Monday, February 7, 2011

Is Food the Enemy?

My husband's old roommate had an impulse control problem when it came to food. If he saw junk food, he had trouble not eating it. My husband would say he could eat like ten candy bars in one sitting. At one point, the roommate bought hubby a tool box and a lock so hubby could stow his own chips, soda, candy, etc so that the roommate would not be tempted to eat it and leave some money behind for compensation.

One of my friend's children had a huge sweet tooth as a youngster. He often get punished for sneaking out candy and even on a couple of occasions strawberries.

I guess it was after the strawberry incident that I realized that I don't have that kind of problem with food. I'm lucky that my parents were not terrible about forcing me to eat foods that I didn't want to or vice versa withholding certain foods from me.

Don't get me wrong; there were a couple of occasions where my mom tried to get me to eat cooked carrots. It didn't work. I still hate them, but I'll eat them raw. But in general, I was never forced to eat anything. Hubby was made to try stuff, but even then I don't like that idea.

The other thing was that candy and chips and other junk foods if they were in the house they were accessible. My parents kept the candy in a cabinet. My brother and I never really ate it. People were amazed by that, but it's true. We were allowed to eat anything we wanted to. If my parents didn't want us to eat it, it wasn't in the house or we knew that mom had made it for a party or something.

Food also wasn't made into a punishment or reward. We didn't get candy for cleaning our room or using the toilet. We also didn't get excluded from dessert if we didn't finish our plates. In general, my mom never made desserts. If we did have say birthday cake around, everybody got a piece. It was naturally expected.

I am still a picky eater, but I've never had a real problem with food. Hubby might disagree about the sweets, but in all honesty, they don't tempt me like an impulse control issue. I also don't binge or not eat at all (well there's fasting, but that's different). I suppose you could say that for me food is just food. I'm not particular about it. I don't eat an entire gallon of ice cream because I had a bad day. I don't reward myself with a bag of chips.

And the mother's curse does work: apparently I've bred a picky eater. I get a little worried that I push food too much. I also have trouble finding the right balance between trying to get him to eat for his health or letting it go so that food doesn't lead to an eating disorder. But that's another question for the pedi.

Food shouldn't be the enemy. We need it to survive. Not that I'm saying to give kids candy. I'm just saying that if you don't want them to eat it, don't keep it around. Plus I think your kids will model your eating habits. So why are you eating candy? :P I like my parents open-cabinet policy. It's something I want to have in my own house especially since there's a couple of picky eaters living there. :) BTW my parents didn't eat candy a lot either. Usually the stuff would sit there for years before mom finally would decide to get rid of it.

2 comments:

  1. See the problem I have here (note: I like the open cabinet policy too, I really do lol) is that unfortunately you have to pick your battles and at some point you have to compromise when you realize that the kids are too young for an open door policy still (it backfired on us after awhile) and keeping them away from it completely isn't possible when everyone around you shoves candy in their mouths. I managed to keep it away from Kalila for a year... hoping to keep it to a minimum a little longer w/ Zavier and future kids, but I really don't know how long I can manage it lol. Thankfully somehow despite all that she does eat pretty well most days. We still have days (like yesterday) where she tries to sneak candy and binge all day long (well binge on sweets, she always eats all day long).

    Of course in our case it doesn't help that we do have food issues ourselves that we're trying to fix.

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  2. I guess I'm lucky that nobody's tried to get HB to eat candy. I'd probably give them the riot act though.

    We don't normally keep sweets in the house. Okay. I don't. Hubby will request them. He also eats chips and soda despite my best intentions to at least switch to juice and crackers. If I could I would eliminate those foods entirely, but maybe it will be easier if Hubby sees one of kids eating his chocolate. HB is to young to get into the cabinets. Besides there's other "yummy" things to get into first like cat food. :P Don't worry. He isn't allowed in the kitchen.

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