Eating with teenage daughter

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lichtle 4 years, 10 months ago.

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  • I have been doing 5:2 since last year, but I need to tighten up my regime as I’ve put a few pounds back on again! (Eating too much at weekends, and not counting properly on fast days are to blame).

    I want to skip breakfast and eat in the evening, but I’ve never done this as I am very conscious of it being “noticed” by my 13 yr old daughter. We always eat breakfast and dinner as a family, and she sits facing me! She is slim and doesn’t have any weight or self-image issues, and she would probably say I was slim too – I’m just a bit bigger than I would personally like to be! I don’t want to introduce into her head any idea that food intake can be something you have to regulate in such an extreme way as to not eat at all. I just don’t want to kick anything off. I suppose I’m wary because she knows that if she refuses to eat something eg goat cheese or certain vegetables, she can “get” to me, and she has had the odd self-esteem crisis…I just don’t want her to put 2 and 2 together and think that controlling her food might be a way to control her life.

    She “knows” that some foods will probably make her fat, such as chocolate or chips, but we have never banned any food (apart from cheap highly processed food!) I make cakes and homemade oven chips etc (why I eat too much on non-fast days…)

    Am I right to be wary, or am I overthinking this? What do other people with teenage daughters do?

    Izbiz, although I have a 23-year-old son rather than a 13-year-old daughter, I understand your concern and do think that it makes some sense. She is at a vulnerable age for the development of an eating disorder, and eating disorders are pretty common in teen girls these days.

    One thing I would say is that kids almost always have a lot more figured out than we think they do. And they pay much more attention to what we do than to what we say. If you have a health reason for wanting to lose a few pounds, such as decreasing risk of a health problem that only affects us middle-aged folks, I think I would just tell her in a matter-of-fact way why I’m altering my eating habits for a while. At least that way it won’t be something glamorous and worth imitating, lol.

    Another thing is that I would not make an issue of any food refusals, that’s a definite set-up for a control battle. I would just try to accept that different people have different food preferences. I remember when my son was having severe migraines and suddenly hated garlic — it was in practically everything I cooked! I had to learn to cook without it for a few years, lol. Now he likes it again. Still hates bell peppers, which I love. Oh, well. His way of telling me when he thought I’d lost enough weight was to start making pizza and ice cream at least once a week on one of his nights to cook. And serving me three or four scoops of ice cream when he knows I’ve been restricting myself to one scoop. And was I going to not eat his lovingly homemade ice cream? No way! It was pretty funny.

    Thank you franfit! I realised that “food fights” were counterproductive a while ago, but she likes to press my buttons…I have tended to eat a smaller than normal breakfast on Monday/Thursday, but she is actually quite unobservant generally and I doubt very much she has noticed what is/isn’t in my bowl! But she would clock “nothing” so maybe I’ll just have an apple or something tinier still.

    My Mum was a nutritionist and I grew up with her employers’ publications around the house as well as the scientific journals my Dad edited. I grew up knowing all about calorie counting as well as the science behind obesity, but Mum’s standard weight-loss advice has always been “eat less”! As a result I’m quite pragmatic and didn’t grow up with any obsessive calorie counting habits, so I guess as long as I’m honest with my daughter in the same way all will be well.

    Izbiz, i wholeheartedly agree with you. If you are not overweight in the sense that has become a health issue it is sensible to not make a big deal about being unhappy with the slowly rising weight in front of children. You are absolutely doing the right thing by trying see how you can get away with eating very little on fast days without being noticed. The good thing is that because you can eat normally on 5days they won’t notice occasional different behaviour.
    My children have left home but I must say I would think it quite hard to get through a fast day when having to cook for children. Well done !!!

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