By Lisa Klipfel, MA, Author of The HCG Diet Mom’s Handbook
when your children are young, impulsive and have not learned about delayed gratification (Especially as a dieting MOM when you are on the HCG Phase 2 or watching your sugar on Phase 3). As teenagers, you might wonder if they have learned anything about delayed gratification, but trust me they have, at least a little. Instead of looking at this question as a dreaded question, think of it as a learning opportunity. You can give a simple direct answer of yes, or no. You can follow up with education, or you can think about what the answer should be.
Let me give you some examples. When you have a toddler, they want everything and they want it now. The most common “can I have” question rears its head when waiting in line at checkout. Candy marketing experts know parents just want to check out, get out of the store and head home. They count on the parent using their display to quiet their child. In addition, if you are on the hCG Diet, it brings your focus to the sugary candy you are trying to avoid, when perhaps without a toddler you may not have even noticed the display. Breaking those old sugary habits and keeping your HCG Phase 3 Diet Plan on track can sure be tricky with temptation all around.
Steps to Avoiding the Candy MELT-DOWN at checkout
- Set a rule that no candy (or toys) are bought at the grocery store.
- Bring a specific toy that they can only play with while you are in line.
- Choose a healthy snack for your toddler to eat at checkout, such as fruit or vegetables.
- Play a game during checkout such as counting the number of items (number of green items, number of R’s, etc.) on the conveyor belt.
For elementary aged children, the “can I have” questions tend to focus on school lunches and snacks. Preparing your child’s school lunch lets you know exactly what nutrients they are getting. Kids compare lunches and are always wanting what the other kids have. We have guidelines in our house about what needs to go into the lunch box and what can’t. If a child requests a specific item, ask yourself why. Some items can be granted with modifications, or on an every-so-often basis. We avoid “lunchables” because of the food processing, high sodium, and high cost with little food value. I accommodate his desire with a partitioned Tupperware container that I fill with a healthier alternative, making sure one wedge has some fruit in it.
When making school lunches, make sure that kids get protein, a serving of fruit and/or vegetable, as well as some bread/cracker. They will need the protein to sustain their level of satiation until the end of the school day. They will need the fruit/vegetable for nutrients, and they will need the carb for energy. I make a pie chart (no pun intended) of how much of each type of food is needed in each lunch. Sugar is not one of the pie slices (literally). If you have difficulty making school lunches without being the human vacuum (A fanciful term from my book ‘The HCG Diet Mom’s Handbook’ I use to describe the old Mom habit where no crumbles or bits go to waste when preparing your kids lunches), then encourage your children to help so you can stay on the hCG diet. It’s good practice for them, helps them to learn independence, and it teaches them about nutrition.
Tips for Packing a Healthier Lunch
- Send a serving of at least one fruit and/or vegetable every day.
- Mix it up, and send lunch in a different form – such as chicken and crackers, rather than a sandwich. Consider a thermos to send hot leftovers.
- Set guidelines with your child about what kinds of items you expect in their lunch, such as protein, fruit/vegetable and bread.
- Get your kids involved in making their own lunches.
Teenager are an independent, yet highly dependent bunch. The “can we have” questions typically circle around junk food and fast food. This is the age where you learn what they have learned about nutrition. Now is the time that you want kids to make the independent choices to grab an apple instead of a bag of chips. Help them to learn how to read food labels from amount in a serving, servings per container, sodium level, sugars, etc. At this age, they can really assimilate the effects of sodium, sugar, being overweight, red dye, etc. has on their body. If you find having junk food in the house is hard for you to stay on the hCG diet, then talk with your family about reducing or replacing that item. In nutrition knowledge, a young teen is a teaching ground, where an older teen is a testing ground. As the whole family eats healthier, you will find that many Phase 3 Recipes are delicious and nutritious and your kids may not even notice the absence of sugar and junk food.
Making Better Choices
- Consider visually showing the amount of sugar in a junk food item, by measuring out sugar and putting it in a bowl.
- Have kids read articles on effects of sodium, sugar, processed food, dyes, high fructose corn syrup, etc. If the article includes kids, it will grab their attention even more.
- Make a choice to ban one type of junk food from your house for a week, then have a discussion at the end of the week about what it was like and why it was done.
- Look at nutritional brochures for the fast food places you frequent. Attempt to cut back on fast food stops, but if you can’t, look to see if there is a better choice to make.
- Look to see if the item you are ordering for yourself really fits into the hCG diet. Even with the extra variety you can have with hCG Phase 3 meals, you still have to be so careful to avoid that starch and sugar. As the whole family eats healthier, you will find that many Phase 3 Recipes are so delicious and nutritious that your spouse may even shed a few pounds without even trying and your kids will have less cravings for sugar and processed foods.