Diet lessons can come in many forms and I most recently decided to sit and watch my 7-year-old step-son eat for a day. What did his diet consist of? Meaning, what was he hungry for. What was he doing during the day? Did his diet and nutrition needs meet his activity? Was there a time at which he said I am hungry and ate or was he being fed at the times that Karen and I ate?
Saturday started with me waking up and having some tea and a plate of waffles. I was excited about this Saturday because every other weekend I take him with me to the farmer’s market and then out to breakfast. On this particular day I was hungry but also planned on a 12 mile run. With all that has come into my conscience since starting this endurance journey I knew I needed to get some carbs in me a few hours prior to the run and then refuel afterwards. I wasn’t 100% certain I wanted to go out to breakfast after the farmer’s market so I ate.
Once Chico was up I asked if he was hungry and he said no. (Lesson #1) I did not force anything on him and tell him to eat but I noted that he wasn’t hungry so he did not eat. At 8am we packed up and went to the farmer’s market where he sampled a handful of cookies, which is unlike him. I asked if he was hungry and he said yes so I decided to go to breakfast after all. He ordered 1 pancake, where he normally orders two and doesn’t ever finish the second one unless he is really hungry. Note to self right then was that the cookie samples must have filled him up a bit. I of course, over thinking the run, ordered two pancakes as well. We were served and I ate my two pancakes and when he pushed his plate away having only eaten half of his breakfast I ate the rest…..of course! Asked if we was hungry he said no I am full. (Lesson #2.)
I went out on my 12 mile run and returned around 1pm. We then all packed up and headed to Pier 1 to pick up some furniture and on the way home I heard him starting to get whiny and a bit unruly. Karen asked if he was hungry and wanted a snack and sure enough he did. He ate a banana and the crazy kid went away (Lesson #3). The evening was going to be he and I as Karen had a prior engagement. I told him to let me know when he was hungry so I could feed him. I was going to make my dinner but he did not have to eat with me if he wasn’t hungry. After nearly an hour he came out of his room and said: Jason, I’m hungry. Can you make me dinner? (Lesson #4).
After he ate he went back to playing in his room, chasing the dog around the house and after a bit asked for water. Not ice cream or candy. Water. (Lesson #5). By 8pm he was exhausted and ready for bed. He was put to bed by Karen and within minutes he was asleep (Lesson #6). After watching and studying his patterns I have decided to incorporate this simple life into my life.
Diet Lessons From A 7-Year Old
- Eat only when hungry.
- Stop eating when satisfied and not stuffed. You do not have to eat everything on your plate.
- Recognize hunger queues and satisfy them with a snack that is healthy.
- Ignore the clock when it comes to eating. Your body clock is the only one to pay attention to.
- Drink water. Lots of water as that will help curb hunger strikes masking the real problem: dehydration.
- Sleep. Plenty of it. At a luncheon last week I learned that you can lose 1 pound per week if you get 8 hours sleep per night.
Can You Incorporate These Diet Lessons From A 7-Year Old Into Your Lifestyle?