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More about our own issues effecting our kids

Blog Forums Eating Disorders More about our own issues effecting our kids

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    I really appreciated that other post about what to feed kids when our own eating is/was disordered. This really hit home the other night with my six year old. She had eaten breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner and about 90 minutes after dinner complained she was hungry. I was so close to saying “just because you are hungry, is no reason to eat!” but instead I just told her she had to wait until breakfast. When pondering on this, I realized how often I try to delay or limit her or her sister from eating(I am not starving them but…) because I fear they will get fat like their Dad. I even see them as too heavy even though objectively when I looked it up, they are not. My mother passed to me these feelings that eating is bad and the thinner you are, the better character you have. How do you not pass this to your kids? They know I worry about my weight, they know I limit my food and sometimes have spells of refusing to eat, or exercising to offset eating something. They even occasionally voice concerns about their weight or want approval for not eating. I have 2 daughters 6 and 8 plus my 22 yr old and her kids live with us but I also have an 18 yr old and 20 yr old daughters on their own and I see this a little in their lives too. Any helpful experiences?

    Matt Stone

    My girlfriend’s daughter went from restricted to totally unrestricted when I came on the scene at age 5. She just turned 8 and is much healthier (no more night terrors, bed wetting, doesn’t get sick, stronger, more energetic, better mood, etc.). And she eats whatever, whenever. That’s what did it. So not only did it not turn her into a diabetic ogre, but actually made her healthier. She uses all those extra calories to fidget and play and exercise spontaneously.

    She is in charge of her eating and is relying on instinct and it’s a beautiful thing. Some days she picks at food. On her birthday I watched her, 59 pounds soaking wet, put away a half chicken, an ear of corn, and two chocolate chip pancakes with butter and syrup plus sugary drinks when thirsty in a 2-hour timespan.

    Toying with the idea of writing a short book right now called Food Ninjas – about feeding kids and letting them regulate their own eating. We’ll see if I can squeeze in some time for it.


    I’ve been stocking the house with a huge range of foods I would never have had around in the past and asking the kids what they want me to buy/make with no judgements, re-stocking their favourite treats when we run out etc. I’ve never really focused on amounts, but I’ve been very controlling about types of food. One thing I’m noticing is when the kids eat completely freely, they all eat so differently. It makes me realise our food/nutrition needs are so individual. And they are not OUT OF CONTROL! Watching them is helping me relax and trust myself more around food….a bit. I’m getting there.
    I remember at college watching a girl tucking in to a huge bowl of ice cream. Several other young women and men commented, saying she’d get fat, it was bad for her, etc. She just looked them in the eye and said “Really? I don’t care. It’s delicious”. She was slim & healthy-looking. I so desperately wished I had the guts to do the same all those years ago. I think that’s the food ninja attitude Matt is talking about. I want my kids to be like that.


    I so need that book!

    I’m having the worst time with my daughter right now. She has no appetite whatsoever, even junk food. If left to her own devices she would eat nothing but blueberries which come out the other end undigested. She turns into an absolute monster when she doesn’t get enough food so I do make her eat a piece of butter bread or something when she hasn’t eaten in a while.

    I struggle with having enough food in the house because groceries are so frickin’ expensive and I’ve trained myself over the years to make everything from scratch because it’s cheaper. So we don’t have a lot of easy foods that they can choose from. But she doesn’t eat a lot even when there is junk food available. I sometimes make cookies for breakfast, she’ll take three bites and says she’s full. I also think part of this is a power struggle. She knows I want her to eat so she doesn’t.

    She’s super skinny, wets the bed, has dry skin and mood swings.

    If I go out and buy doritos, oreos, twinkies, etc and just let the kids have a free for all, how long until they start wanting normal food again?


    This is a good point about cost of food. We make too much for food stamps but often struggle to have enough money to make it through the month and like Christy, I make most everything from scratch. Meaning we eat a variety at the beginning of the month(hubby gets paid once per month) and towards the end we are eating mostly bread I bake since that is the cheapest thing. I do garden and have some seasonal fruit growing but yes, offering kids a variety of easily accessed foods is hard. Funny about you mentioning your daughter being thin with dry skin and bad nerves. My fourth daughter is like that. She has dry itchy skin that come out in rashes with sores in the winter. She also suffers from such bad anxiety that I don’t dare send her to school and instead teach her at home, not the only reason, but a big factor. She is a very picky eater, didn’t potty train until almost 4, I had never thought of these as related, interesting. My kids(I have 5th daughter too) have always been very underweight but in the last year have approached a normal weight for height and I think this is what triggers my wanting to limit their food.
    My oldest daughter moved back home with her 2 kids at the same point and she lets her preschoolers graze processed junk all day, even off the floor in her room, and I kind of blame her for my kids gaining weight and I am probably projecting my resentment of her influencing the 2 youngest for the bad in behavior and food on the kids eating habits.


    Hi Christy
    Every child will be different, I expect. I started bringing more processed foods into the house (after years of making almost everything from scratch like you) about 4-5 months ago. I started to truly allow my kids to have whatever they want whenever they want about 2-3 weeks ago. I thought I’d share what they ate today, roughly, maybe just to re-assure you (or maybe it will horrify you – I guess it’s pretty subjective!).
    12 year old:
    Cup of hot chocolate
    2 homemade creeps with lemon & sugar
    Homemade (she made it) spinach & ricotta cannelloni
    1/2 Homemade (she made it!) brownie
    Pan-fried fish, steamed broccoli, spinach, oven-baked sweet potato fries, small scoop white rice.
    4-5 Marshmallows
    2 small Mandarins.

    9 Year old
    Mango & coconut ice thingy (breakfast)
    2 bowls leek & potato soup (lunch)
    1 crepe with butter & maple syrup (lunch)
    3-4 choc-coated toffees
    Quite a bit of strawberry-flavoured gum, 4-5 marshmallows, 1 brownie
    Small glass V8 berry & pomegranate juice
    Fish, spinach, white rice
    1 scoop Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk

    5 Year Old (known as the picky eater in our house)
    Mango & coconut ice treat thingy
    Three sips hot chocolate
    2 rye toast with butter & honey
    2oz milk
    1 small chocolate bar & some mints
    2oz milk
    Small bowl of white rice with egg and soy sauce
    Fish, rice and a big serve of broccoli
    2oz milk
    1 gingernut cookie

    I won’t be observing them so closely from now on because I think they are ok :-)


    She ate crepes, not creeps!


    So glad you are not making creeps at home, there are far too many in the world already :P


    Well, she’s a third degree black belt in Taekwondo, so she probably could eat creeps for breakfast!


    SBC037 I think what they’re eating looks great! Are you saying that they used to not eat like that before you started letting them have free reign?

    Today my daughter has had 5 bites of a glazed muffin. That was because I told her to take 5 bites. She said she wasn’t hungry this morning.

    We will probably go to the store today and stock up on all the stuff I swore would never enter my house a couple years ago. Shudder.


    We went to the grocery store and I let the kids pick out whatever they wanted. This is what they came up with:


    Holy Crap, I haven’t supported Monsanto this much in years!

    I have friends whose children have autism, asthma, ear infections, eczema, are sick all the time, have behavior problems and THIS is what they eat!! I wanted to cry in the checkout lane. But my kids don’t eat. Especially my daughter. And I don’t know what else to do.

    So far she’s had a popsicle and some of her orange pop. She didn’t like the frosted animal crackers and is now nibbling on a strawberry cream oreo. Weirdest kid ever. 3 years ago while on the gaps diet she would have been happy to eat any of this stuff.


     photo P1100765_zps01ff5812.jpg


    Wonder if on some level, it is the packaging that made them choose the foods not the contents since she didn’t seem that eager to eat them. We had some fruity pebbles in the house and my husband and I ate them not the kids. With a few exceptions, like chips and Popsicles, the kids like the idea of “junk” food more than the reality. This morning when asked what they wanted for breakfast 8 yr old chose maple sausage, cheddar omelet and potatoes fried in bacon grease. Almost 6 yr old chose sunny side up egg, maple sausage and corn on the cob(from our garden).


    Hi Christy
    I was giving them a modified GAPS diet before. So, I was very strict with what we had in the house. Before GAPS, I only ever had home made things, not much store-bought stuff. During that GAPS period they would eat what I had at home, except the youngest one, who would eat very little of anything, and they would all go crazy when they were around other food (at friends, parties etc). I guess I was worried they would be permanently in party mode if I had that kind of stuff in the house, but they seem to be happy to take it or leave it and eat a range of things.
    I wish I knew what to say about your little one who eats such a small amount. My littlest one still generally eats what I think is a very small amount but it’s still more than before. If you think it’s a power struggle, perhaps you might need to just be completely nonchalant about what she eats and not notice how much or coerce her at all. I don’t know. Do you think there is a reason for her small appetite other than it possibly being a power struggle?

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