My kiddo’s been playing soccer for three seasons now. When I signed up my adorable, tiny ,shinguard-wearing dude, I was delighted that the coach asked us to sign up for the snack schedule. Who doesn’t love snacks?
Being a new soccer mom, I did some googling on what was an acceptable post-soccer treat, and, to my surprise, I came across the idea of snacktivism. If you’re not familiar, this is an effort by a dietician mom to stop unhealthy eating patterns and educate kids on healthy eating. Great idea. It goes so far as to give a sample letter that you can deliver to children’s organization leaders suggesting healthy snacks. This is where I started to feel a little “no one puts Baby in a corner.”
Here’s the deal: I have to regulate my own indulgences, and while I am entrusted with these children, I’m responsible for moderating theirs. It’s not any other soccer mom’s responsibility to make sure that my kid is eating healthy. It’s mine.
When I look over our week, the game is on my calendar, just like on everyone else’s. I know my child will be getting a celebratory treat at that time. I will plan our eating accordingly. If he drinks a sugary juice box on the way home from the soccer field, then we’ll probably order water to drink that evening if we go out for supper, instead of a Sprite (his usual treat when dining out). Just like away from the soccer field, if we splurge for donuts at breakfast, I’m probably not going to haul my munchkins to the bakery for cupcakes that afternoon, or even the next day. I control what goes in my child’s mouth.
Since I know the weekends are usually treat-laden, I make every effort to keep our week meals and snacks as healthy as possible.
Moms, we get to say no: No Sprite this time because you had apple juice at soccer. Let’s save this snack since we’re having cupcakes at John’s birthday party this afternoon. Yes, there are awkward consequences from this. Your kid may throw a fit, and that might be embarrassing, but if you are truly concerned about your child’s healthy eating, then it’s worth it. You are inherently teaching them how to pick and choose their indulgences, which will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
Let’s take personal responsibility for what goes in our kids’ mouths, rather than police the other moms on the sideline.