I went to lunch with friends yesterday, and promised LaLoni that I would post this piece. It's part of the "From the Trenches" self-syndicated columns that I wrote between 1997 and 2000. Hope you like it!
Try the Toddler Diet
Moms have it tough when it comes to staying in shape. When pregnant, we watch our bodies balloon to unimaginable proportions. Post delivery we’re left with sagging mid-sections and spreading hips. What’s a mom to do?
We count calories, fat grams and keep food diaries. TV advertisements entice us to drink shakes, eat bars and pop pills to help us lose weight. Some say cutting out carbohydrates is the key. They’ve got it all wrong.
For the answers to weight management, follow your toddler’s diet.
Breakfast – Orange juice and a bowl of corn flakes. Take two bites of cereal and drink half the glass of orange juice. Spend five minutes picking up the remaining corn flakes and squishing them between your fingers. When finished, wear your bowl like a hat.
Morning snack – Remove the couch cushions and rummage for food. Eat one button, a penny and chew on the pencil that you discover.
Lunch – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, glass of milk and small bunch of red grapes. Before eating anything, throw a tantrum because you’re not getting macaroni and cheese. When you’re calm again, drink three sips of milk and eat a third of the sandwich. Then, open sandwich and place it face down on the table. Rotate it a few times. Choose one slice and stuff it into your milk glass. Finish by sticking a grape in your ear.
Afternoon snack – While outside, pick up a wad of gum from the sidewalk and chew on it for a while. Find the dog’s dish and eat two pieces of dog food.
Dinner – Steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes with gravy, roast beef and chocolate ice cream for dessert. Show no interest in anything on your plate. Instead, insist on having a drink of milk from Dad’s glass. Pretend to take a drink, but spill most of it down your front. For the next ten minutes, play with the food on your plate, but don’t eat any. Hold out until it’s time for dessert. Eat all of your ice cream and whine until you get more.
Breakfast – Two slices of toast with strawberry jam and scrambled eggs. Take two bites of toast, being careful to cover face and clothes with as much jam as possible. Poke and prod your eggs, eating only a small bite. Dump what food remains on the floor.
Morning snack – Eat four dinosaur-shaped fruit snacks. Suck on five more. Spit them out and hide them under your bed. Swallow a red Lego that you find by the book case.
Lunch – Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Throw another tantrum over not getting macaroni and cheese. Angrily push soup away, sloshing most of it across the table. Penitently nibble at sandwich. Insist that you’re full. Once away from the table, eat the fruit snacks from under your bed.
Afternoon snack – Work for twelve minutes to get a fuzzy lifesaver from under the fridge. Eat it and the three crayon pieces that you also find.
Dinner – Linguine with tomato sauce, garlic bread and canned peaches. Drop utensils. Eat your peaches with your hands (this may take a while). Alternate between ripping your bread into small pieces and trying to get the linguine in your mouth. When the pasta and sauce cover your shirt, face, hair and the floor, you’re finished.
Continue in like manner, refusing any new foods offered, until you’ve reached your weight loss goals.