photo credit to ecofriends.com
We are social animals. We like to stick in groups, preferably groups who are like us and like to do what we do. Runners run together, alcoholics drink together, artists perform or do art together, you get the gist. It is especially so with people with bad habits. They want to be around others with similar habits so they don't feel so guilty about whatever it is they do. This is definitely the case with food. I have had people try to get me to eat so many things that I don't eat just so they will feel ok eating it. This all goes back to my judgement post and again I say, eat what you want, and don't try to get me to go to the dark side. Ain't gonna happen.
It is amazing how early this behavior starts and I really started to see it this year at my 4th graders school. He is such a healthy kid but was getting pressure from other kids for showing up with veggie sandwiches (which he looooves.) He felt judged and he asked if he could just eat when he got home and take more of a snack to school. He was sneaking chips in his bag in the morning (yes, I do have some chips in the house for the boys when they occasionally want to have a couple with a sandwich.) I know my kid and he likes healthy food. He likes all food like me so will eat anything healthy and be very happy. Avoiding healthy lunches was all do to peer pressure and I had a hard time trying to explain to him that if he started succumbing to it now it was going to get a lot worse later. Here is the question that I struggled with on this one. Why did other kids care what he was eating? It is not like a bunch of adults, hanging around wanting each other to eat cheese and sausage, because they feel guilty eating globs of saturated fat next to someone eating a veggie plate. How is junk food somehow "cooler". It definitely seems that a lot of the more "popular" kids at school are the ones with the least parental supervision (just an observation…kind of more true in middle school.) Anyway, these are the same kids bringing in Lunchables and Hot Cheetos for lunch. How is it that the bar gets set by those foods? I'm guessing it is advertising as there are few catchy jingles and cool characters that we sing about or represent hummus and cucumber sandwiches. All of those foods are engineered to be addictive. There was a great article in the NY times a while ago and they had interviewed the people who engineer these foods. Scary stuff Extraordinary Science of Junk Foods Kids are so susceptible to those tastes. I had one mom tell me that they wouldn't crave it if it was not good for them. Huh? Keep making yourself feel better for not offering up fruits and veggies and watching your kid eat red hot cheetos. Well done.
I am determined this year to get both of my boys eating healthier lunches at school and not feel pressured to eat junk. The pressure will always be there just as it was for me last night when everyone was eating ice cream and they were all upset over me "torturing myself." I swear, I like what I am eating because I no longer crave animal protein and sugar. I am so happy and satisfied. The baked peach crumble with cashew cream that I had when I got home was ammaaazing!
I am Chrissy Roth, a mom, wife, Physical Therapist, Spin Instructor, and Wellness Coach with a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition. I've had a passion for health and nutrition my whole life and have always been drawn towards prevention. Why wait until your fat or sick or both to do something about your health? I'm looking to be the healthiest me NOW and am always sharing what I know. I love a challenge... 2 boys who think they are cavemen and a husband who wants to go veggie but hates beans, tofu, legumes, and most nuts.... I WILL make this happen cause that's how I roll (whole grain of course)...