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Parenting and Nutrition: I hate being the bad guy, part 3 of 3

Oprah always says, “When you know better, you do better.” I believe that. There’s a lag that frustrates many of us, between our behavior versus our knowledge.

(You’ve educated yourself about the effects of dairy and sugar. And still you eat it. You’re mad at yourself. You sometimes feel you’re the only one. You’re not!)

But the MORE knowledge you have, the more LIKELY your behavior is to change….even if your behavior and choices lag behind your knowledge.

Our kids are no different. Let’s don’t neglect educating them about this terribly important topic—nutrition—just to perceive ourselves as more popular, or to avoid a little teenage eye-rolling. In a minute or two, they’ll be grown and gone. The biggest opportunities to influence them are NOW.

Kristin said, “The reason you won’t touch a hot dog is that you know what’s in it.” True, and from the minute my best friend Laura TOLD me what was in it, they were certainly less appealing.

(When we graduated college, she went to work for Bain and one of her clients was a meat-packing company. She said to me one day after a visit to the plant, “Please promise me that you and any children you will ever have will never eat hot dogs!”)

But guess what. It was actually several years later, with a couple of small children, when I decided to never eat hot dogs again.

Our behavior seems to lag behind our knowledge sometimes, doesn’t it? I always feel guilty being around people who learn how animals are treated cruelly and never eat another animal product from that day forward. Guilty that it took me years. That seems so smart and heroic to me. Some people are fast learners.

Most of us aren’t, though. (I say that with affection—note that I include myself in that lot!)

But if it takes 5 positives to earn yourself the right to impose 1 negative, in your intimate relationships (with your children, for instance), then what if we extrapolate a Rule of Fives?

What if we make a game with our kids that we always eat FIVE HEALTHY THINGS in a day?

My aforementioned friend of 30 years, Laura, has her kids make a “rainbow smoothie” and they are tasked with putting in something of every beautiful plant color.

Fives. I like it.

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