How can we change the way we think about food?


Q: What’s causing this diabetic more stress: cat pee in the house or candy and baked goods in the house?

A: Candy and baked goods.

The Purim holiday is just behind us.  One big part of Purim is dressing up in costumes.  Another big part is exchanging gift baskets and hamantaschen with your friends.  Over the last few past weeks, my sons received boxes and boxes of junk food.  On top of that, my son Guy just celebrated his birthday.  He had a class party on Wednesday for which we had to provide a cake.  And over the weekend we had a party/soccer game/junk food festival in the park.  Throughout this onslaught of junk food, I’ve been thinking about Jane Kokernak’s recent post, Stewards of our children’s health.  Like Jane, I don’t want my children to eat cookies and cake regularly.  The thought, however, of swapping a birthday cake for a healthy treat like strawberries or oranges, as Jane suggests in her post, seems unfair.  Smart and reasonable, but unfair.  As much as I’d like to be able to make a break from the traditional kids’ celebratory foods, I can’t.  My son’s disappointment would have been tremendous if I’d offered something healthy-ish for his party.  Mine would have been, too.  In fact, while my sons’ birthday parties have always been fairly modest events, I’ve always ordered them very extravagant cakes.  Like this one:



I associate a happy birthday with a big cake.  So, how can I change the way my children think about food, if I can’t change my own thoughts?  And that question, I think, can be extended to all of America, to the obesity and diabetes epidemic.  We don’t just need to eat better food.  We need to change the way we think about food.  We need to stop thinking that celebrations and holidays have to involve sweets.  Because I have diabetes I don’t eat a lot of junk food.  I am aware of everything that I eat, and of all food ingredients.  If I didn’t have diabetes, I would still eat healthfully.  But would I give up all the sweets?  I don’t think so.  Nope.  Definitely not.


*Cake design by Ugata.

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12 years ago

I absolutely agree with you!  As a Latina, all of our family gatherings revolve around food, so I can completely relate.  While I do feel that culture is in the language and in the food, and that keeping with our cultural traditions is important (especially to transmit to our children) I’m trying to start new traditions of gathering with loved ones without food being the focal point.  It’s a challenge, but I’m giving it a shot.   How about we dance, go for a hike, jump rope?  And then, maybe a healthy snack :)

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