Blended Family Food Challenges: Advice for a Reader/Friend
Recently, a friend of mine shared a dilemma she is dealing with. Her husband has children from his first marriage who spend time at their home on some weekends and for parenting time throughout the year. She needs some help knowing how to handle this unique situation where their non-custodial children/step-children come from a processed-food house into a non-processed food house. As you can imagine, there are some big challenges.
“I think that my step son nearly starves when he’s here because our syrup is different and our waffles are different and he doesn’t eat fruits and vegetables or rice/noodles without the processed stuff added. Honestly, it makes me a bit crazy, because the rest of us eat a (mostly) unprocessed diet and I don’t want to have processed food stocked in the house just for him….it goes against what I want to teach the whole family.”
Ugh. I can only imagine how hard this must be. She goes on to add:
“I plug in as many “comfortable” yet healthy meals as I can while he’s here (tacos, burgers, plain chicken), and I continue to challenge him to eat what we have. I do buy a few late-night junk food snacks for him, but cringe when I put those foods in my basket. I hope that eventually, when he can make his own choices as an adult, he’ll have an awareness of what’s healthy and what’s not.”
I guess the challenge would be that you’d know he was going back to his mom’s house and eating junk. I think a lot of kids would balk at eating “real food” if they weren’t used to it. Our 9-yr-old adopted son stared at his plate in disbelief MANY times once he came to live with us.
But now? He’ll gobble up most anything I make.
I DO think Real Food is an acquired taste. Our mouths have been duped to think that fake food is the best-tasting food there is. And by now, hopefully you’ve realized that the REASON junk food tastes “good” is because it’s loaded with taste-bud-fooling chemicals like MSG to trick our brains. Learn the importance of reading labels on a recent post I did.
I wonder if just inserting little facts about Real Food would help. Or mentioning things like “how do you feel after eating a bag of Doritos”? It might be futile, though, as he may not realize just how yucky he feels since it’s all he knows. And while I don’t have teenagers (yet), I can only imagine how difficult “reasoning” with them would be, especially if they don’t live with me 24/7.
OR, how about buying some better alternatives to the junk food for him? For instance, if he likes potato chips, maybe he’d like these that are made with olive oil (or avocado oil) instead of nasty chemically processed ones:
What about you, readers? What advice do you have for my friend? I know she’ll appreciate any tips you can offer!! Please comment in the section below!