So this week ive been staying with my cousins to babysit/chaperone them while my aunt and uncle are on vacation. Theyre high schoolers so they mostly take care of themselves, but I take them to school and make sure they do their homework and make dinner for them. Or, well, I TRY to make dinner for them. My aunt and uncle are covering all the food for the week, so I asked for a lot of meats and veggies to do a lot of my better recipes Ive been learning: grilled NYstrip steaks. Asian-marinade glazed short ribs. Even an entire side of salmon that was fresh caught by a friend of my uncle's the day before they left and given to me to do whatever I want with, cause they didnt have time to dook it themselves. Ive tried to make the most CW-acceptable vegetables possible, like sweet bell peppers stuffed with cheese, and a fruit and fennel salad that was way more fruit than fennel.
My cousins just REFUSE to eat ANY of it. Theyll get a serving of meat and the tiniest portion of veg, eat about three bites of meat and NO veg, and then just throw it all away (into compost, at least, BUT STILL). They then retreat to their room to eat girl scout cookies and pudding cups. I cant exactly chastize them for eating these foods cause their aunt buys them. The house is stocked with random junk all over the place. And my aunt and uncle are not ignorant troglodytes when it comes to food; my uncle is a great cook, seriously his kitchen is stocked with craploads of equipment and toys, and most of the "junk" they have around the house is really expensive, gourmet junk. But still, having a high price tag doesnt make it healthier. Also they go through three or so cans of soda a day.
Despite the fact that it honestly makes me want to cry when I spend a few hours cooking everyday after work and they dont even try to eat the food, it honestly worries me for their health. One of them is diagnosed ADD and on meds for it, meds that apparently zombie him out. Couple this with the fact that his routine is to stay up late playing computer games so by the time morning runs around, I am literally dragging him out of bed to get to the carpool on time. The other cousin seems like a normal teenager, cute and thin, but the one night I couldnt make dinner (cause I had a dance class), instead of ordering pizza or something, she thought a fine dinner would be popcorn and girl scout cookies. She keeps eating like that and she wont stay cute and thin for long. Also yesterday before dinner she ate almost an entire pound of sugary candy, and her drink with dinner was hyper-concentrated tang.
Before they left, my aunt was like, "Yeah we want them to eat healthier, but what can you do?" and just shrugged it off. Im like, well for starters, you can stop buying cases of soda and girl scout cookies!!! Also its just so upsetting because I know what a horrible, medical disaster this way of eating will lead these kids to, since *my* childhood and teenage years were a medical disaster, and that was *with* a modicum of intervention from my mom (we werent really allowed to have soda, for example, which I credit for me not really having ever developed a taste for it).
Ive been holding my tongue, or gently chastising them for eating cookies, but theres not much I can do. I like my cousins otherwise, but being around this behavior is genuinely upsetting me. I want to go home to my humanely raised bacon and kale chips.
Funniest CW moment from the week, though:
<Male cousin is warming himself breakfast, which all week has been a large cinnabon cinnamon roll from a tray of them my aunt bought at Costco before they left>
Female cousin: "Eww, thats so gross. I don't know how you can eat that for breakfast!" <Said while she is munching on a bowl of CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH!!>
Me: "Uhhh, you should talk, look at what youre eating there."
Her: "Yeah but this is cereal."
Me: "Sweetie, they are the SAME INGREDIENTS. Baked wheat covered with cinnamon and sugar."
Her: <Looks at her bowl, looks at the cinnamon roll. Obviously is processing this information, but then shrugs it off> "No what I meant was I think cinnabon tastes gross. Like...I dont know, it just has a funny taste to it." <goes back to munching cereal>
Me: <resists the urge to shove bacon down their throats>