I wonder every day if I am giving my daughter the basic fundamentals to be a happy and healthy child who will grow into a happy and healthy adult. I can’t tell you what it was like for my mother when I was a child, but  I feel there is more pressure today to raise the “perfect” child—the “perfect” child, who  eats only nutritional foods. If you want credit for being some sort of super-mom, the food has to be not only nutritional, but organic as well. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but it can also cause stress, confusion and low self esteem because suddenly it puts everything under the microscope. What’s good? What isn’t? Technology opens us up to the opinion of anyone and everyone. I say, “Enough!” We Moms, we need to stand up and let the world know we are doing the best we can!

Reading the Facebook posts of the hundreds of moms I am friends with can sometimes drive me crazy. “Bobby just ate a well balanced meal and now he is headed out to get some physical activity in. Later we will read about the history of America.” Seriously? People writing posts like this on Facebook are desperately looking for some sort of validation, but you don’t need to tear your hair out regimenting your child’s “perfect life” to be a great parent. I prefer, for example, to live with a more laid-back approach: role modeling.

When you model a behavior for a child, you give them ideas about what adult life can be like and demonstrate valuable skills. When we go out to a restaurant, I do not typically order soda. I order water, and my daughter, Ava,  will often jump in with, “I will have water, too.” If we have had a big meal or have been in the house too long, I will say, “I think I will go for a walk with the dogs. Who wants to join me?” Once again, Ava is quick to jump in. My point is you don’t need to make it complicated. By modeling healthy behavior for your children, you show them a willingness to “walk the talk.” They’ll be more willing to make healthy choices and you’ll be healthier in the long run as well.

Morning Muesli
Morning Muesli / Bobbi Bowers / CC BY 2.0

This is why I love working for Guiding Stars. I know I am helping to promote and implement a program that helps parents like me teach making better food choices. Using the easy Guiding Stars rating system, you can even turn shopping into a game with your child. From the inception of the program, I’ve had my daughter participate in making food choices by looking for the stars. If you haven’t tried this already,  it’s simple: when walking down the cereal aisle (which contains a plethora of stars!), tell your child they can choose any cereal as long as it has one or more stars. The best part is that Ava thinks it is fun, which makes me feel good. Empowering our children to feel like they are making good choices builds their self esteem alongside their growing bodies.

Any mom who can do that definitely deserves all the credit for being a super mom.

Katie Jones is Client Services and Implementation Specialist, for the Guiding Stars Licensing Company. Katie is motivated to share her passion and energy about Guiding Stars. From the time Guiding Stars was developed, she has been spreading the word about the program from school groups to government officials and beyond. Katie truly believes that Guiding Stars fulfills and enhances any food service arena looking to promote health. Katie works with dedicated clients, managing expectations and facilitating solutions. For new clients, Katie leads the implementation of the Guiding Stars program working with all members of the team to ensure a successful launch.