Growing up on health food

Behind the Screen

My pregnancy this year was riddled with cravings and I mean CRAVINGS. I wanted junk food but mostly sweets. It’s crazy because although I’ve always had an intense sweet tooth, this time it was far beyond my expectations.

Now that the baby is here I expected my sweets craving to subside, but no, it’s still here with a vengeance.

It could be because I need to drink a lot more water, nursing does tend to deplete your body pretty quickly of the necessary sustenance, or it could be because I’m trying to get back all those years I lost growing up eating health food.

Ever since I can remember my family was into “health food”. Nowadays that label is put on everything “all natural white”. I never knew white could be natural? And if it is, then what was it before when they were selling it? Unnatural?

But back to the whole health food thing. So my parents were very strict in things like junk food. We never ate out at fast food restaurants and once in awhile it was a treat to go to this healthy breakfast place that made whole wheat pancakes (this was back when health food tasted like cardboard).

When we were traveling in the car, my mom made sandwiches (again with that cardboard whole wheat bread) and that’s what we ate. My dad refused to stop at any McDonalds. I remember gazing longingly out the window when we’d pass one by. And if we ever went in one it was only because it was a place to use the bathroom. I remember thinking in my head, “Please let baba order us some french fries, please please please!” and when I finished my turn using the bathroom and came out to see if my wish was fulfilled, my dad was all, “Yella everyone back in the car.” Bummer, no fries!

It’s funny to me when I analyze this topic because on one hand I can get really obsessed with health food and figuring out what’s the best thing to eat for optimal well-being but at the same time I can get really obsessed with junk food. Where is the moderation?

I used to tell my mom that when I grew up I would stock my shelves with candy and let my kids eat whatever they want. She would just laugh and say, “We’ll see.”

The tables have turned and I actually am not fond of giving my oldest daughter sweets (the other one is just a newborn so I don’t have to stress over her yet). But I give them here and there. My husband told me it’s best not to deprive children, just let them think it’s a normal thing. So instead of hording the sweets behind locked doors and making a child feel like it’s such an ordeal, it’s kind of like, hey we have some candy and you might have a small piece after you eat your meal.

I’m not sure if growing up deprived of junk food has made me want it more or if it’s because junk food has addictive qualities in it. But I do know that it has helped me in some ways better able to judge the nutritious content of things and I know when I eat a big Mac that I better hit the treadmill STAT.

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