Once a month my grandsons, ages 7 and 9, spend a weekend with us. When they eat at Oma’s we practice using a knife and fork. We practice chewing and swallowing before the next bite. We practice listening to our tummies and taking time before having a second helping. They never have to clean their plate at our house or at home.
We were going to be in a rush for lunch so I figured we could have sandwiches. I bought some popchips™ for the side. Now, I bought these popchips™ because I’ve had patients tell me about them so I wanted to check them out. The bag is an excellent example of marketing boasting healthy, all natural, nothing phony or fake. Compared to regular chips they have a bit less fat but otherwise the nutritional value is the same. And they are made from “potato ingredients” which means more processing than regular chips. Neither one is a good choice.
Back to lunch. I put a handful of chips on their plates. The oldest ate one and told me he didn’t think they tasted very good. He never ate another chip on his plate. Yet, how often do we as adults, take a bite of something and say it doesn’t taste that good and then we eat it anyway? Why are eating foods we don’t like? What a waste of calories! If we are eating it because we don’t want to throw it away, eating it makes no sense. Your garbage disposal never gains weight or gets sick from overeating. If you don’t like, don’t eat it.
This incidence once again reminded me of how we lose instinctive eating as we get older. Young children are pretty good at self-regulating amounts and we overeat. Young kids do not want to eat food that doesn’t taste good to them and we eat it even if it’s not that good. We need to work on moving back to instinctive eating and paying attention to hunger and satiety cues. We need to be choosey about what we decide to eat. Most of us don’t have unlimited money to spend and we don’t have unlimited calories to eat either. Be selective spending both.
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD
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