She is a model of excellence when it comes to these things and I’m very appreciative of her influence throughout my life.
When I was young, there were the standard procedures in our household, such as no butter on veggies and no salt added to anything. Breakfast was high priority and sugary cereals might as well have not existed. However, as my brother and I got older, my Mom had to resort to more ‘creative’ methods of delivery and execution. We quickly caught onto the fact the other kids at the pool weren’t eating green beans and carrots as a summertime snack!
My Mother’s motto for raising healthy kids might as well have been ‘ignorance is bliss.’ If we didn’t know that you are supposed to put syrup on waffles, pancakes and French toast, what were we missing out on? Well, at some point down the line we caught onto that, too. That’s when she started transferring the light syrup into the regular syrup containers. She pulled the ol’ container switch trick again when she transitioned us from 2 percent milk to skim milk. I’m sensing a pattern here!
There was no fried food served in our house either. Instead of ordering out, a popular dinner option was to make English muffin pizzas: a healthier alternative that gets kids involved in the process. Sour cream or butter on a baked potato? No, no, no! It was sugar-free applesauce for my brother and me. If there was sugar to be cut, it was cut. Don’t get me wrong though, I wasn’t a deprived child. My mom makes some mean baked goods! To balance it out, video games were played minimally and we were encouraged to play outside and participate in a plethora of outdoor activities and organized sports.
Now, as an adult, breakfast is still a high priority and normally consists of a light multi-grain English muffin with reduced-fat peanut butter or reduced-sugar oatmeal. On days when I have oatmeal for breakfast, lunch consists of the multi-grain English muffin topped with avocado, fresh spinach and a sliced hardboiled egg (a meal learned from, you guessed it, Mom). My favorite dinner includes a piece of honey teriyaki marinated salmon, grilled and accompanied by a sweet potato and veggie.
Now that you have some sneaky, I mean creative methods for helping kids eat healthier, what are some creative ideas for adults? Susquehanna employee, Donna, shared a genius alternative to the traditional ‘Pot Luck’ meal: Salad Pot Luck. Each attendee brings a salad staple or topping such as dried cranberries or sliced almonds and voila! You have the option to make your lunch as healthy as you’d like. Thanks, Donna! Love that idea.