I’m no stranger to small children trying to eat, touch, use, or break anything enjoyable that comes across my path. It’s part of the job description.
Eating ice cream? Time to hide in the darkest corner of your kitchen. Putting pictures in photo albums? Only if you have seven decoy prints for the kids to crumple into a ball. My children have employed a “what’s yours, is mine” mentality, although it doesn’t seem to work both ways. I may be expected to share half of that last chocolate chip cookie (that I was saving to enjoy with my coffee), but if placed in the hands of my four year-old, it would be gone before I could even think of asking for a bite.
When it comes to eating, my preschooler and toddler take the grand champion award for their well-practiced mooching skills. In fact, it happens so often that I’ve decided to look at food consumption in a different way. My little ones have inadvertently developed a plan to help me eat less. That being said, here are 5 weight loss tactics, as formulated by my toddler and preschooler in (what I’d imagine to be) their own words:
1. Position self between 5-12 inches from mama’s dish. She can’t help but incidentally slip a few spoonfuls of ice cream your way, just to regain her personal space. Bonus: if you lean in with your mouth open, you increase your odds of success.
2. Suddenly act interested in trying new foods. How can any mom say no to expanding a child’s food repertoire? Even if you run a risk of having said food spit back onto mama’s plate, she’s always a sucker for this one.
3. Just keep asking over and over and over for another bite. Eventually, she’ll just give up and leave the table. Plate unattended. Either that, or she’ll comply to every other request to “TY IT?!?”, equally filling both of our bellies with adult food deliciousness.
4. Eat standing up. They say that grown-ups burn more calories when they eat standing up, rather than sitting down. Be aware, though- this is a learned behavior. With enough emphasis on tactics 1 and 2, eventually mommy will just give up on the whole sitting down thing while she eats. Then she can thank you, her beloved child, for fitting into her favorite shorts all summer. Every little bit helps!
5. Keep it moving. Portion control and exercise go hand in hand, right? So, we want to keep mommy on her toes. There’s no need to ask her for food AND juice, all in one trip. Wait until she brings dinner to the table. As soon as she sits down, you’ll know it’s time to ask for that juice. If you have siblings, make sure you devise some sort of game plan to keep her going back into the kitchen. That way, she’s getting her steps in, and her food will eventually cool to a temperature that it PERFECT for little kids to eat. She probably won’t even want it by that time. Keep an eye on that dark corner in the kitchen though– she’s been known to hide out there with an even better snack.
So, there you have it. Lifting babies, running after toddlers, and dividing your portions accordingly can really add up! What can you (and your children) add to the list? We’re always looking for fresh ideas (just not in the corner of the kitchen- that’s mama’s spot!).