No bad food, no bad food, no bad food. Come on! Oreos are bad food!
But, she’s got an open mind:
I remember when my daughter was 3, a child development expert talked about how important that kids be able to have a food shelf that they have unfettered access to. I tried it, but (1) we lived in a super small place then, too — couldn’t spare a low drawer in the cabinets and (2) I copped out and put “good” crap in there that she wasn’t all that jazzed about (which I’m sure was exactly my plan!).
I know I need to share my kitchen, my shopping list and my food, and let my kids drive their own eating. We have very little junk in the house and lots of fresh stuff, which they like. Sure, my kids rave about junky sweets, etc., but they also ask for fruit to snack on, don’t blanch at whole grain pasta or bread and one even orders up lentils whenever she gets to pick what’s for dinner. All good!
So it’s really me who is in the way. I’m not particularly worried about eating disorders — whether or not I change my ways — but I think it can’t be anything but infantalizing for older kids to have to ask if they can have a popsicle. It’s got to start sometime. It might as well be now.
Like every parent, I’d love to see into the future and know if I’m making the right choices for my kids. All I know is that my decisions about food feel right for our family. Our meal times are peaceful, my kids eat lots of ‘healthy’ food, and are adventurous eaters. (My seven year old’s absolute favorite food is kimbap– do you know what that is? Read about it here.)
For me, it comes down to this: Can you imagine being told what to eat? And how much? What if you were in the mood for a crunchy salad but someone forced you to eat roasted chicken? What we choose to eat is so personal with many factors involved including how hungry we are, what we ate last, if it’s hot or cold outside, the list goes on. How could anyone possibly know what you ‘should’ eat but you?
I suppose following someone else’s orders about what to eat is exactly what a diet is. But could that be why we’re so screwed up about food? Because since day one we’ve been trained to have no clue how to listen and respond to our own bodies?