It recently became necessary for us to have a big talk with Trinity. Before talks like this parents frequently question whether they should use the real names for things or find a ‘kid-friendly’ way to explain them. I’m a fan of just using real terminology. No need to go into more detail than is age appropriate but at least be truthful with the information you are going to give them. The more straightforward information they get from you from a young age, the better they will be able to distinguish truth from what they get from places like the media. Ideally this leads to helping them be better equipped to make responsible choices for the rest of their lives. And isn’t it just plain important that we understand how our own bodies work?
Kids can often handle more than we think they can. Don’t be afraid of words like: complex carbohydrates and protein. (What did you think I was going to say?!) You see, we found that in her haste to get out to recess with her friends, Trinity was eating only the fruit in her lunch and then rushing outside. This led to lack of focus in the afternoon in school. So, we had a big talk. We talked about the importance of food to give our bodies (and our brain!) energy. We talked about how fruit, while healthy, is digested very quickly by our bodies. It gives us a burst of energy but then we burn that up quickly and if that is all we’ve eaten we are left with no reserves to keep us going. So each part of her lunch was explained…using the aforementioned large words and how it takes our bodies longer to break some things down than others. This makes our ‘fuel’ last longer. She knows she has to eat her complex carbs and protein before her fruit to make sure she has eaten the stuff that will give her energy to focus throughout the afternoon. That way, if she gets full or if she runs out of time she has at least eaten the more filling stuff first.
Kids grow up so fast! Make sure you give yours the tools to make healthy choices for a lifetime. 😉