Saturday, 23 October 2010

The One Where I'm a Mum

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love my food. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but I very much enjoy eating. In fact there are few things I don't like to eat. My son has grown up with a similarly robust attitude to food, he'll volunteer to try all sorts of things and sometimes he'll like them and sometimes he won't. Unfortunately he's also cursed with a sweet tooth, but then I'd imagine there are very few 12 year olds who aren't.

When I saw a headline in the news (and I'll let you read the full article here if you haven't already) about a mother who had restricted her daughter's calorie intake to 700 a day I was flabbergasted. But also it made me stop and think about how much of our own issues with food is passed on to our children.

I'm almost constantly trying to lose weight. I know I weigh too much, not enormously so, but still overweight. Particularly if you examine the little person on the Wii Fit representing me who looks like a little orange bouncing across the screen with twig arms and legs. Depending on my own weight, and how I feel about it, the family meal changes accordingly. Unfortunately, I still equate good mothering as feeding everyone very well and seeing happy faces round the dining table, so on numerous occasions my internal calories counter goes out the window for the price of a home made lasagne or key lime pie.

And it makes me wonder what sort of influence I'm having on my son. He's a strapping lad as they say, almost as tall as me and what I would have referred to in the past as well built. He loves his food, but plays rugby and badminton at school and goes swimming twice a week. All of which is more than I do, as my exercise is currently limited to using my fingers on a keyboard. I'm not oblivious at all to the fact that we need to eat a healthy diet, I ensure that everyone eats fruit, cuts down on sweets and chocolate and vegetables aren't as scary as they might be. But should I be eating in a more healthy manner so that this rubs off on him? Should I be restricting his calorie intake without him knowing, to prevent weight problems in the future? Or do I risk having a child who's so consumed (if you'll pardon the pun) by the calorific value of cake that he grows up with an entirely unhealthy view of food?

How do you tip the scales on this one?

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion, it's about balance. Your son is active and (presumably) developing a love of sport which he'll hopefully have all his life. He eats proper meals, and enjoys treats which are good too. As long as he knows the difference between "anytime food" and "sometimes food" all is well.

    He isn't sitting on the couch all day, every day, eating crisps.