Room For Board

Make room for the family table.

A good friend, Tammy, made me aware that I have thus far left out an important part of eating. That is this; eating is something we do together.

Oh, I struggle with this. I really do. I think I needed this post more than anyone. Thank you, Tammy!

I was tested when my daughter wanted to go to a popular pizza place in the plaza district in Oklahoma City. Pizza? How was that going to work? Then I remembered, this is a philosophy, not a diet.

Nothing is off limits.

So I ate half a slice of pizza combined with some low calorie greens to help fill me up. I easily stayed within my calorie goal.

And it was delicious!

Kids need a lot of fuel when they are active and growing.

I am not a pediatrician and I do not profess to understand a child’s nutritional needs, but my little one runs circles around me.

She usually consumes more than I do now. That was not always the case when I was overeating. But she is healthy.

This is only for a short time.

This is a two- year commitment. Seems like a long time. But it is relatively short compared to the years it could add on to your life.

I shared with my family that I committed to this for two years. And I told them why. – Three Conversations

Redefine your board.

The term “board” was the old word for “table.” It is why we refer to boards of directors, board rooms, board games, room and board, and so on.

I have two boards. One is a family table that I grew up with. I have many happy family experiences around that table!

The other is new to me, it was a special gift, a coffee table from my brother Robert and his wife Michele.

The former we use for times where there are no distractions such as television. The latter is for use when the television is on…

I love being around either board with my daughter.

We do other things together at the table than just meals

We read, color, play board games, play cards, drink coffee, cut vegetables, listen, pray…these are all wonderful activities to do at a table that do not involve eating. (Okay, she does not drink the coffee.)

Even if we do not eat the same foods, we still enjoy time around the board together.

Serving sizes are small.

My youngest, Rhaylee, loves popcorn…this week. So I leverage her popcorn with other foods. Before she gets another bowl of popcorn, she must choose between a protein and a fruit or non-starchy vegetable. I’ll give her choices like almonds or beans (she does not like chicken unless it is in a cheesy taquito) and carrots, blueberries or strawberries. In order to seal the deal, I show her how much a serving of each is, the smaller the serving the better, but still nutritious. She does not get more popcorn until she consumes one of the other choices.

She is learning at an early age what I did not know until middle age.

Include your family in meal prep

At mealtime, I do not care if we are eating the same foods, as long as we are eating together. I never make my daughters eat what I am eating at a restaurant, why is it important at home? Well, it is important because someone has to prepare all that stuff.

So, Rhaylee has to help me prepare meals. She loves to help in the kitchen. She loves to help do dishes. And I am taking full advantage of that while it lasts!

Photo credit: Staff photo of round dining table with child’s musical instruments, reading glasses, , pottery bowl, figurine of father and daughter, coloring book and crayons, with toy kitchen in background.

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