joshua definitely experienced the sugar rush and the subsequent crash, but he was also up screaming in the middle of the night because of all the sugar still coursing through his bloodstream.
That was when Bad Cop Mommy set some sugar-control ground rules:
1. No more than one treat per day, dependent on good behavior. Two “ice cream pops,” as Joshua lovingly refers to them, in a day? Especially when he’s not even doing good listening? Not on my watch.
2. No sweet treats after 3pm. Joshua doesn’t typically go to bed until between 8 and 9pm, but I want as much sugar processed and out of his system as possible as day turns into night.
3. Dinner is prepared and served within two hours of Joshua’s bedtime. His belly needs to be full, but not with processed junk. I’ve been preparing healthier meals regularly because of my PCOS and feeding him later (say, 7pm) with a cup of milk is keeping the rumbling tummy away through the night.
Bad Cop Mommy imposed these new rules and suddenly Joshua, who has woken up virtually every single night since the day he was born (and I wish I were kidding, or even exaggerating, on that one), was sleeping all night. The sad part is, we tried the late-dinner/late-bedtime routine once before many months ago and it didn’t work then…and that was before he knew what Oreos and Popsicles were. We chalked up the poor sleeping habits to gas, to fear of sleeping alone, and to teething, among other things. As long as this good stretch of all-night sleeping continues, my rules shall stay in place.
Want to know how Joshua feels about that?
I bet I can guess what you’re thinking. That covers your kid’s health, and that’s great, but Talking Fitness Thursday is supposed to be about you. What does this have to do with you?
Well it’s simple, really. Setting these rules up for Joshua has forced me to look at how much sugar I eat. Granted, it’s way less than before I crossed paths with PCOS, but I still like to have a treat every so often. I love baking cookies and cupcakes, and I’m a big fan of ice cream (or, these days, frozen yogurt), and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully let that go. That being said, there are steps I’ve been taking to limit my sugar intake, both in general and especially in front of Joshua. If I want him to practice healthy habits, I need to model healthy habits. I’m still not a raw fruit person (I know that’s weird, but it’s true), but I’ve been building a collection of smoothie recipes to try; they’re a good alternative to ice cream and milkshakes, and they provide a means for the fruit intake I need. I’ve basically stopped eating ice cream sold in cartons and opt either for single-serve bars or soft-serve frozen yogurt establishments (where I fill the cup no more than halfway and only top my dessert with a very small amount of sprinkles and nothing else), and I don’t eat these things every day. I still keep cookies and fruit snacks in the house, but I really don’t eat them; Joshua is only allowed one of either-or a day (and if he eats either of those he doesn’t get an “ice cream pop”); and Hubs sometimes eats small stacks of cookies with a glass of milk, but not until after Joshua has gone to bed.
Joshua may be my sweet little Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, but I don’t want him to be so sweet that he ends up with a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. I’m not particularly enamored with the idea of living with diabetes myself, either. At the same time, I don’t want to completely deprive myself or my family of the sweet treats we enjoy. It’s all about balance, and I’m working hard to instill that balance not only for myself but for those I love most as well!
So how do you promote good health and healthy eating with your families? Share your thoughts in the comments!