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

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Nov 11, 2011

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.

Posted in: Parenting

11 thoughts on “Parenting and Nutrition: I hate being the bad guy, part 3 of 3”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Robyn,

    Thank you for these past three posts, they have been just what I needed to hear this week. I have a new mantra I just came up with that I’m going to live by with my kids now: “Thrive with Five!” If I can get them to each pick five healthy yet simple things to eat each day and help them understand how those things will help them to thrive in whatever life pursuits they desire (art, better skin, sports, muscle building, creativity etc.) and make it be their choice we just might all be a lot healthier and happier too. “Thrive with Five!”

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have to tell you, my four year old wants to serve a mission. When my mom asked her what missionaries do, she said, “Teach people about green smoothies!” Thanks for being a great missionary, Robyn!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Sarah, can’t stop laughing!! Thanks for that!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a health condition in which I’ve been counseled to consume 90-100 grams of protein per day. Is this do-able with green smoothies and raw nuts?

    Thanks!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Most of our diseases are related to undigested proteins circulating in the blood, Gina. Do you trust this person who has told you to manipulate macronutrients so fantastically and unnaturally? NO it isn’t possible. You’d have to eat lots of animal flesh and/or protein powders and bars to accomplish that, if ‘accomplish’ is the right word.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My Daughter-in-law is very upset. Following a biopsy disclosing ‘cancer’ in his prostate, her Father underwent surgery to have his prostate removed. His doctor opened him up but was unable to remove his prostate because of growth to his bladder following a gallbladder removal when he was a teen age student. Do you know of a treatment referred to as Ablatherm HIFU, a non-invasive treatment removing ‘cancer’? If you do, please respond.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Lorne, please read Suzanne Sommers’ book Knockout and look at Burton Goldberg’s site, for now. My research is just underway and I have a long way to go. Look at Burzynski, The Gerson Therapy, Dr. Lodi’s An Oasis of Healing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Suzanne Somer’s book Breakthrough and your website are what set me in the right direction last year. Amazing research in her books.

    The rainbow smoothie is an awesome idea.

    Question… is canned coconut juice/water the same as getting it from a Thai young coconut? They are not very accessible here at times.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Heather, it’s not raw with its enzymes, so not exactly the same, no, but still good—my Asian store supplier is out right now, too, so I’m using canned the past couple of days too!

  6. Anonymous says:

    My mother in law recently saw a news report about BPA in canned cocnut milk. I trust your thoughts more than those of the local news team : ). What do you know about that issue? Thanks for being my nutritional neighbor!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      BPA is found in many canned items but I’m unaware of any studies about coconut milk in particular.

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