guilt for eating healthy
Does anyone feel guilty eating a healthy raw food diet, when your kids are not eating raw (not even vegan)?
I have two young kids 4 1/2 & 1 1/2. I do not have a big enough support system to raise them raw. Plus, it is very hard in today's society. They are with their cousins alot. There cousins do not even eat healthy, so they are exposed to all this bad food. I don't want to forbid it, since I feel it can make the bad food more desireable. So I feed them the best I can with as much raw food as they are willing to eat.
My problem is more my guilt. I can't seem to get myself to go 100%, knowing that my kids are not going to have the health benefits as well. How can I feed my kids chicken and not eat it myself?
Does this make sense to anyone with kids? Does anyone have suggestions, advice or words of wisdom? I would love to experience the power of 100% raw w/o guilt.
I totally understand. I am a mom of 4 (15, 14, 7 and 3) and the older ones were raised on a very SAD way of eating...the youngest is pretty much a shoe-in as he came along during the transition, so he eats a lot of raw things the older ones won't.
I've had issues with whether or not to "make" them go all raw because MY feelings were that:
1. I am the parent and they will eat what I tell them to eat, especially if it's what's healthiest for them...
2. But...I also realized that because they had been exposed to the "other" way of eating for so long, how could I possibly expect them to change or want to change "overnight"?
Sooo...after a lot of pondering and discussions with them as well as my husband, I decided to allow only certain things into the house, but the bulk of what I buy is raw. They can eat as much fresh fruit, smoothies, veggies, etc as they want but I limited the amount and the quality of cooked foods I will allow them. I cannot control what they do outside of the home...I can only educate them as much as possible and you know what is happening and what has happened? My oldest, who is my son, has began to come and tell ME that he wants to eat all raw and he is striving for that. He told me the other day he is "starting to feel old" LOL...said his joints in his fingers and toes ache and he actually said he had arthritis, but I told him NOT to claim that!
But anyway, he was my biggest challenge in the whole house...and just buying my time and allowing him to "make his mistakes", he is now coming to the realization that eating raw is what's best and healthiest for HIM...I didn't have to really force it.
So, I say all of that to say this, you have to eat all raw if that is what is in your heart to do...don't feel guilty because you can only do the best you can...you can make a decision to force the kids and for some, that works...forcing and then saying to yourself that when they are older, they can do what they want. But you can also just buy as MUCH raw and introduce some tasty raw treats to them and then make a parental decision as to WHAT cooked foods you will grant them to eat...you don't have to buy Twinkies and chips and hot dogs, but you can decide that you will allow them popcorn and/or some other healthier types of foods. You can decide that they WILL eat raw for breakfast, lunch and most snacks, but that they can have a healthy cooked dinner.
It's up to you - but you still want to be an example to them. LET them see you eating raw and make (tasteful) moaning noises as you eat so they'll eventually want what YOU have! :)
Don't make raw eating a "punishment"...make it a priviledge! Make them want it and also, (not sure of their ages) just educate them...as you learn, teach them in a loving manner.
thank you Rawinlocs. Your words really inspired me to keep trying. I never thought that, maybe someday they will follow my lead. I am just afraid that forcing raw upon them, can turn them completely away from it, considering we do not know anyone else who is raw and can support this.
My oldest 2 are omni, since I am divorced I get them 1/2 the time and they eat veg while with me. My youngest 2 are veg, so not too much of a problem. The youngest prefers mainly raw foods. I feel it is my house, I am the mom and I will provide health food, they can eat the very large variety of food or "starve". All in all I rarely get any complaints. I just wish the oldest 2 would continue once they leave my house.
You have not lived a perfect day... unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
My son is 12 and if I try to just cook raw and there is none of his SAD food he will not eat anything but will try to get food from friends or neighbors so I don't push it either. One of the big drawbacks is having a hangup about leftovers. No-one in my house will eat leftovers. I would finish their food for them when I was SAD. I have heard that not liking to throw out all those leftovers is a big hurdle for a lot of moms who end up gaining weight from eating it. I don't like raw leftovers either because I only like it when it is really fresh. Hmmmm....wonder how many raw leftovers can be dehydrated for preservation?
I only have one child. When I was pregnant with her I was a vegetarian. Pehaps this is why when she first began eating, she didn't want to eat meat. As she got older she would occasionally eat a few bites of it. Her dad is a big meat eater, eating mainly meat and junk if left to his own devices. He pushes her always to eat meat.
Lately she has told me she would like to be vegan (we now know she and I are both allergic to eggs and dairy), but then she thinks about certain meats and realizes that she does like them on occasion. At age 8 she seems to be torn about this.
I do not want to push this with her one way or the other but I do want to provide healthy foods. I buy organic and make sure she has fruit or vegetables with every meal.
I suppose in our case, the food allergies are a big help because they really limit the foods we can eat. She knows she simply can not eat some of the same things that the other kids eat because they will make her sick. But I also know she feels sad when the other kids make fun of her lunch. They tell her casseroles are "yucky", her hummus smells bad or that her pumpkin seed butter and jelly sandwich look "icky". This is something she will just have to get over.
I sometimes wonder if perhaps the kids are jealous of her food because they have to buy their lunch. I remember going to a restaurant on Cape Cod called the Bee Hive. I used to go there for a big salad that they made. It had a scoop of hummus, a scoop of tabbouli and a lot of raw veggetables on a platter. It was topped with flat bread. It was my favorite thing they had.
One day a little boy was in there with his parents and he pointed to my food telling his mom that he wanted that! She acted horrified and told him that he couldn't have it. He needed to eat a burger instead. Now I realize that there might have been issues of money. The kid's meal was cheaper than what I had. Or perhaps the mom knew he wouldn't like it. But I still felt bad that he wasn't allowed to try it. Had I not already eaten a few bites of it I would have offered him a little of it on my bread plate or something.
So now with my daughter, I try to strike a balance. Her dinner tonight is not raw, but it is vegan. Popcorn and vegetable soup, with kidney beans in the soup. She has had raw vegetables and fruit earlier today and if she wants a snack before bed, that will be raw fruit.
When it comes to treats or things I don't really want her to have, I've lightened up a little bit. I used to not allow her anything with high fructose corn syrup in it at all. No drinks, no foods, nothing. People complained that I was being mean to her and too strict. I still don't feel that high fructose corn syrup is a good thing to have. But because her diet is already so limited given her food allergies, I've lightened up on this a bit. I still don't stuff into the house that contains it except for the occasional tub of sorbet for special occasions. But if she is at a party or something and they offer drinks with it in there, I will allow her to have one. If there is a candy being given out at dance class or school that contains it, she can have one. She really isn't a big candy eater so if she does put it in her mouth it is usually spit back out soon after. With her it's not so much a matter of her wanting "it" (whatever it is) but a matter of her fitting in. Or feeling as though she fits in.
I've always been one who thrived on being different. I loved having shoes, clothing and other things that were different (at least in some way) from what the other kids had. I'm still this way as an adult.
My daughter is just the opposite. She wants to blend in. So I do what I can to help her do this. She wants to bring sandwiches in her lunch because the other kids eat them. So I give her sandwiches when I can. She can't eat regular bread so this is a problem. She can eat raw onion bread though and has no problem with an onion bread sandwich topped with nut cheese. I also make different baked breads on occasion but it is too expensive for me to send these things every day.
Tomorrow she has a field trip and has to bring a disposable sack lunch. This will most likely contain an apple, a rice cake or some popcorn, and a raw pumpkin seed or nut bar, whatever she chooses. I'll also send in a bottle of water, a box of juice and perhaps a piece of chocolate. I am making some special chocolate in Halloween molds for her school party. The chocolate won't be raw. I know it can be made raw and that will be one of my next projects. To figure out how to do that.
So what we do is all about balance. Feeding her what she will eat. What she thinks isn't too weird. What I think is healthy. And what I think isn't too unhealthy.
I begame a mostly vegetarian at about age 12. I say mostly because I did still eat meat on occasion at family dinners and such. But meat was never served every day in our house, nor was cooked food. We always ate a lot of raw food and my parents still do. I became more adamant about being vegetarian probably at about age 16.
I believe this is something everyone must decide for themselves when they feel the time is right. I feel the same way about religion. I don't think it matters what the parents believe or want or do. The child must decide for themself when the time is right.
juliebove - I think it is so special that you understand your daughter wanting to blend in. My parents forced being different on us and for me being shy it was ****.....and they delighted in my discomfort and taunted me for it. My son also wants to blend in and I let him. He sticks out with his super long hair but for everything else he blends in. Food is such a big part of blending in that makes the raw transition for older children very difficult.
This is a really impressionable age, and I would think about many things (including food but I'm thinking of the bigger picture) at this point if they are spending more time with their cousins than with you. I encourage you to be firm yet loving with your limits. This is the age that they will start to emulate those who may appear as role models, whether it is in line with your beliefs and philosophies or not.
I have two young kids 4 1/2 & 1 1/2. I do not have a big enough support system to raise them raw. Plus, it is very hard in today's society. They are with their cousins alot.
The best thing though is to make it as fun as possible. They are still young enough to NOT feel like you are dragging them down by your ways - this is the best age to be a beacon to your little ones - sieze the moment while you can! :)
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
That's basically what I do. My husband isn't raw or even totally vegan, and it's important to him to share food and enjoy what he loves with his children. It can sometimes be a source of friction between us because it's important for me that they eat healthy, but it's important to him that they grow up loving the foods that bring back warm memories from his childhood.
Originally Posted by mschele
Since I'm the one with them most of the time, I try to feed them vegan food and smoothies, I teach them which foods are healthy, and when they're out or their dad is eating with them, I try not to worry too much about it. In spite of not having a perfect diet, they eat so much better than I did at their age. I think that will make a big difference in their health later.
~ Pailani ~