Personal Responsibility Begins Early…

Here’s why it’s important to teach your kids about good nutrition while they’re still young:

My wife is in Chicago to attend a funeral and then spend a couple of days with her family. This means it’s now my job to make breakfast for the girls, pack their lunches for school, and cook dinner when they get home.

Perhaps believing I was on the verge of cracking under the pressure, my daughter Sara informed me yesterday that if I happen to drop dead while Mommy is gone, she’s perfectly capable of feeding herself and her little sister and getting them off to school.

She explained that she knows she’s not allowed to use the gas stove to fry eggs, but there’s plenty of sausage in the freezer, so she’ll just microwave some links each morning. She promised to pack lunches including turkey or ham slices, nuts, cheese sticks, and apple slices. If need be, they could eat the same combination for dinner after the school bus brings them home, or perhaps put more sausages in the microwave.

She’s willing to do all this, you understand, even though the easy solution would be to simply remove $20 from my wallet and buy the sugar-and-starch-laden meals served by the school cafeteria every day until my wife returns home.

At no point in her detailed explanation of how she’d maintain a good diet in the event of my sudden death did she mention anything about calling 9-1-1 to consult with professionals who could confirm that I’m actually dead and not just, say, in a bit of a coma. So apparently, she would be stepping around my body to prepare high-protein, low-carbohydrate meals for herself and her sister.

“Sara, what’s wrong with Daddy?”

“I don’t know.  I think he might be dead.  Do you want Swiss or cheddar on your turkey rollup?”

Whether I was in the next world or clinging ever-so-slightly to this one, I would of course be proud she wasn’t using my unfortunate fate as an excuse to indulge in sugar and starch. That’s why you have to teach ‘em young.

 

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74 thoughts on “Personal Responsibility Begins Early…

  1. Barry

    This whole thing is an uphill battle against the conventional wisdom. I’m a huge baseball fan. Giants are my team. Pablo Sandoval got extra fat last year. This off season he lost 40 lbs. How did he do it? He cut out the carbs in his diet and worked out pretty hard. Pretty well documented in articles and on his website: http://www.pablosandoval48.com/

    Just now he was up to bat on Opening Day on ESPN. How did the announcer explain his weight loss? “He cut out the sweets and fatty foods.” Drives me NUTS! Why couldn’t he say he cut out sweets (carbs) and carbs? That’s what he did.

    Anyway, since watching your movie and getting pretty deep into Taubes I have gone from 208 to 193 in about six weeks or so. Tiny bit of exercise. Have no desire for carbs at all.

    Thanks!

    They almost always throw “and fatty foods” in there. It’s like a reflex.

    Reply
  2. Barry

    Here’s an article on Pablo the Kung Fu Panda: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6273565

    And and excerpt where he says exactly why he was fat:

    “He swears he can see his arepa/ice cream/corn bread/mayonnaise days in the rearview mirror, and that he has no desire to pull a U-turn. “No mas carbohidratos,” he says, patting his shrinking tummy as a grin streaks across his face. When he reported to camp on Feb. 18 and stepped on the scale, it read 239, about a 40-pound drop from his heaviest days last summer. His body fat was down from 30 percent to 19 percent.”

    Reply
  3. PrincessKimmy

    In reference to your reply to me about the Sourdough bread, ummm…that confused me a little. I would think they would be better off with a 100% whole wheat than sourdough. I’ve been low carbing for many years and had never heard of this as an alternative. Could you please elaborate on why you specified sourdough?

    My bad. I should’ve specified the reason. Grains can irritate the digestive system and eventually lead to leaky gut syndrome because of the lectins they contain. In traditional cultures, grains were soaked or fermented to neutralize the lectins. Sourdough bread is made from fermented grains.

    Reply
  4. allison

    @princess kimmy
    Like Tom said, you have to be firm and consistent. You’re the one buying the groceries. What we found with our 5yr old son is if the items weren’t in our house, he eventually gave in and started eating what we were offering. Being hungry wasn’t a viable option for him. Same with the school lunch; at first it seemed like a waste of food to send lower carb items as they would still be in his lunch kit when he came home and some of them we had to throw out. Eventually it seems he decided on his own that he’d rather eat them than go hungry.

    Reply
  5. Liz Downunder

    Tom, I wish I could go back 8 years, discover Paleo/Primal, and THEN have my children. Unfortunately, my 4 and 7 year old boys would step over my body to climb the shelves in the pantry to see if they can find any hidden chocolate.

    Better late than never. We wish we’d known about paleo while my wife was pregnant, but at least the girls are getting an early start.

    Reply
  6. Barry

    This whole thing is an uphill battle against the conventional wisdom. I’m a huge baseball fan. Giants are my team. Pablo Sandoval got extra fat last year. This off season he lost 40 lbs. How did he do it? He cut out the carbs in his diet and worked out pretty hard. Pretty well documented in articles and on his website: http://www.pablosandoval48.com/

    Just now he was up to bat on Opening Day on ESPN. How did the announcer explain his weight loss? “He cut out the sweets and fatty foods.” Drives me NUTS! Why couldn’t he say he cut out sweets (carbs) and carbs? That’s what he did.

    Anyway, since watching your movie and getting pretty deep into Taubes I have gone from 208 to 193 in about six weeks or so. Tiny bit of exercise. Have no desire for carbs at all.

    Thanks!

    They almost always throw “and fatty foods” in there. It’s like a reflex.

    Reply
  7. Barry

    Here’s an article on Pablo the Kung Fu Panda: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6273565

    And and excerpt where he says exactly why he was fat:

    “He swears he can see his arepa/ice cream/corn bread/mayonnaise days in the rearview mirror, and that he has no desire to pull a U-turn. “No mas carbohidratos,” he says, patting his shrinking tummy as a grin streaks across his face. When he reported to camp on Feb. 18 and stepped on the scale, it read 239, about a 40-pound drop from his heaviest days last summer. His body fat was down from 30 percent to 19 percent.”

    Reply
  8. Liz Downunder

    Tom, I wish I could go back 8 years, discover Paleo/Primal, and THEN have my children. Unfortunately, my 4 and 7 year old boys would step over my body to climb the shelves in the pantry to see if they can find any hidden chocolate.

    Better late than never. We wish we’d known about paleo while my wife was pregnant, but at least the girls are getting an early start.

    Reply
  9. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat Pe

    @Molly, why did you have the Oreos and ice cream in the house?

    My wife and I spent the month-and-a-half from Thanksgiving to early January eating all the carb-y stuff in the freezer and pantry and replacing it with low carb stuff. *Then* we changed how we eat.

    Reply
  10. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat People

    @Molly, why did you have the Oreos and ice cream in the house?

    My wife and I spent the month-and-a-half from Thanksgiving to early January eating all the carb-y stuff in the freezer and pantry and replacing it with low carb stuff. *Then* we changed how we eat.

    Reply
  11. Walter

    I thought the libertarian in you might be interested in this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42383307/ns/health-health_care/

    That’s an interesting situation for a libertarian. I certainly don’t like seeing the state tag on extra fees for fat people and ordering them to enroll in slimming programs. On the other hand, if you ask the state (and therefore your neighbors) to pay for your health care and the state attaches conditions, that’s not a violation of your freedom, any more than refusing to give taxpayer money to offensive artists is “censorship.” You want the “free” goodies, you accept the conditions.

    Reply
  12. Walter

    I thought the libertarian in you might be interested in this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42383307/ns/health-health_care/

    That’s an interesting situation for a libertarian. I certainly don’t like seeing the state tag on extra fees for fat people and ordering them to enroll in slimming programs. On the other hand, if you ask the state (and therefore your neighbors) to pay for your health care and the state attaches conditions, that’s not a violation of your freedom, any more than refusing to give taxpayer money to offensive artists is “censorship.” You want the “free” goodies, you accept the conditions.

    Reply
  13. Tracee

    I have done this with my five year old, but it does have its side effects. For example, when he sees adults or other kids drinking sodas, he will ask me, right in front of them, why they are drinking something that’s bad for them, or why do the gatorade makers put artificial chemicals in it, or if that person is going to get diabetes. He also then likes to point out that he doesn’t drink stuff that’s bad for him. After the diet related health problems he suffered at an early age he doesn’t understand why anyone would eat/drink sugary florescent chemical cocktails and foods.

    We realized the potential for that side effect and counseled the girls not to criticize what other people eat. Good thing too, or they’d spend their lunch period at school giving lectures.

    Reply
  14. Tracee

    I have done this with my five year old, but it does have its side effects. For example, when he sees adults or other kids drinking sodas, he will ask me, right in front of them, why they are drinking something that’s bad for them, or why do the gatorade makers put artificial chemicals in it, or if that person is going to get diabetes. He also then likes to point out that he doesn’t drink stuff that’s bad for him. After the diet related health problems he suffered at an early age he doesn’t understand why anyone would eat/drink sugary florescent chemical cocktails and foods.

    We realized the potential for that side effect and counseled the girls not to criticize what other people eat. Good thing too, or they’d spend their lunch period at school giving lectures.

    Reply
  15. Becca

    Oh, that’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing that laugh today. 🙂 I can just see her stepping over you. It’s probably the low-carb diet that has her thinking so clearly. 🙂

    She has her priorities straight.

    Reply
  16. Becca

    Oh, that’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing that laugh today. 🙂 I can just see her stepping over you. It’s probably the low-carb diet that has her thinking so clearly. 🙂

    She has her priorities straight.

    Reply
  17. kimberly

    Good Job! She’s got a great head on her shoulders.
    I’d be careful not to let her read the comic, though.
    Its not just vegans that are tasty.

    Reply
  18. kimberly

    Good Job! She’s got a great head on her shoulders.
    I’d be careful not to let her read the comic, though.
    Its not just vegans that are tasty.

    Reply
  19. Vicki Keller

    I love this. I would hope my 7 year old daughter would do the same but I will counsel her to call 911 in addition.

    I apparently need to teach her up a bit more.

    Reply

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