Hello, Mini-Women! It’s so good to be back for a visit. I’m loving this series Leslie and Hannah and Asher are doing with you, so when they asked me to talk to you about snacks (one of my favorite topics) I jumped right on it.
See if this sounds like you.
You just get back from a bike ride (a gymnastics class, a shopping trip, a leap frog competition … okay, maybe not that). You’re starving but it’s not time for dinner, so you check out what’s to eat. You decide on some cereal. That sounds healthy, right? Of course, when you look at the selection in the pantry, most of it looks boring (does anyone actually LIKE bran?) but there’s still some left of that kind with the colored marshmallows in it. As you head for the family room you promise yourself you won’t eat the whole box.
And actually you don’t. Because about halfway through whatever’s on TV, you ditch the few morsels that are left and curl into a ball on the couch. It seems weird. You’re kind of jittery, and you don’t even have the energy to grab the box from your little brother when he passes through and snatches it. You thought exercise was supposed to make you feel more energetic, but right now, you feel like a complete blob. When your mom calls that dinner’s ready, all you can say is, “Ug.”
Here’s the deal. You’re growing more in your tween years than in any other season of your life (except birth to 2 years old). Between that and the exercise you’re getting (you are, aren’t you?) you obviously need the right fuel. Not just anything you can get your hands on, but the real stuff your body needs for all the growing and changing it’s doing.
So what’s the real stuff? That’s pretty simple. It’s the God-made stuff. If it basically happens naturally, it’s good for you. If it contains more than one ingredient you can’t even pronounce, it probably isn’t.
Dairy (or dairy substitutes like soy, almond or rice milk)
Meat and beans
Soda (even diet; in fact, especially diet)
Artificial sweeteners (Stevia is okay, but not Equal or Splenda)
Any foods with sugar as the first ingredient on a package (yeah, that means the Chips Ahoy)
Crackers and chips containing partially hydrogenated oil (which even sounds disgusting)
Greasy fried foods (Yep, that includes French fries – in fact, most fast food)
Processed foods made with corn syrup (and most of them are)
Besides being nutritionally sound, this whole thing is Biblical.
God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Genesis 1:29)
“Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat.” (Leviticus 11:2)
I’m not seeing Pop-Tarts and Hot Pockets in there, are you?
Even if your family doesn’t fix meals from the God-stuff list, making your own snacks can help. At first that may sound like you can only eat celery sticks and drink water, but there are a BUNCH of great possibilities if you use your imagination. Some of my faves:
· Those celery sticks … dipped in a little bit of peanut butter
· A bowl of berries in a pool of milk
· A sliced banana mixed with nuts
· A half an apple baked in the microwave for 30 seconds and sprinkled with cinnamon
Once in a while it’s fun to savor a treat that’s on the Not God-Stuff list. Having an ice cream cone or a Snickers bar now and then doesn’t mean you’re disobeying God! Trying to eat healthy snacks most of the time does mean you’re taking care of that awesome body God gave you, and it keeps you from turning into a couch potato — when there’s so much living to do. In your Talking To God Journal, write about why it might be hard for you to pass up the cookies and chips, even though you know other choices are healthier. God can help.
If you want to make a comment, tell us what one item on the Not-God List you’re going to try to give up. We will cheer you on!