Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back after a long break

It was a busy fall school season, and I did keep track of Ellie's weight. It went up and down a little bit, but by the end of the holiday season she was about 56 lbs again. As I started a new year, I had to start a new plan.

Last fall I didn't add many veggies. I meant to. I had good intentions. Something was lost in the process of making menus and getting to school and swim team. I ended up making the same thing most days. Since Elllie doesn't eat salads, there weren't many vegetable choices for Ellie.

2011 brings a total change for her, and for all of us. As of this morning she is back down to 54.2 lbs. She has also grown a little bit more topping the chart at 3 foot 6 inches. The combination has moved her BMI a little bit to 21.6. This is down from September's low of 22.6. Yes!!

This is why the blog is called Small Steps. Slowly. Ever so slowly, we are making progress. It's taken us 5 months, but that BMI is starting to budge. I have a lot of faith in our ability to make it budge a whole lot more this year.

How are we doing it? It's really simple, common sense. Less in (and better choices of food), and more activity. We have cut all school lunches. The sodium, calories and fat content were just unacceptable. Ellie drinks milk 3 times a day: with her cereal at breakfast, at school for lunch, and with me every night at dinner. She never drank sodas, but really loved her orange juice. Even with the calcium added, it's not as healthy as a glass of skim milk.

What else? I measure foods, especially carbohydrates. Ellie loves her carbs, so until I get that BMI to a healthy number, she is going to have limited carbs - 4 servings a day. Since I can't eat lunch with her at school, I send a healthy lunch I know she will eat. While I include a fruit or vegetable, they usually come home uneaten. At dinner it's a different story. I insist on veggies at every dinner. She has to eat them before she eats the stuff she likes. After a month of disagreements, it turns out she actually likes some of the veggies!

I have been trying all sorts of new foods, and not just for Ellie. The whole family has taken a trip on the vegetarian train. We still eat fish and poultry, with the occasional serving of pork (once a month). The red meat is out the door, as Rajiv on Outsourced says, "Please don't touch the cow." We purchased a pressure-cooker after the holidays and with the help and encouragement of some Indian friends we have learned how to make several dals (lentil dishes) and a great marinade for chicken. This week I will try some chole or chana (chick pea) dishes and a few other new recipes. I made a slow-cooker Indian Chicken and vegetable stew that both kids loved!

The last part of our plan of small steps to a healthier weight is more activity. Ellie is moving and grooving more at home through games with her brother, dancing with mom and just generally being encouraged to get up off the chair :) It's slowly working, and I'll keep you posted.

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