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Shannon Miller: There's Nothing Like Rocco's Smile

02/07/2010 at 08:00 PM ET
Courtesy Shannon Miller

Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller says it’s never too soon to mitigate against childhood obesity, and she cites son John Rocco, 3 months, as an example.

“Right now I am making sure that my diet is healthy so that he is getting all the nutrients he needs while nursing,” she explains while explaining her own foundation‘s work with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. “Soon we’ll begin solid foods.”

Conceding that “it will be awhile until I need to begin talking to him about good nutrition,” Shannon nonetheless says that she and husband John Falconetti plan to set a good example when it comes to physical fitness.

“[We] talk about how to keep him active and eating healthy so that when the time comes we are both on the same page. I’m planning to start a mommy and me class once he is walking. Of course, that’s fun for him and me! I want Rocco to grow up thinking of physical activity as enjoyable. It should be.”

Someday, limiting Rocco’s time spent in front of the television and the computer will be key to their efforts and the couple have already agreed on rules like no TV on school nights or at the dinner table. For the immediate time being, “we play music and talk or read to him,” Shannon, 32, says, and weather-permitting they head for the great outdoors.

“We have already made weekend walks part of our routine. The earlier the better. Children that are active tend to stay active through adulthood. Of course, Rocco is just along for the ride for a while.”

First-time motherhood has been eye-opening for the seven-time Olympic medalist. “I had no idea what to expect,” she confesses. Although Rocco has struggled with acid reflux, Shannon notes that he has been sleeping through the night since seven weeks of age.

“We have been very blessed and just adore Rocco,” she says.

“There is nothing like seeing him smile! He’s such a sweetheart and has the cutest little boy face. The best is when he sticks his little lower lip out to pout. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t quite have the desired effect; we just giggle then run and get the camera.”

Source: CafeMom

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Showing 22 comments

Siobhan on

I wish her well with the no T.V on school nights. I really do, I just think that those decisions are very easy to make when you have a three month old and not that easy to stick to when you have a bored seven year old and you have work to do.

But I could just be a horrible cynic. I had a similar T.V policy when my son was small but to do everything I need to get done, something had to give somewhere, and he gets a little T.V when I’m making dinner or sorting out my younger kids.

But seriously, I wish her all the best.

Gingi on

I agree with Siobhan. It bugs me when new, first-time parents make sweeping pronouncements like this. I nursed three kids and did the best I could. Wii is limited to weekends. TV gets watched in limited quantities during the week. With jobs and other kids it happens. I wish her the best. But I sense an air of superiority which seemes a bit premature.

Lizz on

starting solid foods soon? at 3 months…no…

Marissa on

I disagree with Siobhan…. I don’t think Shannon needs to be wished “good luck” with the whole no tv on school nights policy. There are other things that kids’ can do to keep busy while you cook and do other things. They can read/look at books, draw, watercolor, color with crayons, and so much more. While I am not against tv for a SHORT period of time, especially on school nights, there are things besides tv to keep busy. I applaud Shannon for already thinking about these important things for her son. And Rocco is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maya on

She doesn’t resemble her old self AT ALL! Amazing. Worse case than Jennifer Grey – completely unrecognizable…

lover on

i think she’s getting ahead of herself. yeah, she has plans to not let him watch tv on schoolnights but c’mon, every parent has major plans when their kid isn’t old enough to speak up. i know someone who had a baby and she made this huge deal about how she would NEVER let her kid eat fast food. fast forward 1 year, she is at her wit’s end juggling school, work, and a cheating husband. she has no time to cook and her daughter loves mcdonalds! same goes for an obese couple i know…they had a baby and they said they’d never give him soda or junk food. the baby is almost a year and he weighs double what he should weigh bc they don’t eat/cook healthy and they give him pieces and sips of their junk food.

laura on

she also seriously talks like a robot, very weird

LisaS on

Well, here’s a name I haven’t seen or heard for a long time! As someone who watches gymnastics only during the Olympics, and the trials, I don’t follow anyone so it’s nice to see what Shannon’s been up to. Anyway, am loving the short, dark hair on her. I think it looks so much better on her than blond ever did.

And that’s one incredibly adorable baby! Glad to see her sounding excited and in love with motherhood. Best of luck to her and her family. :)

Chris on

LOL “air of superiority”? Um she was just stating her plans. Just because one mother states her preferences doesn’t mean she’s putting down other mothers who made different decisions. It seems some posters are defensive about not sticking to their own parenting rules. No need to knock Shannon. Who knows? Maybe she will actually stick to what she says. Give her a chance. On another note, her son is adorable.

sad on

Maya, I completely agree! It’s been a few years now since Shannon has had her nose done and every time I see a picture of her, I still don’t recognize her.

N.S on

I must say, as a first time mother (pregnant with number 2) to a 2 year old, I have ALREADY in this short space of time realised that things do not go exactly as you plan them out during pregnancy and the newborn stage.

Good luck to her, and her goals are most certainly attainable – but like others said, she’s still very new to this, and things change, which she will need to accept.

And on a side note, I really hope she didn’t mean within the next 3 months by “soon” when she was referring to solid foods.

Janna on

Now we’re knocking women for having a plan? We’re knocking her for thinking she could possibly raise a child without plopping them in front of the TV? We’re putting her down for her alleged holier-than-thou attitude?

Get over yourselves!! There ARE people who plan how to raise their children and then do it that way. She wants her son to be active, healthy and intelligent. Oh my, what a b*tch she must be!

Puh-leeze.

Tess on

Given her gymnastics career, I would assume that Shannon herself didn’t watch much TV growing up, so it’s natural that she would choose that for her own son. I don’t see the big deal about her comments.

Lauren on

Good for her! When you really believe in the benefits of something, I think it’s achievable to set those sorts of goals. It will take a lot of effort, but she shouldn’t be criticized for trying. This is a very important issue.

And “soon” is all relative. If most babies start basic solids at 6 months, that seems pretty soon to me.

Luna on

I think some of what she said is fantastic. I love it when parents want their children to be active and enjoy physical activity. Moving is fun! And while i do think TV should be limited, banning it completely on school nights is only going to make him want it more. We do a lot of outdoor play (but not so much right now because it’s freezing) reading, arts and crafts, and games. I think every parent tweaks what their original plan was just a little, but it’s good to start out with high expectations. Rocco is such a cutie and i love how she talks about him.

Luna on

I forgot to mention how i love that she is practicing good eating habits as well. i hate it when parents say that their kid can’t have junk food or ice cream and they’re shoveling down the Twinkies like they’re going out of style.

acmommy09 on

Maybe by solid foods she meant baby food? I’m sure she did not mean turkey sandwich. And just maybe, by soon she meant in a couple of months. Give her a break, she is trying to be a good and responsible mother.

KiraGrrl on

This is EXACTLY why I don’t express my “plans” with other mothers! I am pregnant with my first and after getting some VERY negative comments and “oh, this is your first, we all have big plans in the beginning” type comments, I IMMEDIATELY started keeping my mouth shut. My husband did too. When people say things like, “oh it is easy to make plans when the baby is young,” or “wait until REAL life sets in…” it is almost like them saying to you, “you will fail like the rest of us so you might as well not even try or think you are going to try to do things a little different.” It is SOOOOO discouraging…especially when you ARE new at this whole parenting thing and you only want the best for your child. Like my husband always says, we are going to make a plan, keep it private, it if works, great, if it does not, no one will be there waiting with a smile on their face to say, “Told you, you would fail.”

Siobhan on

I don’t think it’s about failing, I think it’s about adjustments that you didn’t expect when you were making these plans. Thinking about this interview, I think it’s very similar to one any first time parent would give, and a lot of it I believe she will stick to. I think an Olympic Athlete does know how to make sport inspiring and I’m sure she’ll do a great job. I just think setting such a strict T.V rule puts a lot of pressure on her to constantly find other things to do, somebody suggested painting and that is a great idea but with small children painting needs supervision if you’re going to try and limit what gets painted! And sometimes a small bit of kid-appropriate T.V helps. However her family dynamic might allow her something different. But she does seem like an adorable Mom with an adorable son.

Belle on

I like her thinking on physical activity. I make sure to get my kids out everyday (even today, which was -17 out!!) We dress warm, and once they are moving around, they stay warm. I really want to get them in the habit of being physically active. It is a great habit to get into. Good for the body and mind!!
I believe in everything in moderation. Junk food to t.v. all in moderation. I have to admit there are things I was planning to do differently, but oh well, my kids are happy and healthy, so I don’t stress about it, or put too much pressure on myself.

mrsh on

I think it’s great to make plans for things, as a parent. That is part of preparing yourself for raising a child. But, it’s also important not to be upset if things don’t go according to plan. I had lots of plans for how I would do things with my daughter. Some I did (like babywearing), others I couldn’t (like breastfeeding). I do my best not to let it get me down, and I think that’s the most important part. If you find you have to compromise on you’re “plan,” it’s okay. All parents need to remember that.

KSmomx5 on

As the mom of 5 kids ages 12, 10, 8, almost 5 & 15 months I wanted to chime in that we have a “no TV/Wii on school nights rule”(Mon-Thurs, Sun is OK). It’s always been the rule so the kids don’t think twice about it. I do think you need to flexible & circumstances change but I don’t think having a plan or goal is unreasonable. We don’t drink soda, jump on beds or eat stuff with HFCS. But they have seen a select few PG-13 movies & I have let more swear words cross my lips in front of them then I care to admit =:O They know different families have different rules, doesn’t seem to be an issue for them.

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