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Thread: thoughts on parent dietary habits/attitudes influence on kids page

  1. #1
    Liquid Gusto's Avatar
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    thoughts on parent dietary habits/attitudes influence on kids

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    Last edited by Liquid Gusto; 01-10-2014 at 07:07 PM.

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    eats.meats.west's Avatar
    eats.meats.west is online now Senior Member
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    Are you a health conscious eater and the other parent in the household is the total opposite?
    We are both health conscious.

    How are your children's diets?
    Similar to ours, with some flexibility allowed.

    Should I be worried about my future children's diets?
    Planning ahead is a good thing.

    Do you think you could handle a spouse with this type of eating style for forever?
    No way, too important to me.

    Do you have frequent visitors (parents, stepkids) who eat the total opposite of you, in that they can't even eat the same meal as you?
    No.

    What effect does this have on your kids?
    n/a

    Maybe you grew up in a house with each parent eating totally polar opposite of one another, how did this influence you?
    Mom ate like crap and way too much, died young of heart failure due to obesity.
    Dad ate some junk but was much more controlled in eating, lived into his 90's.
    At this point in my life I've turned the corner and am more like my dad was for obvious reasons.

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    I'm a lone parent with kids on the autistic spectrum
    In my house we ALL have issues with food , most of us react to bits in our food , strong smells and textures
    One of the kids will literally scream if mash or beans are put one her plate . Another only eats the same two meals , one ate nothing but cheese pizza for breakfast , lunch and dinner for an entire year ! Another can only have dry food etc
    Some nights 3 different meals are cooked to accommodate the different needs
    I've found that careful pressure free introduction of new foods over time has worked , I keep recipes simple with no sauces or extras at first and work my way forward from that
    There are six of us and we all have totally different diets , we are open and honest about food phobia and the reasons why we need to try to add in new foods as much as possible , but at the same time we accept it's a condition that requires understanding and reasonable adjustments

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    Urban Forager is online now Senior Member
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    Liquid Gusto, you sound like a very compassionate person. You mention how difficult it could be traveling with your SO dietary restrictions but you also mention that you have celiac, I should think that would be stressful enough. I have a friend who has celiac and so does her daughter. My friend spends a lot time planning/preparing foods for herself and daughter, where ever they go they pretty much have to bring their own food.

    In our house we all eat pretty much the same thing with slight variations.

    I could not handle a spouse that ate so differently, food is too important to me. I would be concerned that it would affect my child's eating. I feel pretty strongly about starting kids on whole foods.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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    Are you a health conscious eater and the other parent in the household is the total opposite?
    I am but my children also stay with their father and he isn't

    How are your children's diets?
    While in my care pretty healthy, but I have no idea when they aren't with me & sometimes this is a source of stress.

    Should I be worried about my future children's diets?
    This would depend on the child. Bought up with understanding that daddy has to eat differently might not be a problem especially when encouraging healthy foods from the start.

    Do you think you could handle a spouse with this type of eating style for forever?
    Maybe not. I would be looking at other types of therapy, new developments in the field, etc.

    Do you have frequent visitors (parents, stepkids) who eat the total opposite of you, in that they can't even eat the same meal as you?
    No. We do have celiacs & lactose intolerant, 1 with an aversion to red meat & 1 allergic to raw carrot but we just do meals to accommodate (all still try to eat healthy)

    What effect does this have on your kids?
    We don't tend to make a big deal out of it. We have just explained some people can't eat some things as it makes them sick. They have tried soy & almond milk when Aunties have visited.

    One thing I am trying to do is explain to my children the difference between food and a treat. "You can't say I'm hungry & ask for junk food". I don't mind them having 1 home made cookie with hot cocoa as a treat after dinner because it's a taste thing, but they can't expect to be able to sit & eat cookies till they are full (or sick)

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    Are you a health conscious eater and the other parent in the household is the total opposite?

    No. Our family is on the same diet now, and both of us were always health conscious. Before, I was veg*n, and DH was omnivorous, paleo-like WAPF diet.

    So, when I was pregnant and Ds was born, I was vegetarian. DS was breastfed for the first year/14 months, and food was given via baby-led weaning (which develops a broad palate) from 8 mo onwards.

    Since DH would share his food with DS, DS was not vegetarian. So, I figured I'd align DS's diet more toward DH's. About 6 or more months after this (DS was just about 2?), we all went paleo.

    DH and DS are slightly different from me -- they body do a lot more oil than I do (coconut, cod liver). I just do Udo's perfect blend and sometimes coconut oil in the paleo fudge/raw cookies, etc. I eat more veggies and fruit than they do (I guess you can say that I'm "higher carb" -- i'm about 25-30% carb, more like perfect health diet.

    How are your children's diets?

    My son eats like no other child that I know. He doesn't like "junk foods" -- doesn't find them tasty or interesting. He won't eat boxed mac n cheese, for example -- only real mac n cheese and that's as junky as he gets.

    His favorite food is sushi; yesterday he complained because we were having broccoli and he wanted brussels sprouts. Then, on brussels sprouts night he complained that we weren't having broccoli. On warm kale salad night, he ate about 4 servings of it and loved it. And he loves spaghetti squash night, too. LOL No one that I know eats like this kid.

    Should I be worried about my future children's diets?

    I don't think so necessarily.

    First, you could talk to your SO about getting professional help with his eating disorder which might open him up to trying new foods if it is largely mental/emotional rather than textural/etc (though that might be manageable through occupational therapy). This would probably be good for him anyway, because he'll get much-needed support.

    Second, you can choose what the diet of your children will be. I have a friend who is married to an omnivore, and she's a raw vegan. her children are vegan with some cooked and some raw. I have another friend who eats a healthy "SAD" diet (not a lot of junk foods, but not a lot of focus on overall food quality) while her husband is restrictive like your partner. Her daughter is getting the healthy "SAD" diet with some "treats" thrown in from dad's acceptable foods.

    Finally, don't worry about it too much. Cross these bridges as you come to them.

    Do you think you could handle a spouse with this type of eating style for forever?

    Not without him getting help, no. My husband has orthorexic behaviors, but he got help with these things (we learned a lot about the origins of them over time), and he's now actually quite liberal in how he eats (unfettered). I think that if he was eating the way he was when I met him (body builder's protein powder, canned pumpkin, oatmeal and tuna diet), the kid would eat as I am eating and he would eat his way. But since DH eats a broad, healthy diet, it's not a problem.

    If anything, *I* am the problem because I will, for example, share a bag of M&Ms with the kiddo or get us a package of cookies on occasion rather than making our own, etc. I'm more likely to allow "junk" foods that DH won't eat himself -- and he's not really keen on me and the kid eating it all that often, but it's so infrequent that it doesn't really matter. It's definitely less than 20%, and his getting on my case about it isn't going to go over well.

    Do you have frequent visitors (parents, stepkids) who eat the total opposite of you, in that they can't even eat the same meal as you?

    This is a yes and no. Dh and I like our good, clean and simple foods. My family prefers fast food, and DH's family prefers inexpensive food (healthy "SAD" with a fair amount of cookies, chips, pretzels, etc thrown in, too). So, for my family, the food is bland; and for DH's family, it's too rich/fancy.

    We often go to their houses and eat what they are serving without complaint, even though the gluten is a challenge for us (DH, in particular, has gluten sensitivity, and it causes DS to go off the rails!). We would prefer better food quality in both households, but that's unlikely to happen. We try to take a dish to share, too, so that we know that at least one dish is what we like.

    What effect does this have on your kids?

    None, really. DS will eat the 'cleanest' food at a given house, plus a couple of treats if he likes the flavor of them (like cake or pie). He gravitates that way.

    his big thing is soda. He feels compelled to tell people "I'm sure you already know this, but I have to tell you that coke and related beverages are not healthy for you." We have told him to leave people alone, that people make their own food choices, and that we are not there to inform or police them, but that we explain why we don't eat certain foods to him -- he has no obligation, and it's considered rude, to assert these ideas to others while they are eating said foods. It's starting to sink in.

    Maybe you grew up in a house with each parent eating totally polar opposite of one another, how did this influence you?

    You know, my interest in health just lead me on my own way as an adult. My family ate healthy SAD most of my life, with a fair few treats and fast foods tossed in. After university, I went vegetarian and learned a lot about health and nutrition. DH discovered the Weston A Price Foundation and went that way. That's when we became interested in food quality, well being, longevity, etc etc etc.

    Now we are paleo, and we enjoy it. It's a fun process. We are always tinkering to make our diets healthier for us.

    Obviously, not everyone is like this. My sister eats a fair amount of junk and fast foods, in between will have healthy meals (which might have HFCS, excess salts, additives, MSG, etc). My SIL has major eating disorders and eats a ton of processed 'fat free' stuff. She also smokes (though her family doesn't).

    So, there's no telling. As an adult, you're really responsible for your own choices.

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    JoanieL's Avatar
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    I can only answer you from the perspective of being the child (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). My father was an excellent cook. My mother was okay and learned from him. However, both of them had one thing that I've had the toughest time getting rid of. They both figured that if something tasted good, the next day it would taste even better on a big hunk of Italian Bread. And Dad would make special trips to the city just to get bags of Italian cold cuts and bread.

    I could live my whole life and never have another baked sweet, or even candy, but the occasional slapping of something on to bread is my "20." Even a fried bologna and egg sandwich brings a smile to my face - not surprisingly, that was a breakfast of my youth.

    So, IMHO, parents very much influence how their children will eat. It could go either way. If the cook in the home sucks and thinks catsup and marinara are interchangeable, the child might actually learn to cook and make better food. But if you learn to love Mom's meat loaf or Grandma's lasagna, you're probably still going to love them when you are an adult.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    Got one thing to say....family history as a form of dictating care is malpractice. The primary reason certain diseases run in certain families is because those families share the same environmental conditions and lifestyle habits. Thats it. So be a role model for your children if you want them to be healthy.

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    Last edited by Liquid Gusto; 01-10-2014 at 07:08 PM.

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    zoebird's Avatar
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    Children are a lot more perceptive than we often give them credit.

    Dad can be open about his disorder -- as well as being open about trying to get help with it (even if it is failing or not working well or what have you). You can even explain the pyramid on the page that you linked above (i did read it, btw -- which is why I suggested on-going therapy for him, assuming you can find someone who can work with him effectively) when they are about 4/5 and the questions start coming up.

    It's not a problem to talk about these things in age-appropriate ways, explaining different things -- that ideally you'll eat a lot of abundant healthy food, but because Dad is disordered in his eating, his food availability is much lower and more constrained, and so he has to eat as much of those foods as he can so that he doesn't die from starvation. But, you can also point out that the way he eats also doesn't create wellness or vitality, which is what we (including dad) really value.

    I think, too, that if Dad were to take the lead in these explanations, and was able to do it without fear or shame, then it would be fine.

    You might also consider therapy for yourself -- figure out what may be triggering you now about all of this, or how to parse out the other issues, too. And couples therapy is always a good option.

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