Generation Gap

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Now I know that as it was Australia Day yesterday that I should probably be writing about what I was up to (in fact you can check that out on my Instagram and Facebook page – there’s no secrets here hehe). However I really want to talk about something that’s very close to my heart, something very personal. I want to talk to you all about the next generation and how their eating habits have changed from when I was a child.

For people that don’t know, I am fairly new to being a stepmother to two beautiful girls and the other day I was looking after them by myself when I walked into Bella’s room (who is the older child) and asked her if she would like a sandwich or salad for lunch. She looked up from her book and really excitedly replied “can I please have a salad”. Feeling a little bit taken a back but I smiled and said ok.

As I was walking to Mak’s room I was thinking about what just happened. When I was Bella’s age, I would have gone for the sandwich without hesitation but then I thought that she’s getting to the age where she’s on the cusp of being a teenager and starting to become more aware of her body and more self-conscious than she used to be.

When I reached Mak’s room (the youngest child) and found her playing on the floor with her toys, now Mak can be a picky eater at times so I was pretty sure that she would choose a plain ham sandwich for lunch but when I asked her she gave the same response as Bella. Now I was really stumped! Are my salads really that good?! Was it too hot today even for a sandwich?! Was it that times have changed since I was a child, that children’s palates have become more sophisticated over time as the world learns more about what is good and healthy for us?! Or do children these days become more and more aware of their bodies and more self-conscious at an earlier age?!

I know it seems like a small incident however its just and example of more things that I’ve been noticing from when I was a child to how children are growing up now and I must state that its certainly not just from my experiences with my step children but with other peoples children as well. Children are now going out with their families and asking for sushi or frozen yogurt for a treat instead of McDonald’s or KFC and I wonder this just another foodie trend or is it more than that? Are children these days forced  to look at what they are eating at a younger age than we had to? I know I started making choices of eating healthy when I was a teenager and my body started changing. This was the point in my life that I became more aware of different bodies and what “pretty” was and of course as a teenager, you just want to fit the mould and become part of the accepted groups.

Now I have to say that I’m all for the healthy eating and educating the next generation to look after themselves however as a female and shared protector of two beautiful girls, I am naturally nervous not to over do it when it comes to connecting healthy eating with body image. As a female I have experienced a waive of love and hate with my body and measuring my selfworth with how “skinny” or “fat” I have become. I found for myself that being in a position where you see the next generation growing up in front of you gives you a rare opportunity to take a look at your own lives again and seeing everything in a different perspective (some things you can relate to and some you cant).

Just like anyone, I just hope that I can help raise healthy, happy children that love themselves for who they are and of course can go out and enjoy new foods!

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9 comments

  1. judithwill56 · January 27, 2015

    It would be a fabulous thing if all young folk chose healthy options but so much is dependent on the influence of those around the, and the way food is presented. Sounds like you have two sensible young people in your life. Keep talking healthy fresh options for eating and let them grow healthy bodies without pressure of body image expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. DesignsbyJeanneR · January 27, 2015

    I can tell you put a lot of thought and TLC into raising them, lucky girls!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. renofailure · January 28, 2015

    I think it is just that healthy foods have been showcased more creatively than before. Salads can be much more complex than when I was a child. So they taste better. And when children learn about the garbage put in things like fast-food, they may not want to eat it, not because of body-image, but because “pink slime” sounds gross.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Incidental Scribe · January 28, 2015

    Sounds like you are doing a great job of giving them two fairly healthy options and letting them choose what they would prefer.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. barnraised · February 2, 2015

    I completely understand! Raising a girl myself I also think a lot about these things and notice signs to worry about. Also makes me look at my own “stuff”!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. catekatja · February 20, 2015

    I have experienced a similar situation when I was babysitting two boys of 7 and 9 and, as a snack, they both had some fruit and veggies and enjoyed them greatly. I think in that case they were “trained” to want healthy options because their parents had always given them this kind of healthy snacks when they were hungry. I think, as long as you teach your children that healthy food can be as yummy as the junky one, they will always be open to a salad for lunch.
    Moreover, salads are so much more exciting now, and colorful and pretty, it makes them much more appetising…and I also bet that your salads are really good! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. amoralegria · February 22, 2015

    I agree with Judithwill56 about the influences in children’s lives. I think your own passion for food has rubbed off on your stepdaughters. My experience with children has been quite different. I work at an elementary school and do cafeteria duty every day. While there are some (a few) children who do eat salad and vegetables regularly, most of the ones I see every day do not. The little dishes of salad put on their trays (they are required to select a fruit or a vegetable) end up in the middle of the table or in the garbage. I even give rewards to kids who eat all their vegetables!

    Our cafeteria has a snack bar, and so many kids go there and buy snacks like Cheetos or Dorito chips. I have had students who have never tasted a carrot in their lives. Living in the USA, we see this in the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. (And adults too!) One of the campaigns of the first lady, Michelle Obama, is to get children to grow their own vegetables and to make healthy choices, but even this has been politicized! A shame. I grew up in a household where eating well balanced meals was a priority, as was eating together as a family. Unfortunately, many kids are growing up in households where people are so busy and can’t (or don’t) take time to have a family meal together. So these kids eat sitting in front of the TV or their computers. without guidance about nutrition that should be taught to them by their parents.

    However, I like your vision better! Maybe Australia is more enlightened about food choices than the USA.

    Like

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