Moms In Charge

"ONE bite at a time!" ~Organic~Nourishing~Energizing~

The Party of Life: Transitions

on June 8, 2012

It was the end of school party!

What says celebration more than pizza?
But this year was the year we started our transitions.

Up until this point, my son had struggled for most of his life with chronic illness.

For  a while, as a baby, he was on breathing treatments daily three times a day.
Administering of antibiotics, steroids and alternating Motrin and Tylenol were commonplace.

Carson’s preschool year was challenging for him and his teachers as they continually wiped the ever running faucet of his nose.

“Do you think you should take him to the Dr. and get him medicine?”, was the very understandable question they would ask me.

But, the reality was, I HAD taken him.

We went through rounds of antibiotics and other meds..but still… He continued to get sick often with a chronic runny nose.

After we found out our food choices were the big culprit, we began the transitions.

This was not an easy task, as the things my kids loved, especially Carson, were the things we had to eliminate.

As Dairy (pasteurized) and Gluten were wreaking havoc on his little body, we made the decision to be in charge of his health.

Carson loved ice cream and pizza more than anything…In light of this and the decision we made, here we were at his end of the school party.

I was super new to this, but I got up early and made him his very own special gluten-free pizza that he had began to learn to eat instead of the “regular kind”.

I brought it in with him for the party, proud and excited that I had made this and was giving him this option.

That was at least until I heard the loudest saddest cry I’d heard from him.

One of the moms came to tell me that Carson was so upset because he wanted the pizza everyone else was having.

Dilemma…

All the moms were looking at me. Carson, who had just turned 4, was crying uncontrollably.

At this point you may be thinking I was the Mom in Charge and somehow empowering him with understanding why our pizza was a better choice and convincing him to eat it and the story ends with all the moms in awe, cheering and asking me “how in the world did you do that? You are amazing!”

Well, it didn’t go like that!  Not even close.

Since this was such a new journey we were on, and he wasn’t going to be in grave danger by eating the pizza, I calmly went to him, gave him a big hug and said ” You are so upset, buddy. How can we make this better?”

Of course, all he could say was “I want pizza like them!”
I responded, “Ok, honey…It’s ok if you have the pizza like your friends.”

Immediately he was happy and calm.

He enjoyed his pizza and his time with his friends without anxiety and stress.

What we lose sight of as we are transitioning to healthier choices is the emotional toll it takes on our kids.

It is imperative that we give them understanding and grace through the process.

Eating is tied to our psyche and it can be a delicate tight rope walking act at times, but the net below is not far down to fall on if we step with love and gentleness.

Transitioning must be just that…A transition; not a sudden stop that jars everyone and gives them a sore neck…

They may eventually think of YOU as that pain in their neck if not handled correctly.

Educating your kids at their age appropriate level is key.

  • Explain how certain foods affect their bodies.
  • Start by positive food re-enforcement.
  • Examples of fruits and veggies that look like and are good for the part of their body it looks like is a fun way to give them a visualization
  • Involve them in picking out their own produce; farmers markets, grocery store
  • include them in food prep activities that involve making their favorite foods, but with healthier ingredients
  • Begin integrating healthier versions slowly
  • Use everyday experiences as teaching opportunities; difference between how they feel when eating healthy vs non-nutritious options

Give your kids grace during transitioning…

Be aware that:

  • Their connection with food is also emotionally connected and be sensitive to their feelings.
  • Their tastebuds also must transition so continue to introduce new foods and tastes slowly but consistently.

Throughout this second year of preschool, we have been “that family” who has to bring in the special treats for our kids.

His teacher, although extremely understanding and accommodating made the point to explain that in her professional opinion giving kids “non-nutritious” treats for special occasion was ” just fine and not at all harmful”.

A hamburger on a picnic table loaded with foodHowever, my experience has been much different and it’s become apparent that the “special occasions” are every week and sometimes even more often.

With this realization, we slowly transitioned.

The amazing part was how excited Carson would now get at his own “special” treats; because we made them just that…special.

Fast forward…One and a half years later from the pizza party drama:

This end of the school party drama came full circle as Carson got to celebrate his graduation from his pre-school career.

When the other kids were eating their frozen yogurt (cows milk) with toppings of sprinkles of food dyes, cookies(not so healthy versions) , and the other “normal” yummies, Carson happily ate his coconut milk ice cream, he had helped specially choose.

While this may not be the optimal, healthiest choice, it’s a “better” choice. We are all learning to live vibrantly healthy lives…and transitioning!

The difference in Carson’s health has been transformational.
He has now become more aware of his body, how it functions and responds with different food choices.

Are we “perfect”?  No, and we’re not striving to be, but, rather, we’re on a journey and now more cohesive with our choices. Tears have been replaced with fun and excitement for the party of life .

Be encouraged as you step out or  are continuing on this journey, knowing you are not alone and you have a coalition of Moms in Charge behind you!  

Take the challenge and transition with understanding and grace as you reap the wonderful rewards of healthy kids!

Blessings,

Dotty 🙂

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

Advertisements

The Health Patriot

Faith. Family. Fitness. Freedom.

%d bloggers like this: