Today my daughters' pediatrician gave me a big pat on the back for saying "no".
"No" to soda and sweets, most of the time. "No" to vegging out in front of the TV (now there's an oxymoron). "No" to McDonald's, except once a month. "No" to dessert, except for Saturday and Wednesday nights.
Yes, there are exceptions. I'm no Major Domo, whoever he was. Life is meant to be enjoyed but not choked on either.
My girls are healthy, within their weight range, with great blood pressure and a zest for life. It helps having a pediatrician who's also an endocrinologist. She's seen a lot of overweight and obese kids. She calls it an epidemic. She says a lot of parents have abdicated their role in what their kids eat. I'm glad she said that because sometimes I worry my kids are going to have an eating disorder because I'm always telling them to slow down when they eat; don't just shovel it in, enjoy what you're eating; eat only as much as you're hungry for; don't eat just because you're bored. Silly me.
On the way to the doctor's appointment, I saw a young man, high school, maybe college, walking his bike uphill and smoking. I wanted to stop and tell him that if he really wanted to be health conscious, if he really wanted to make it up the hill, he probably could if he quit the cigs. The cancer sticks.
Someone once told me that it's really easy to raise a brat. Just leave the word "no" out. Don't set limits. Let them make all their own choices. (shudder)
Just like it's easier to not preach the gospel, whatever good news you're sitting on, and then live it. You are what you eat, what you breath, what you read, what you choose. Bread and wine, blessed and broken for you; books that make you think and feel, including the Good Book; how you spend and give your money, what you do in your leisure time, how much of yourself to give away: it's not just about us but the world we live in.
What are you hungry for? How are you going to give back once you've been fed? That's why, when you give thanks for meal, they call it "grace".