If you had told me 15 years ago, before I had kids, that feeding them a balanced diet would be my biggest challenge, I would not have believed it. Sibling rivalry? Too much TV? Bad grades? I was prepared for all of that. But seeing a lone stalk of broccoli or stray leaf of spinach with the power to send kids screaming, nearly igniting World War 3, has had me waving the white flag. I finally realized that the focus had to be on empowering my kids; it was time for the command to change hands.
In my house we talk often about the power of our hands. As an energy medicine practitioner, I encourage my kids to tune into the energy of their food, their thoughts, and their bodies. I want them to experience the subtle shifts that can be detected by the palms as a result of simply “activating” them through intention. Of course, that can sound like mumbo-jumbo to kids! So, inspired by the Five-Finger Prayer my kids learned one Sunday in church, I came up with simple fingertip reminders to help kids put healthy food choices in their own hands.
Thumbs-up foods are also called super foods. They’re nutrient-dense and pack the healthiest punch per pound. Blueberries are a favorite, along with beans, salmon, nuts, turkey, and tea.
Pointer finger foods point toward our favorite foods; these are things that are suit our bodies well and become an everyday habit.
We call the third finger Tall Guy. Tall Guy food choices helps kids grow big and tall. These foods may have special labels, like organic, grass-fed, or free-range. You may have to search a little for Tall Guy foods, but they will ultimately make your body stand out!
Ring finger foods are for special occasions. They’re rich and fancy and taste best when shared with friends. Having fun is part of being healthy, but I remind my kids to not be too dazzled by food “bling”!
Pinky finger foods have no nutritional value, and should be eaten only in teeny-weeny amounts. Sometimes my daughter and I will put our pinkies in the air, affect our best British accent, and say, “I’ll taste a smidge of that sugar confection, but only to be polite!”
I’ve found that our finger game is a fun way to be more thoughtful and aware when reaching for food. Admittedly, it doesn’t always work. Green continues to be regarded warily, as if it’s the color of the enemy. And my oldest son, now a teenager, just discovered Hot Pockets and thinks they’re the greatest invention of all time, so his hand is often reaching for the freezer. But what I call the “Peace Talks” continue… making peace with our bodies, finding peace in our energy systems, understanding that every piece of food, every color in the rainbow, everything we touch and hold, is part of the bigger piece, the whole of who we are.