How many times have you told your kids they cannot exist on carbohydrates alone.
We’ve told all three of our kids that exact message but it seems to be lost on our oldest son, Linus. He went from being an adventurous eater of everything my wife made, to a super=picky eater who got white bumps on his tongue during our cruise last year because he would only eat carbs. Bread, plain white pasta, potatoes, french fries… BORING. Also very unhealthy.
Now he likes his raw vegetable as well, so he did have some cucumber slices and tomatoes, but the acid in the tomatoes were burning his tongue so that ended quickly. He loves broccoli but not in any of the sauces that they came in on the ship, so that was out of the question.
It finally took 4 days of him watching the rest of us eating the odd sweet treat before he caved in and started eating like a human again and he got better quite quickly. I even remember him making googly eyes with the chefs in the buffet area and no matter how long the line was at the pasta bar, if my then 6-year-old son arrived with a plate in hand and caught the eye of one of the chefs, they would immediately throw penne noodles into a pan with butter and serve him a double portion covered in shredded parmesan cheese at the side of their station away from where everyone else could see. He provided a smile and a quiet thank you and they went back to serving the angry masses. He got his pasta and we got him eating protein with it.
So it’s no surprise then, that we make him eat breakfasts which include protein with his carbs. He loves, for example, almond butter on bread, or an egg omelet with his toast. He also loves cereal but we battle about this breakfast choice all the time.
Once he was able to read labels and understand the nutritional information, he began to realize that a bowl of cereal – with milk – had more protein that an egg because anyone can see that a large egg has 6g of protein while a cup of 1% milk has 9g of protein. Therefore, in his logic, he should be eating cereal every morning. He does understand, by the way, that an egg has no sugar and his cereals have around 5g of sugar, so he has always had that argument to get around, but he does need his protein so every now and then we give in.
Well on October 2nd, Linus asked for and received, cereal for breakfast and he proceeded to eat all the cereal out of the bowl, and he left behind the milk. A lot of the milk, to be honest.
So I called him back to the kitchen counter, showed him what he already knew he left, and let him know that I expected him to finish the milk before he left for school, otherwise he was not going to be allowed to have cereal until November 1st.
He complained that his tummy hurt, that he was too full, that he had to go brush his teeth, get his bag ready and get to school.
I felt compelled to remind him again of the consequences of leaving the milk, by phrasing it this way; “Linus, you need to finish the milk from your cereal. By choosing not to, you are choosing not to have cereal again until November 1st.”
He said he would finish it, so I followed him to the front door and left the bowl there.
He asked for it to be poured into a cup so he would drink it and when I went back into the kitchen to get his cup, he used that opportunity to leave the house with his brother and mother for their walk to school.
So when he arrived home after school, I asked him if he was aware what the consequences of his actions this morning were, and he casually advised me that he understood that he would not be allowed cereal for breakfast and that he could handle not having until November 1st.
Ok, I thought. “And you know today is October 2nd, right?” I reminded him.
He showed a little panic, but settled his emotions and proudly proclaimed that he would be up for the task.
And so I reminded him on the 5th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 28th and 29th when he asked for cereal for breakfast, that he was not allowed. I could tell he was thinking what all of us thought at the time (and his friend told him upon find this out), that he should have just drunk the milk!
So on the morning on November 1st, Linus had cereal for breakfast and he drank all his milk. He did so again on the 2nd and he showed me both times that he finished the milk down to the last drop.
Alyson Shafer would be so proud!
- Are you cereal? (happyisthenewhealthy.com)
- Ready, Set, Breakfast! (einmotion.wordpress.com)
- “It’s time for a healthy breakfast” (“Don’t worry…”) (confessionsofafatgirl.net)