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Monthly Archives: February 2013

All in the Family

Family influence, where do you draw the line? Let’s face it, just because you are in the same gene pool does not mean you share the same beliefs about food and feeding your children.
This topic has been very much on my mind lately as we have been visiting various family members over the past week. (As I write this I am sitting at my parents’ dining room table). How our parents/families have influenced our eating behaviors is a whole other topic for another day. Lets just focus on the present situation, or should I say temptations. To be fair, the purpose of this visit was to attend our annual “family renunion” at Mardi Gras (Mobile, AL not New Orleans). So by definition it is a time of gluttony. I tried to do my best to bring some of our staples that would not be easily available such as milk, fruit, breakfast food where the first ingredient was not sugar. Would you believe I devoted half a suitcase to this?
Basically, my strategy is to at least provide some balance to what the kids are getting every day. I am not the type of parent to tell the well-meaning in-laws they can’t share their treats with the kids. The situation is temporary and no one wins if I say no. My hope is that this is a lesson in moderation for the Babe and AJ. What better example than to see all the excesses available, be allowed to choose some all while still having healthful foods at the same time. It usually went something like this, “Sure you can have some chips, but you need to have a cheese stick and some fruit too.” Or, “Ok, you can eat that cookie with some milk (low fat and plain)”.
Now when it is your own parents, it can be much easier to be more outspoken about your desires. (This is possibly due to your argumentative skills you have been perfecting since middle school, or that may be just me). Ironically, my mother falls at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. She should be the spokeswoman for fruits and vegetables. I have to to be very diligent in reminding her that it was necessary to offer the higher calorie foods first to her petite granddaughter. While she did not necessarily agree that it was okay if the Babe did not have fruit with her lunch, she did comply.
The point is, know your limits and pick your battles. Short of food allergies and intolerances, I believe it is much easier and beneficial to relax a little on the food “rules”. Try to remember that all parties involved love your kids and just want them to be healthy and happy.

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