When I was growing up I was regularly given Findus crispy pancakes and frozen ready meals for dinner. I was free to drink coca cola all day and eat endless amounts of sugary snacks. I was that kid eating chocolate for breakfast on their way to school. One of the casualties of such an upbringing is disgusting teeth. I have fillings in almost every one, root canals in four, crowns on two and veneers on the front ones. No amount of brushing, flossing and mouth-washing twice a day will undo the damage this early diet has had on my poor gnashers.
My mother, half brother and half sister have all had weight issues for as long as I can remember – last time I saw them they ranged from fairly overweight to morbidly obese. Growing up I knew I wanted to be different, but not knowing how to be I ate crap on a daily basis from leaving home at 15 until the age of 21. I would think nothing of having a McDonald’s for breakfast the morning after a big drinking session to ‘cure my hangover’. I often ate processed ready meals for dinner and would eat stodge at lunch time. After seeing the photos from my 21st birthday party, and being disgusted by how much weight I’d put on, I knew it was time to do something different in the eating department.
Change doesn’t happen overnight but over the next couple of years I taught myself to cook, and moved towards cooking from scratch being the rule rather than the exception. Eleven years ago I declared divorce on fast food chains, and am proud of myself for not caving between then and now. I get a kick out of knowing that McDuffs haven’t had a penny of my hard earned cash in a over a decade. That my children are oblivious to the golden arches.
Anyone following my blog will know that I’m currently doing the GAPS Diet, in a bid to cure food intolerance and other gut issues. I’ve always been really strict with what my kids eats though. From weaning they’ve had a diet very low in sugar, processed carbs and general junk. Thankfully both my girls enjoy their food, and good food it is. They could eat cashew nuts, chorizo de leon and seabass until the cows came home. I love nothing more than to see them eating the same meals as hubby and I have with pure gusto.
I used to feel like I was under pressure quite a bit to let them eat what I consider to be crap. It breaks my heart that my 5yo lusts after white bread sandwiches, maize based crisps and cheap chocolate when we’re at parties. I sometimes wonder whether her allergies are a blessing in disguise for me, because at least I have a valid reason to be such a control freak over what she eats.
I’ve been thinking about the long term effects of all this recently. Ultimately I don’t want this type of food to become taboo, as they will more than likely raid their piggy banks and sneak off to the corner shop to buy sweets and chocolate as soon as they are able to. It’s a path I will have to tread carefully. I must ensure that in trying not to repeat history, I don’t give my children a whole other set of other issues that will plague them in the years to come.
What’s your stance on this one? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.