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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eat what you want 

I agree with this article -- Go ahead, kids, eat your cake first.
My husband and I came from the usual post-depression era food nazi families, and we have dealt with being overweight our entire adult lives.
For my kids, I decided to serve them healthy meals and a daily multivitamin, and let them decide what and how much they wanted to eat -- no pressure, no pestering, no "you have to try it" rules, no cajoling, we didn't focus on their food intake at all, and we never adopted the "your mother worked hard to cook this meal so you'd better eat it" attitude. We adopted the philosophy that their bodies were their own, to eat as they wished. And if they wanted something to eat before dinner, sure -- have some carrot sticks or a cracker or whatever. If they didn't like what I cooked, fine, have a sandwich instead.
Neither of my kids had allergies, so we didn't have to worry about monitoring food intake due to this -- though I think my son may have had a dairy sensitivity, but he stopped drinking milk when he was a toddler so he grew out of it I think.
They each went through food phases -- at one point my daughter wanted kraft dinner all the time; my son called himself a "meat-atarian" when he was a teenager -- but today they are both normal weight, they keep in shape, they both love salads and don't particularly like desserts, and they can both cook.
So, the kids are alright. And as a side benefit, this approach also saved my husband and I a lot of needless stress -- parents already have a long list of things we must argue about with our children, so why add food to the list?

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