Monday, February 11, 2013

The Topic of Dieting

Over the weekend, N and I were at a play date with one of her friends. We were over at the friend's house with her mother and father who are amazing Italian cooks. Both parents were born in Italy and have been in the US for since grad school and they’re known in our kids’ friend circle for making amazing meals. They fixed lunch for everyone and when we sat down to eat, seemed surprised by my choices. The parents made a salad with olive oil and vinegar, a bacon spinach quiche, pasta with tomato sauce, and rolls. They also served wine – at lunch. I brought these massive red velvet cupcakes from Costco for dessert because I didn’t have time to bake and I thought they were festive.

I chose a small piece of quiche, half of a roll and a large portion of the salad, with just the vinegar as dressing. No wine for me (I can’t drink and then work out), which was very shocking to them and caused the obligatory “Come on, live a little!” statement. Despite the peer pressure, I abstained.

I decided to have half of a cupcake for dessert. I work out hard and I do so because I like sweets. I never avoid dessert. This was also shocking to the parents. The mother made a comment about how she guessed I could handle having a cupcake because of my size, but she couldn’t.

The lunch conversation then turned to the topic of diets, which I really detest. My child and two other impressionable young girls were at the table. I don’t use the word diet in my house. I talk to my child about how I make good choices and I work out to stay healthy. When I was little, my mom was always on a diet and I know that impacted my view of food, my body, and my image. I don’t want that to rub off on N. I’ve made good choices so that N doesn’t feel that pressure from me as she grows up. The dreaded 4-letter D word came up though.

I’ve pondered the fact that in a few years, N’s friends will start talking about diets. When that time comes, I’m planning to focus my response around fueling and taking care of our bodies and being strong women. I know there will be peer pressure, but I feel as equipped as possible to help her through it – when she’s a little older. I never imagined that the topic would come up so early though. She’s 3 years old…I don’t want her thinking about this now.

We went home and after her nap, I asked N to help me make dinner. I talked to her about what we were cooking and shared how it was a balanced meal, full of protein and good carbs to give us energy and help her grow. For dessert, she had one piece of chocolate and thoroughly enjoyed it. She didn’t ask for more because she was full and satisfied. The topic of dieting hasn’t come up since and hopefully, it won’t for a while.


  1. I love your approach to dealing with these issues with your daughter. We're expecting a girl and I've already started thinking about how I'm going to handle body issues with her, as I always had struggles with them growing up. I really like your ideas. :)

  2. Great ideas. Good luck to you this week.

  3. I definitely love your approach to dealing with food choices! That's what we do with our boys too - it's not just girls that do it. Dealing with other parents can be tricky - especially when your kids like to play together. It sounds like you're doing really well. Keep up the good work!

  4. What a great approach, I have often wondered how I will handle this when the time comes. I made the mistake of telling my son that mommy needed to loose weight and I wished I never had said that. So I have since told him mommy was wrong. It isn't about how big or small I am it is about being healthy. I know how much my mom's own weight issues have affected her I don't want it to be the same for me and my daughter