I CARE ABOUT NUTRITION, DO THEY?
A series of letters to share a view about nutrition and daily life that is real, raw, and serving up a fresh perspective on what is “right” and “wrong” about what we eat.
I am a mom too. The other day I gave my child a pop-tart and I wondered “what will everyone think if they knew?”
Isn't that crazy! I am as healthy as they come, a vegetable lover, and my children are great eaters (you're welcome kiddos!).
I know what some will say… you don't have to be the “Sugar Police” all the time. RELAX! It's one friggin pop tart!
But, someone else might look at my kids' pop tart snack and think… she's normally feeding her children so healthy, she must not be practicing what she preaches (this is where I imagine someone judging me harshly!).
Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that one well timed pop tart could charge up my kids performance. It's their performance that matters.
We live in a world of “good” and “bad” or “healthy” and “unhealthy” when it comes to food, but food is only the tool to feeling “good” and feeling “healthy”.
If I feed my child a healthy salad and they have no energy for their sport I don't think that's a win.
Eating for performance is more complex than eating healthy. Maybe this new idea that we can eat for performance starts with understanding that 1 pop tart could fit in a performance diet and that tart can keep a kid feeling good and being healthy.
OF COURSE there are other (ahem, more environmentally sustainable) options that we can move towards BUT we can skip the judgement and accept that you have NO IDEA what the heck one mom or dad has fed their child on any given day.
TRUE STORY TIME
Maybe on this day my child ate whole grain performance overnight oats, a fresh fruit snack in the AM, a vegan meatball and whole wheat spaghetti lunch – all bought from local farmers, all bought without wasteful packaging. And then at 4pm her grandmother handed her a pop tart and I thought – “this is the best grandma can do and she is actually providing the right energy my kids muscles need right now”, so I said “yes” when my child brought this (now famous) tart to practice.
Here's one thing we can do about this conundrum… find out what eating for performance means to you. Eating for performance is not just something to say, it is a specific RE-framing of nutrition.
It involves learning about the main powers foods have, and not focussing on shaming, and certainly not staying closed off and denying that there IS something that can be done to help kids make great choices.
Either way, I am excited to see you very soon in my empowering, judgement-free community!