A great proud Dad moment this week. For better or for worse, due to the pretty strict diet that my son sees my wife and I follow, my son is starting to worry about his diet, and he is only 10 years old. As a reference, he has a pretty limited diet right now without a lot of vegetables. Our saving grace is he loves fruit smoothies for breakfast. We put all kinds of “good for you” stuff in there like Omega 3/6/9 oil, vegetable juice and whey protein powder.
We are always trying to figure out how to teach him good eating habits while trying to balance the importance we believe diet has on every part of our lives while not making him completely over-sensitive to it. At this point he is definitely at the over-sensitive side of the pendulum.
He told me a few weeks ago while we were doing our regular bedtime chat that he worries that the limited foods he eats now will never change, and he was pretty upset at this prospect. At the time I felt like I was way too strict! We chatted about it and I tried to relate the same limited diet I had at his age and that today my attitude has shifted to food as fuel.
This talk seemed to have helped. He has been more adventurous at trying different foods. He hasn’t gotten two adventurous yet. He was very excited, as we were as well, that he tried Pesto pizza at a friend’s house this past weekend. Up to that point he only had ever eaten plain cheese. Baby steps!
Earlier this week I offered a bite of my veggie burger because he asked me to let him know next time I had one. He asked a ton of questions about what it tasted like and what he had eaten before that might taste like it. So, the piece sat on a plate in front of him, and sat, and sat. He was getting visibly upset that he wasn’t able to take a bite.
What have I done! What I told him at that point was that I had no worries about his future diet, because, even in the few short weeks since we first discussed this, he has gotten more bold at even wanting to try new things and that he was looking for opportunities to try different foods.
This made him feel better. But the kicker for me as a Dad was the next morning. He thanked me for telling him what I did about his improvement and he felt better because he trusted me. My heart melted when he said this. I think I knew that he did, but it was a big deal for him to verbalize it.
I’m still not comfortable that my wife and I have found the perfect balance on teaching him about nutrition, but I do think that we are doing something right.