B3, RD: The foods that don’t fit

Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 8:00 am

The Rock Solid kids had a problem when they got to sorting their food items into the appropriate food groups. They couldn’t figure out where some of the items belonged.

What food group does caramel syrup belong to? Where do jelly beans fit? What about Gatorade?

These foods don’t fit into the five food groups. They aren’t grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, or meats and beans. They’re…something else. So what do you do with them?

I’m sure you’ve dealt with the same dilemma. Some foods just don’t fit into our nutritional rubrics. But we like them–oh do we like them.

Yesterday, we learned that we need to have items from each of the five food groups EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to be healthy. So what about those things that don’t fit into the five food groups?

A lot of the kids said they would LIKE to have jelly beans every single day–but jelly beans aren’t necessary in order to be healthy. Jelly beans are extras.

Does this mean that we should eat jelly beans? Absolutely not. Jelly beans might be extras when it comes to a healthy diet–but they’re not always extras when it comes to enjoying life.

There are two keys to dealing with the foods that don’t fit:

1. Focus on the foods that fit

You’ve heard the illustration of a guy who had a number of items that he was trying to fit into a jar. He had some big rocks, some medium sized rocks, some pebbles, and some sand. If he poured in the sand first, he didn’t have enough room for the big rocks. But if he started with the big rocks, he could fit them in and still have room to pour the sand around them.

It’s the same way with food. Think of the big rocks as the foods that fit into the five food groups. These are foods that you need in order to be healthy. You need to make sure that you’re getting all of those. The sand is the stuff that doesn’t fit into the five food groups. This is the (literal and figurative) icing on the cake. Focus on the five food groups and you’ll still have room for the foods that don’t fit. Focus on the foods that don’t fit, and you’ll be missing out on the stuff that does.

Remember how your Mom wouldn’t let you have a snack right before supper because you’d “spoil your appetite”? It’s the same concept here. If you fill up on candy so that you don’t have any room for vegetables, you’ve done yourself a double disservice: you’ve consumed a lot of empty calories and you’ve denied yourself the beneficial nutrients and fiber from vegetables.

So, in your quest to deal with the foods that don’t fit, choose first to focus on the foods that fit.

2. Fully enjoy the foods that don’t fit.

Now that you’ve made sure that you’re getting the foods that DO fit, take the time to enjoy the foods that are “extras.”

Pour yourself a little handful of dark chocolate chips (or one of YOUR favorite “foods that don’t fit”) and take the time to savor them.

Too often, we hole away guiltily with a bag of chocolate chips and discover 15 minutes later that we’ve eaten the whole bag–without really tasting any of it. What a shame!

These extras are too good to waste by inhaling them in shame-induced silence.

So, pat yourself on the back for paying attention to the foods that DO fit, pour yourself a portion of something that DOESN’T fit, and enjoy the “extras” in life.

Today’s B3,RD challenge is to put the above principles into action today. Focus on the foods that fit–but take the time to enjoy the foods that don’t.

Tags: , , , , ,


Leave a Reply