Blending Healthy Families: Words Matter
Hello and welcome back to Blending Healthy Families Blog!
This week, we have a special guest: Kaylie Flaminio!
I met Kaylie when she was my trainer and we’ve stayed close over the years.
Kaylie comes from a big Italian family where food - PASTA - was the center of celebrations and brought great joy. That’s a stark difference from the fitness world where messages are to eliminate “bad” foods and work off the calories.
If you’ve been around here any amount of time, you know that’s not my style and that’s not Kaylie’s either.
One thing Kaylie and I talk about so often is how words matter! We are always trying to find the balance of what we learned as kids with what we’re faced with now that we have young ladies in our lives that are watching our every move.
One thing Kaylie and I align on is that you don’t have to earn your food. “I don’t believe you have to earn a really good meal,” Kaylie says. “I try to bring that message home as well. My stepdaughter plays soccer and is active in track. We eat to fuel our body!”
So what if you’re just starting out?
Know the answer can be different every time.
If I know they’ve had quite a bit of sugar already or that they will need a good nights sleep for a test tomorrow I won’t serve them any, because I recognize it may not keep them at peak performance. But I also don’t restrict it so when they get to a birthday party or over to the other house they pig out.
Help give them the ‘why’ behind our answer
As much as “I’m the parent, I said so” would be so much easier, it doesn’t always teach them how to make that choice on their own in the future. If we become the absolute yes/no then they won’t know how to answer the question in the other house or at a friend’s house.
Help them find different alternatives and language to what they actual may want
Focus on mindful eating! Is their body really telling them they’re hungry or are they mindlessly eating because they’re bored?
Focus on hydration! Make sure they’re staying hydrated to erase some lethargy and hunger.
Look for things out of the ordinary. Are they nervous about a test? Scared for a new event? Not wanting to make a transition?
Be prepared as the parent
Have the fuel your kiddos like to eat at the ready for them.
Cook with the kids and have them help you, it helps them invest in themselves, too.
You can only control what happens in your household
Remember the kids may have completely different diets at each house and that can be jarring for them. Work with your kids to find the balance on what they like and makes them feel comfortable vs what you’d like them to eat as fuel.
“What is the message you’re trying to get across?” Communicating through these different scenarios is really important, but also give yourself grace. “You’re here for a reason" is great advice from Kaylie! "They know that you’re caring, you love them. So the biggest thing is giving grace.”
And in that communication, I find it helpful to keep some quick phrases. “Do you have color on your plate?” Finally, years later, I was finally able to explain to my stepsons why that was important on the biological level. I explain more on the episode.
Remember, kids don’t give two toots about diets or macros or calories! We are all just out here doing the best we can as parents and stepparents. So any step you take is the perfect step for your family!
In honor of Kaylie, here is the recipe that she taught me that I have passed on to many of you!
Crockpot Taco Chicken
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
3T taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed
10oz frozen corn
8oz fresh salsa
Layer all the ingredients into the crock pot, starting with the chicken. Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours. Chicken should be cooked fully before eating.
*If your salsa is not very runny, you could add ¼ cup of water to prevent burning*
After the chicken is done cooking, shred the chicken.
Use two forks and the pull apart method
Use stand or hand mixer to do it for you
Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips. Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, guacamole or any of your other favorites.