Daily Chatter

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Cable Family Challenge

As with many families, mine struggles to find an acceptable plan for diet and exercise or at least one that keeps the grownup and the children all happy and healthy.  These issues stem in part from the differing parenting styles between my husband and myself.  Whereas my husband doesn't seem to understand that our daughter is a young girl with feelings and opinions thus he takes a My-Way-or-The-Highway kind of parenting position, I tend to want to allow our children to at least voice their thoughts and feelings on issues.  Neither one of us is right in our parenting style, merely different.
Due to these differences we were discussing his concerns for our little children and their diets and activity levels.  Which lead to some frustration to say the least.
Having been a young girl who dealt (deals) with an eating disorder I may be guilty of treading very lightly on issues that might cause my own daughter to feel unloved, unaccepted or inadequate in any way.  In an effort to make change as much fun as change can be we have decided to start

The Cable Family Challenge

Week One - Meals
Our goal for this week is to include 1 fruit or 1 vegetable each day.
7 points possible.
Sounds easy, right?
Well it is supposed to be.  It's week one.  We want every family member to be a
the first week.
My hope it that getting all 7 points for the first week will help everyone be encouraged to want to continue.

What will we win, you might ask.
Well that's different for each family member.
S'ghetti girl is eyeing several books and those could be used for weekly rewards.
Hubbs might choose to 'save up' his points for a monthly reward, I think he'd chose me a dinner out together without the kids.
Me?  I don't need rewards.  But I want the kids to see everyone "working" towards change even if it really isn't an effort for me to eat multiple fruits and veggies every day I want them to know mommy's "doing it" too.

Week Two - Movement
30 minutes of purposeful movement every day.
along with 1 fruit or 1 vegetable each day.
This week 14 points possible.

I know these changes are things many of you might already do every day but that's the point.  Some of the things your family might already be doing right now may not continue as the years go by.  The foods and activities S'ghetti happily participated in just a few years ago ended when she discovered such a passionate love for learning.  And while I won't discourage that in any way, learning often takes place sitting on your butt.  By easing into an awareness that our simple daily choices have a life long impact on our health is a concept that few young people can grasp.  After all, a lifetime to a 10 year old is a "forever" kind of thing.

Will you and your family join the challenge?  What better time to start than with the new school year.
Add recording the family's food intake into homework time. 
Make a cool refrigerator sign for each family member to mark the days they earn their points. 
Make a rewards jar for the kids to pick out of when they "win" the week.
Send "trash talk" email between family members (a little bragging that they are going to beat dad is okay).
Come up with fun Team names.  Maybe each family member has their own or girls vs boys.

How 'bout it? 
A new school year of learning and a healthier habits before the Holiday Season and all those extra treats.
Join us. 
Leave your email so we can share encouragement or trash talk and weekly ideas!
Link your challenge posts so we all can share in the fun.

Coming Up Week 3 - (Mind) Adding in Reading
Week 4 - Give me your ideas!


  1. As a teacher (that sometimes feels like the sole healthy eater crusader in my school) I love that your daughter is earning books by showing healthy habits!! I could not love this plan more. I am totally stealing it when I have kids. Making it in to a family game with a little healthy competition is genius. I seriously want to type it up and distribute it to parents in my class - and you may already do these habits, but I think Mom can still get a reward!

  2. My son is a very picky eater and to this point, I've just let it slide as other methods were not working, but maybe with a little incentive, I can get him to try some new things! I'm going to have to think on this one to come up with really good ideas...
    He's getting to the point where he's really getting tired of the few things he will eat...so this may be the perfect time.

  3. I think this is an awesome idea! We have a rule in my house that every meal must include one fruit or veggie. The girls are allowed to pick their fruit or veggie, but there is no way to get out of it. The same goes if we eat out.

    Count us in!

  4. My heart glows reading this, especially having just finished reading Tonia's post about "Choice". Good for you helping your family to make better choices for themselves. Very inspiring!

  5. We are in Shelley!! i am going to make a chart and start. What a great idea!!!

  6. I love this and agree we can all increase our consumption of fruits and veggies and increase our activity level. It is so easy to get pulled away from the healthy way we want to live.

    A tip for incorporating veggies - you can sneak them into anything! My family loves their veggies but I still want us to eat more and more of them. Last night we did a pasta bake that was so full of veggies - pureed zucchini, peppers, tomatoes --- but no one noticed. And it just tastes better!

    Good luck and it sounds like so much fun!

  7. My kids are a little old now (and way too opinionated) but I hope that the ground work I did with educating them on diet and exercise will hold them in good stead for their lives. What you're doing is invaluable.

  8. This is a great way to incorporate some much needed foods/exercise into daily life! We eat fruits and veggies daily here and my kids definitely have their favorites.