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Things I Learned from My Mom While She Thought I Wasn’t Paying Attention (2)

2012 January 10
by Kent


Henry Ford famously said of his Model T that the customer could have it painted any color as long as it was black.

My mom would say, “You can have any snack you want as long it’s a fruit or a vegetable.”

I had been thinking about this the past few weeks as I worked on the last two posts about helping overweight kids. One of the changes I made when I lost weight several years ago was to go back to snacking the way I did as a child.

Sure, just like everyone else, we had the occasional Hostess Ho-Ho or Oreos and milk. These were eaten from a plate at the kitchen table, usually after school, before we went outside to play and burn off the sugar harmlessly.

Any other time we were free to go in the fridge to forage for carrots, grapes, oranges, apples, celery, or my sister’s favorite, the makings of a lettuce and tomato sandwich.

For a change up, we would leave the end on the carrot and pretend we were Bugs Bunny while we munched loudly. Sometimes we would skin the apple first, eating the skin of course. Oranges brought the most possibilities: they could be peeled and sectioned; cut in a half and dug into with our teeth before being popped inside out to get at the last bit; quartered; and finally what I did last night, cut into eighths.

Being the youngest of four, I benefited from my siblings’ experience in consuming fruits and veggies; I just thought this was the way everybody ate.

Sure, we did try to sneak into the cookie jar. But that never worked. My mother had the loudest cookie jar in the world. There was no way to lift that ceramic lid with its inverted lip from the top of the jar without hitting the side and making a noise Mom could hear from anywhere in the house. And don’t think we hadn’t tried. Even Barney from Mission: Impossible could not have pulled that one off.

Lesson: Eat the way you want your kids to eat, model the behavior and they will emulate you for a life time of healthy eating.


Photo: “Veggies” by Billy Alexander

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Trish permalink
    March 6, 2012

    How much weight have you lost so far? Have you ever slept better in your life???

    You two are going to be the BEST foster/adoption parents ~ EVER! I am keeping you in prayer daily as you forge ahead into this amazing and beautiful journey.

    Go Nelsons!

    • Kent permalink*
      March 7, 2012

      Hi Trish,

      My sleep went down immediately. Thank you for your prayers and keep them coming!


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