When you eat healthy the majority of the time, other people’s food can become quite an issue if you are going to visit them or going to an event and they don’t eat the same way as you. This was a picture from a photo-booth at a wedding we went to in the weekend (can you tell I’d had a few glasses of bubbles by then?).
Even though there was a lot of scrumptious healthy options at this wedding, in the past, going to an event like this, would put me into a Food Panic. Knowing that there was most likely going to be some "treat" food that my kids were going to inhale as fast as possible, always had me worried.
And so, in the past, I would start to fret about it
I would spend my day getting as much healthy food into them as possible, to combat the “junk food” overload that was to come. I would instruct them all day about eating healthy at the event. That even though they can have a bit of “treat food” I don’t want them to go overboard and indulge. I would beg them to always remember that I’m meant to be the Healthy Mother that has converted her white-bread loving children into enjoying healthy food - and that they needed to show this to others.
They would all nod happily in agreement
However, when confronted with a big bowl of chips, all my whining at them would completely disappear in a crispy, salty, fatty heaven whilst they shoved large handfuls into their mouths. Knowing they would have free reign whilst mum was going to be distracted chatting away to a bunch of people was just all too exciting. Sigh.
So, what was I to do?
Do I ask the people putting on the event to cater to my food needs? (fine if you have an allergy by the way). Do I spend the day/evening watching my children like a hawk, checking on every piece of food that they are smooshing into their mouths?
Do I take my own food? Giving my kids lunchboxes full of nutritious goodies whilst trying to distract them from all the other food on offer (which they always somehow get hold of anyway)? By the way, I have actually done this many times, but taking lunchboxes to a wedding is just taking it a little bit too far for me.
Or do I just let it go?
Well, after a couple of years living like this in a slight food panic, I realised that I was creating fear around food for myself and my children, which of course, is unhealthy.
Plus, I knew I didn't want to be one of those overbearing helicopter mum's hovering around as my children ate. Not a good look.
So, I decided to just Let It Go
I know that the majority of the time I am feeding my kids healthy whole foods from nature, and that having a blow out now and again wasn’t going to kill them. Or me. Plus I wouldn’t like someone to tell me to feed everyone a lot of junk food, so why should I press my needs on to others?
So now, I take a different approach
I let them take charge and learn how to be in control of their body (which ultimately means zero control at the event, but hopefully one day they’ll start to learn. Hopefully). This also helps them learn that if they eat too much "junk" they normally end up with a sore tummy and not feeling too great.
Do I still go on during the day of the event about healthy foods? Yes, l do a little. But I do it in a way of asking them to try to think of their body and to look after it. This never works by the way. But hopefully some day soon, it will. Do I still feed them healthy food before we go? Absolutely. Because that’s how I roll. But the rest of it I put in their court. I come up with a bit of a deal with them - as long as there are some vegetables on their plate at dinner time at the event, or that they drink this green smoothie before we go, they can have what they want for snacks and dessert. This helps give them some power and control, and takes me out of the situation, so that I can chat away, drink too many bubbles, and pose in a cowboy hat for photos. Result.
What about you? What do you do in the situation around other people's food if they eat differently from you?
Let us know in the comments below...