Monday, February 7, 2011

Do you ever speak with your mother about healthy eating and nutrition?

I don’t remember my mom specifically talking to me about weight and dieting when I was a kid, but we frequently discussed healthy eating and nutrition, especially in the context of my competitive swimming career.

When I was “in season” for swimming, both of my parents encouraged me to limit my desserts to popcorn or sugar/fat free ice cream. My mom rarely bought “junk” food; it was never in our home so that made it easy to not eat it, although I do fondly remember occasional pizza nights on Fridays while watching TGIF. Other than chocolate and soda on rare occasions, I did not eat candy. After Halloween trick-or-treating, Mom told me to pick out a few of my favorite pieces of chocolate. She’d put the rest of my candy in the freezer and said I could eat it when the swimming season ended. I’d always forget it was there by the end of the season, and then I guess she’d throw it away.

Now, as a 26-year-old adult, I don’t have a taste for candy or most junk food. I appreciate my Mom’s efforts to instill healthy food habits in me as a child because those habits have carried over into adulthood. My mom and I still frequently talk about healthy foods and nutrition. She recently e-mailed me about the positive and negative effects of magnesium. She’s taken me to Amish farms to talk to the farmers about benefits of raw milk. We talk about potential gluten allergies, how certain foods make us feel, how weird it is that our pants fit better at certain times of the month than others. These conversations help us both learn more about health and nutrition and keep a positive outlook on ourselves and our bodies.

Nina Marinello’s post discusses the delicate issue of weight between mothers and daughters, and how damaging it can be for women when their mothers get on their case about weight. Marinello believes it is best to keep “weight” out of the discussion when mothers talk to their daughters about food and nutrition, and I would agree.

Questions: Did your mother ever speak to you about healthy eating, nutrition, dieting, body image or weight issues? How did she speak to you about these issues? What has been the impact of these discussions on you as an adult? How do you speak with your own daughters about these topics?


Unknown said...

Mom taught us to eat 3 meals a day using the then popular 7 tiered food pyramid. Every dinner should have meat, potatoes, 2 vegetables, and a fruit. We had to eat some of everything before we coud have seconds. Desert was saved until bedtime so we would eat a well rounded dinner.

Anne's Mom said...

My mom was beyond her generation in nutrition. Her grandmother and mother died young from strokes because of high bp. Her father suffered from heart problems and diabetes. Cutting back on salt, lowering fat and limiting sweets was essential for her as she felt it kept us healthier. She loved to cook, so reasearching recipes was a legacy she passed on to me. Our conversations were how our genetics can affect our health.