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What kind of eaters are your kids?

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default What kind of eaters are your kids?

I couldn't find a subforum that's a perfect match for my question, so I'm posting it here: if you have kids, what kind of eaters are they? Do they take after you? Are they overweight or not? I'm always fascinated by familial patterns of eating, be they hereditary or learned behaviours.

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p.s. I'll go first. I have two kids and they're both slim with small frames, a legacy from my husband's side. (His mother is pathologically skinny at 85 pounds; she has been trying to gain weight her whole adult life without much success, but she also doesn't eat very much.) My 15-yo DD has me a little concerned, because she's not active at all and eats a lot of rich, sweet foods. She's not gaining any weight now (5'6" and 105 lbs), but I suspect it'll catch up to her in a few years. My 14-yo DS (5'7", 100 lbs) loves "interesting" and strongly flavoured foods, as I do, but has the ability and inclination to stop when he's full (except when it comes to sushi). He looks down on fat people (through no influence of mine) and maintains he'll never be fat in his life.

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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My kids eat a fair variety of food and stop when they're full regardless of what it is - broccoli or cake. That said, they will fill up on the sweeter, starcher stuff if I don't watch them so I require that they finish their fruits and veggies and try one bite of the main course. That way they aren't overeating or being overly picky but they also are allowed to stop when they're full provided they put a good effort into trying everything and don't just want their roll and no spinach

My kids are all preschoolers and infants, though. So that means I'm still developing their palates and controlling their intake, which is a different ballgame than older children who choose their own meals or were fed junk for a few years and developed an inordinate taste for it.

I always ate healthfully, I just overate, from a young age. My husband did, too, though he never put on much weight. Our kids don't do that, but both our parental sets were members of the clean-plate-brigade, which I think teaches kids to overeat if the parents are not careful with the quantities served. A dollop of food might be too much for some kids, if you're going to make them clean their plates do use small quantities, like a tbsp of each item!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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My daughter is a better eater than I am! lol She loves her veggies, while I can't stand most of them. No lie, brussels sprouts are about her favorite food, closely followed by broccoli. She's even been known to eat my veggies for me when we are at a restaurant. She's also really good about stopping when she is no longer hungry, no matter what the food.

She does like candy (chocolate, not fruit flavored stuff oddly), but she has the idea that you can only have one piece at a time and that's something we haven't corrected. Her Halloween candy will typically last until the next Halloween if hubby and I stay out of it.

Her typical meal might be a couple ounces of chicken, 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli, glass of milk and one "fun sized" Snickers for dessert.

She's 8 and very active. We don't let her veg in front of the TV or computer. I'm really trying to instill those active habits now because I was a lot like her as a child. She's a bean pole now, but I was also until I hit late-teens / early-20's, then it all kind of hit me. It was part slowing metabolism, part avoidance of exercise and part freedom to eat junk in college.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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I'll just comment on my daughter, because I have a baby who is just exploring solids

She is like the perfect eater. Now, that's not to say she isn't picky (she can be). She doesn't eat a lot of veggies willingly (lol) , but when I say "perfect" I mean she absolutely facinates me because her eating is so emotionally healthy. She doesn't use food to replace love or stifle emotions or as a form of control.

I personally believe eating issues have nothing to do with the actual food consumed, so we've made it a point to have an emotionally-healthy home. Regarding food/weight, I NEVER talk about my weight issues. I only speak in terms of health. I NEVER put myself down or say ugly things about my body or my weight. She knows I'm fat (she has eyes after all LOL) but she also never sees me: crash diet, put myself down, say bad things about food etc. I don't talk about diets or weight loss. I grew up with all that crap and I think it damaged me a lot. Also, I was abused (sexually, physically, verbally) and I believe that contributed to my weight issues tremendously -- none of which my children experience thank God. Instead, I focus on all the wonderful things my body is capable of and my desire to bring it into a state of better health so I can do *more* things I want to do with it!

Anyway, I watch her with facination. She eats when she's hungry, stops when she's full. She does like her sweets and does prefer carbs to raw veggies (she's 6) but is so good at self-regulating and making smart decisions. She doesn't "clean her plate". She is a grazer and I would say she eats 6 - 8 snackish small meals a day -- a small cup of yogurt here, a piece of whole grain bread with natural PB there, raw broccoli with dip here, a piece of cheese there... She's 'thin' and healthy. We primarily have healthy foods in the house because eating healthy has never been my issue -- portion control and emotional eating/binging are my huge issues. Anyway, I pray her healthy relationship with food continues into adulthood!
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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My DD is 29 and thin and fit. We have the same food preferences - we will eat almost anything! - she just eats less than I used to. She was never a picky eater as a child. She liked veggies as well as sweets. As an adult, she eats a very healthy and balance diet. Low carb, high in lean protein and fruits and veggies. We ate healthy food all while she was growing up. I just ate too much of them.

I have to say that I am the anomaly in my family. My parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins were / are all pretty much within the "normal' weight range. I was the big one. Fortunately, DD didn't follow my habits. she eats well and if there is an occasion to eat more than usual, she compensates before and after for a few days. I'm trying to follow her example in my maintenance plan, which is "eat like a thin person."

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Old 01-25-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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I have two toddlers. My 18 month old daughter will try nearly anything, although she already has a HUGE sweet tooth. I make sure she eats "real food" and let her have only occasional snacks. I have an added concern that she's extremely small for her age, so I'm always trying to get extra (healthy) calories into her.

My 3 year old son has Sensory Processing Disorder, and has issues with his mouth, so his diet is extremely limited. Tonight I was excited that he tried a fish stick for the first time... at almost 3.5 years old. He won't touch anything wet or sticky, including fruits and veggies, so I sneak them into his food.

I was a hoarder of snacks from a very young age, and always had a large appetite for sugar. I worry that my daughter has that same sweet tooth, so I plan to teach her moderation. I don't want her to deal with health problems down the road - I have PCOS and IR and wonder if all the years of tons of sugar caused it.

Interesting question!

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Old 01-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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I have 2 teen daughters, one is in college. Both are within a normal weight range for their heights. However, the youngest is taller and thinner and is one of those rare people who will quit eating when she is full. I have tried since they were young to incorporate veggies and whole grains, they've been drinking skim milk since they were 3 or 4. We never have fried food or even baked goods at home anymore. That being said, they are teenagers and follow the teen trend of eating fast food when they're out with their friends. And college girl...not a lot of good food choices right now. At home they eat generally what we eat, but aren't really fans of the veggies. At this point, they have to find their own way with food, but I'll be there to advise if they need it. I do wish the younger one especially would eat more veggies, but all I can do is have them available at this point.
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