ControverSunday: Food, plus bonus late Fess Up Friday

Thanks again to our lovely host Perpetua and our queen-o-badge Accidents. Go visit them. Oh and go read all the other contributions this week, they are awesome.
This isn’t my first post about food. And it likely won’t be my last. Whether we are talking what A eats, what I eat or what our family as a whole eats… well…. I have a lot to say on the issue. So least this become an 8000 word blog post, I think I will look at two small parts of the pictures.

First, A. I have written complained before about A’s food woes. Some babies have sleep issues. My baby has food issues. Like from day 1. Fast forward 13 months and it is still the most challenging part of our day. But here is where I stand on food for A. I am trying, as best I can, to let her try new things in her own time. What is really important is that what she is trying is healthy. I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving your kid a treat once and a while. But I firmly believe that when it comes to kids and food, 90-95% of what they eat should be healthy and with as little processing as possible. Sugar, preservatives, salt, trans fat, stabilizers and all weird ingredients you can’t pronounce should be avoided. But sure, if they love them some ketchup or arrowroot cookies, fine, let them have it…. 90%-10%. But if your kid eats McDonald’s happy meals every day for lunch and then take out pizza every day for dinner… well….all I can say is that I would beg you to reconsider.

Anyway, back to A. Sure the kid only eats like 7 things. But those 7 things are healthy. Applesauce, (plain unsweetened) yogurt, nutrios (cheerios with out salt and sugar), pasta (made from quinoa and kamut), homemade bread, squash and avocado. The truth is, if you only offer healthy food, you kid will only eat healthy food.

So I am fairly confident that my kid will have a healthy diet, because my husband and I are committed to it.

Now- here is where I merge ControverSunday and Fess Up Friday into one.

The problem in this household, when it comes to food, is me. Me. Which makes me feel like a big hypocrite, especially because some of my first posts for this blog were about eating real food and the important of healthy eating. I watch Jamie’s Food Revolution and I say “Right On” and then I look down at my waist line and cringe.

First of all, I consider myself a bit of a foodie and someone who is very interested in the local/organic/whole foods idea. I know what a 1800 calorie diet looks like. I read labels. I know how to avoid added salt and sugar. I try to make most things from scratch. I try to meal plan. I try to eat well.

But. Truth be told, I am fairly overweight. Like about 50lbs. (And not 50lbs away from a size 2, 50lbs away from a size 8.) I whined a couple weeks ago in my ‘Fess up Friday’ about needing to lose some weight. I am really struggling with it. Because it is not as easy as just not eating junk food and fizzy pop. You see, sure I don’t drink pop (except Ginger ale when I am sick) and it is once in a blue moon I will have fast food or chips/candy. I don’t eat a lot of processed foods and my meals are pretty healthy. But I have a couple pretty strong addictions to the following not so healthy but totally foodie things:

-Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate.

-Baked goods, especially cookies, cupcakes and muffins. (Micheal Pollan in his latest book “Food Rules” has a rule (39) which says you can eat all the treats you want, so long as you make them yourself. Um… he totally underestimates my love of baking)




So I have a relationship with food that is both good and bad. Good in that I know what I should eat and I eat pretty healthy meals. I love fruits and vegetables. A good salad makes me happy. Bad in that I snack a lot and eat too much of my indulgence foods.

I really want to get my act together, as I am worried about the impact on A of having an unhealthy Momma. They say kids that grow up with overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves. I want to deal with my weight issues for me, but I also realize that impact they will have on her. But honestly, I just can’t seem to resist the treats. They are everywhere. And I know I won’t be successful on a diet if it is too strict. So I need to find a way to cut down on the ‘extras’ without just totally binging later on. And actually, what I think I need, is some way to replace the feeling I get from eating a treat with something else. I am 100% an emotional eater. And 3pm and 8pm are the worst times for me. I want something. And I want it sweet. But really, I want to treat myself. It isn’t really about the food so much as it about wanting to sooth stress or give myself a reward. So I need to find a new reward. And I need to get into an exercise routine. I know I can do this. Now I just have to make it happen.


22 responses to “ControverSunday: Food, plus bonus late Fess Up Friday

  1. Brooke April 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I also am very into food and am about as health-conscious as they come, and yet I am also overweight. It actually is very hard on me because I think people look at me and assume I must eat cookies and chips and drink soda when I eat REAL food and drink water (and coffee). I just listened to a story on NPR about the reality of adult obesity and how it really is more than just eat less, move more. For me it’s genetic. A 1500 calorie diet isn’t going to do it. For some, it does work. But it makes for a great catch phrase, so we hear it more than I would like to.

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      I hear you. I definitely have some genetic mixed in with PCOS which make it hard to loose the weight. But, for me, if I am really truthful with myself, those things are not as much of a barrier as I would like to think. I have lost 40lbs in 5 months before. With effort, yet. But not heroic effort. So I know I should be able to do this.

  2. Ginger April 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Oh, I’m the same way, except my addiction is salty foods–chips, popcorn, and crackers are my downfall. It’s hard to resist (and it’s hard to find substitutes for salty foods too). I know the added salt is horrible for me, but I can’t seem to stop myself.
    And I do worry about what that means for the kiddo. As we’re feeding him more and more, I realize more and more that he often can’t have what I’m having–which means I need to change MY diet before he knows the difference. But knowing and doing are different.

  3. Susan April 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Again, I love your honesty. I could talk about food all day long, and I can relate to your issues. I have a tendancy toward emotional eating, and sometimes have to fight hard against it. I’m *really* trying to understand that, and get to the other side of it. I just picked up and am reading “Women Food & God” by Geneen Roth. Not finished yet, but some interesting stuff there.

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Hmmm. If I ever have time to read for fun again (hahah) I will pick that up. Thanks for the suggestion. Do you have a coles notes version for me? Just kidding!

  4. Fearless Formula Feeder April 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I wrote a long comment about this on Megan’s controversunday post, but the gist of it is, my kid does NOT eat very healthfully. I have to disagree with the “if you only offer health food” argument – well, not disagree, b/c you are probably right; at some point the kid would get hungry and eat what you are offering; more “plead for you to understand” than disagree. But we started out only offering super healthy food – we are vegetarian so we are raising him all veg with some fish; he can’t eat dairy b/c of his allergy, so he’s practically vegan, except for some eggs and that fish thing. He used to loooove veggies, hated carbs, HATED sugar.

    But as he got older (like in the last 4 months), he started going on food strikes. At this point, we try EVERYTHING… sugary cereals, french fries, tortilla chips… just to get some calories in him. Especially as he can’t rely on dairy to get the protein, fat and calcium he needs… sometimes we get desperate.

    I wrote about nutrition for years, so I do know the difference between good and bat fats; I can read nutrition labels. I try and choose the healthiest foods possible for my kid. But when he hasn’t eaten in days, I get to my wits end, and then my husband happens to get french fries with his meal at a restaurant and the kid grabs one off his plate and loves it… well, even a self-proclaimed nutrition junkie (and former anorexic/restrictive eater) has her limits.

    I don’t mean to imply that just b/c my kid has issues and I’m too exhausted to fight with him, that healthy eating isn’t important. It is. Just saying that like so much else in the parenting world, I hope people will try not to judge me too much if they see my 17 month old eating a tortilla chip at whole foods. At least it’s an organic tortilla chip. 🙂

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:32 am

      I hear you. 100% I hear you. I have the battle with myself every day with A- do I try whatever I can to get her to eat or do I let her be hungry an hour later? That battle sucks. And I do not judge any parent who has to go through those food battles. Again, I will say. It sucks. I hope it gets better for you.

      • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm

        I have been thinking about your comment all day. And with 0% judgment and 100% understanding I just have to say: I think when it comes to toddlers and food it is more about control then food. In that, I don’t think they don’t eat because they don’t like what they are presented with, I think they don’t eat to see if they can wrap you around their finger. I can’t speak to your situation, because I don’t know all the details, but I know for A this is 100% true. So we are really trying to not try offering sweet or fatty food to get her to eat. We offer her food. She eats it or not. We might need to offer her the same food an hour later or give her a bottle in the middle of the night, but we try not to go for things we think she will eat just to get her to eat. She won’t starve herself. I have no idea if that helps, but it might.

        But again, you are a great Mom and if you kid eats a few too many fries for a couple months while he won’t eat anything else, so be it. I am willing to bet given how health conscious you are that overall he will still have a reasonable healthy diet.

        Oh and sweet potato fries! We get this natural brand that is almost all unsaturated fat, rather then saturated and no transfat. A good alternative.

  5. Lorry April 26, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Oh boy, do I understand this! I, too, *know* what I’m supposed to do, but doing it is another thing entirely. And now that I’m pregnant, I just get excited to find something that doesn’t disgust me. Bonus points if it actually stays down. I feel like there’s no point even trying until after she’s born, even though I can’t stand being so out of shape. Ugh. I don’t even want to think about what example I’m setting for Bean. 😦

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      It is funny you mention being pregnant because I think one of the excuses I give myself is that why would I work my butt off to loose 50lbs and then gain it all back and have to start all over again when we try for baby #2?

      But you, already pregnant, you shouldn’t try to loose weight until after baby! And yeah, I so remember that stage. The only thing I could keep down, ironically, was fruit. I was a fruitatarian for my whole first trimester and much of the rest of my pregnancy.

  6. Perpetua April 26, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Oh, do I hear you. I feel like I absolutely have to get my crap together before I have a bad effect on E: not just in eating “bad” foods (though we are pretty healthy eaters around here) but in eating regular, good meals (so, instead of binging and then not eating for a day, I need to have a food schedule).

    SO. HARD. This parenting stuff.

    And A’s diet sounds great, actually. How much does she actually eat, though? Does she eat a lot of those things, or a little? (Curious for comparison purposes.)

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      Yes. Parenting. Hard. Bah.

      A eats very little at home and on the weekends. No where close to the ‘recommended’ amounts. I don’t really know, because I don’t keep track. Actually, I try to put the food down and go into the kitchen (I can still see her, but she does better if I leave her alone). Some of it she eats, some of it she drops on the floor for the dog.

      Apparently she eats at the day home. Less then the other kids, but pretty well. Peer pressure at work.

  7. Mama Tortoise April 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I LOVE your fess up! I’m SO the same way. And I’m married to a man who was trained as a chef and sommelier (although he doesn’t work in the industry anymore). We simply love to eat (and drink). Don’t get me wrong, we make all our own food and we’re devoted to slow food. We love to cook and bake and drink and plan the next meal. But we’re far from slim. MJ (husband) always says that you can never trust a skinny chef. I wonder if the same could be said for parents who make all their own food 🙂 If they are slim, they aren’t sampling enough!

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      LOL! Yeah. I certainly do my share of sampling. Yes, sound like we are similar that way. I love my slow food. I love to bake my own bread and muffins. And oh, the wine!

      You know, truth be told, my goal is not to be slim, it is just to be healthier. Size 4 is not in the cards for me. Size 10 would be ideal and amazing and I would be sooo happy.

  8. Sophie April 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    We have a very similar way of thinking when it comes to feeding children, and we have struggled too when our son wouldn’t eat dinner – do we offer him whatever to fill him up, especially when we know he will wake up earlier because hungry, or do we stick to what we believe in, which is, he’ll eventually eat it when he’s hungry?

    We tried not to wait until he refused the food to offer another one, and instead when we didn’t think he would eat supper, or when he hadn’t eaten much at the previous meal and we really wanted to make sure he would eat this time, we would serve the meal right away with something else he likes. Not sure if it changed anything, but it made us feel less like we were caving in. He will still often eat only one part of his meal, often the carbs, but at other time he gorges on the protein or the fruit or the veggies, so we figure it balances out in the end. At least we hope.

    We also figure if we offer only good food he will eat only good food. We do let him have the occasional yucky desert at parties and the like, but at home, if we have desert, it’s home-made. When we buy chocolate, it’s really dark, and you know what, our son loves it – because it’s the only kind of chocolate he ever had!

    And finally, to try and lift your spirits, I’m convinced that the fact that you read labels and are very diligent about what you put in your grocery cart will influence A. at least as much as the treats you’re eating – especially if you do it at work! And I don’t know if you ever check or Rose Reisman’s, but they have awesome desert recipes that don’t taste healthy, yet are a lot less fatty than the usual baked goods. We find that baking healthier treats helps us eat less fatty food – especially when they taste like the real thing. Good luck!

    • amoment2think April 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      “we have struggled too when our son wouldn’t eat dinner – do we offer him whatever to fill him up, especially when we know he will wake up earlier because hungry, or do we stick to what we believe in, which is, he’ll eventually eat it when he’s hungry?”

      Totally our challenge! So hard eh? Yeah, at every meal I offer her one of her favorites in hopes she will eat. (banana, pasta, avocado) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I hear you.

      Thanks for the recommendations and for lifting my spirits. I will look at those websites. I actually find that when I make muffins and cookies myself (I have a couple great low fat recipes) that I do better. I recognize that I won’t be successful if I ban treats so the key is having treats that are lighter. Like 150 calories rather then 350. Its those stupid treats at coffee shops- those are diet killers!

      • Sophie April 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm

        Oh, and another trick we found is to freeze our baked goods… We used to eat too many cookies because they would go bad if we didn’t. But lo and behold, they freeze super well, especially if you under-cook them a bit. So now we freeze them all and try to have only one a day. Sometimes two when our son doesn’t nap and we need a picker-upper. But that way we always have them ready for a craving, which helps us avoid the coffee shop!

      • amoment2think April 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

        That is a good idea too! Thanks!

  9. Partial April 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I’m so glad that you posted this. Because I am really struggling too. Today I just sort of gave up. Fessing up – a quesadilla, a bag of popcorn and a bunch of chocolate, and a LOT of self-loathing.

    I also know what a healthy diet looks like, and usually, we do cook really well, and eat wholesome foods. Then I relent a little on the weekends and before you know it, I’ve had a few beers and then I’ve eaten a tray of nachos and the drive-in. Good god.

    I kind of just want to get pregnant again just so I can have an excuse, ya know?

    Everyday is a struggle. Especially as it’s almost impossible for me to go to the gym now.

    Just gonna try to get over the chocolate of the day and make myself so some Wii Fit or something tonight….

  10. Megan April 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Totally with ya’, on all of it!

    I know I am less strict with Charlotte than I should be as far as treats. And I know I need to set a good example. That’s going to be a hard one for me. But, we;re doing reasonably well.

    But, I am super lucky that she is such a great eater right now. I really worry about her developing picky habits later, because I won’t know how to handle it.

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