A few weeks ago Little Girl started complaining that her belly hurt. Always at night. She’s not a complainer so I took her seriously, especially after the night she cried for two hours. That Monday I called the pediatrician. When we talked to her she said she wanted us to start keeping a food diary for Little Girl and add probiotics to her diet. We’re going back to see her this afternoon.
While I am anxious to see what the cause of our tummy troubles are, I have to say: Writing a food diary for a kid is nerve-wracking and guilt-inducing. I found myself cringing as I dutifully marked down that she had been to three birthday parties between Friday and Monday, eating pizza and cake at each one. Or the fact that she had sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch two days in a row. I also found that it was a great motivator. “Little Girl, do you really want the doctor to see that you ate six Girl Scout cookies.” Apparently, she did not, and was appropriately guilty after swiping said cookies!
On the other hand, I don’t feel too bad about what my kids eat. Our list is filled with fresh, organic fruit, vegetables and healthier snacks. Sure, maybe the organic toaster pastry she ate for Friday wasn’t the BEST option, but she was running late and there wasn’t time to make her eggs.
And so I present this challenge to you: Take a piece of paper and start recording everything that goes in your kid’s mouth. Every snack, nibble, and unsanctioned cookie. Every veggie you put on their plate that ends up in their mouth. (No, you can’t count it if it doesn’t get ingested!) Every piece of chicken or chicken nugget. Just looking at your list at the end of the week may inspire you to make changes, and it will certainly be a great conversation starter for you and your kids. I know it has been for me and my family.
Have you ever kept a food diary for yourself? How about your kids? I’d like to hear about it!