Sunday, January 8, 2012

Monkey See... Monkey Do!

Monkey See, Monkey do. This is the main ways that children learn when they are young. They watch, absorb, and do. Most of the time it is a good thing. That is until you slip and say a "bad" word and then they repeat it non-stop. Not that that has ever happened in this house… Or when older kids teach the younger ones words like poop, or tooted, and then you have 4 kids running around yelling "Poop!" Always a beautiful thing!

Whole wheat English Muffin
Anyways…one of the good things that has happened in our house from the Monkey See, Monkey Do game is that my kids have learned to have a love for eating healthy and working out. We never use the term diet in our house, we just talk about healthy food choices. That does not mean we don't indulge in ice cream or candy or cheesecake, etc. We just eat them in moderation and only on "treat nights" which are weekends or special occasions. Our philosophy is that nothing is off limits, you just have to know how to eat and only eat it every once in a while. Sundays are "Cheat Day" in our house. We go out to eat. Have a burger and french fries or a milkshake….just go for it! And during the week we eat healthy.

They decide to top them with sauce, cheese,
summer sausage, tomatoes and grapes.
YES, I said grapes?!?
I usually cook 6 nights a week, so the kiddos are used to home cooked healthy meals. All 3 older kids really like to cook! On typical weeknights Michael does not get home until after 6, so they usually don't cook dinners with me until the weekend when I have more time to spend with them and more time to clean up after them! This week Michael was on nights, so they "cooked" dinner every night. No, we did not make grilled chicken, steamed veggies and roasted potatoes. We made their favorite "daddy is not home for dinner dinners." But as we cooked we talked about what food group everything falls into and how we can make pancakes healthier by using whole wheat flour and adding fruit, etc. It was not all lesson, in fact, it was mostly just FUN!

Logan's person

Melina's butterfly

The next day we made creatures for dinner. I bought mini turkey hot dogs and then the kids used spaghetti noodles to make people, octopuses, bugs…they let their imagination go wild! It was really fun to see their creations. And we had fun eating the "bugs!"

Meeka's ???

And finally we made pancakes for dinner. 
We tripled the batch so each kids got to out in 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, etc.

3 spoons in the bowl

I have to say, I love that the kids ask me now before eating anything if it is healthy or not. I hope they go into the world with a LOVE and RESPECT for food! Michael and I enjoy food so much and it is neat to see the kids growing appreciation too. (Logan loves to try new things!!) Yes, we still have some dinnertime woes with, "I don't like that." But the more they try the more they realize they do like that!!!

Doing dips.
In addition to eating healthy the kids love to work-out. Melina especially is my work-out buddy. She writes her numbers down and she works very hard at working out very hard! It is so cute to watch her be so serious about it. This week she used juice cans and was lifting weights with me as I did the P90x video. She was grunting and groaning as she worked hard and Logan sat on the couch behind us and said, "She's hot!" regarding the girl in the video.

My goal for my kids is for them to grow up strong and healthy with knowledge of how to use food for enjoyment and fuel for the body! And I hope they learn that just by playing 
Monkey See, Monkey Do!

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