OK, so first a confession:
I’m a bit of a healthy eating nut and I think it is a skill and a philosophy I have to teach our kiddo.
When I say healthy eating I think I mean something reasonable without being extreme: Lots of veggies and fruit, less sugar and white anything, whole grains, very little red meat, lots of fish, nuts and other awesome stuff, like avocados (an obsession of mine and thankfully, my daughter). We don’t have junk food or candy in our house, don’t drink soda or sugary drinks, and our daughter has never been to McDonald’s. But we definitely have dessert and treats a few times a week and one of the most important things I try to teach at home is enjoying eating and food and making it a special experience as often as we can.
The other day our kiddo came home from a playdate and I asked her how it went. She said fine and then got this look on her face that said “hey, mom, I’m not telling you something.” I gave her my best version of the “hey, it’s OK, just tell me, I promise I won’t be mad” look and then she confessed: They ate pop tarts. And candy.
I think she expected me to get upset. But I wasn’t. I mean, I’d rather she not consume all that sugar but it’s not my house and I firmly believe in “your house, your rules” philosophy.
I smiled and asked her if she liked the candy. She put on a huge grin and said “Yes… but I know all that stuff is bad for me.” Yes, I’ll confess it was at least nice to hear.
So here’s my worry: That because I emphasize healthy food at home and limit junk that she will then find ways to overdose on it when I’m not around. If this sounds silly, I’ll tell you a little story. My husband grew up in a macrobiotic family — their food makes mine look unhealthy. Any chance he had he snuck away to friends’ houses to eat as much sugar and crap as possible. To this day (and we’re talking 25+ years later!) he has a serious sweet tooth and when he gets a chance, overindulges in stuff we don’t eat a lot at home.
At the end of the day, I know that all I can do is teach my kiddo the best eating habits I can and hope for the best. But I am curious, how do you think about food and eating habits in your family?