The society is changing. Raising a child to maintain a healthy body weight and the right attitude towards towards food is getting tougher. Obesity (because of overeating) or underweight (because of eating disorder) is some of the challenges which parents are facing nowadays. Today, I would share with you how my parents, especially my mum, played the role in influencing my eating habit.
I remembered when I was in kindergarten and primary school, I would spend part of my pocket money, given by my parents, to buy junk food at school canteen. I would have to hide them in my drawer at home if I wanted to share it with my siblings. Mum would scold me if she found out. My favorite was actually sweetened chewing gum, and not really the crispy potato chips.
As I lived in a small town, I could only see fast food as shown in the TV advertisements. Only if my family traveled to a big city once in a blue moon, we would eat fast food and that because my parents decided to spoil us for a day. Mum would briefly mentioned that eating fast food was unhealthy each time but my brothers and I were just busy paying attention to the finger-licking fried chickens.
Mum did not feed us with any junk foods though she knew how much we loved those food when we stood in front of the ice cream machines during each grocery shopping trip. When we lined up at the cashier, we always tempted to take the candies. Sometimes, my mum would give us signal to take one or two, but most of the time we were not that lucky. While she did not specifically ban chocolate and ice cream in the house, they are once a month thing.
In the fridge, I would never see bottles of soft drink and Coke or 7-Up becomes a precious item for me during festivals. What was inside the fridge instead was loads of fruits including oranges, apples, mangoes and pears bought by my dad. My dad does not drink beer and he did not even store one can either to entertain guest at home.
One of the things which I wish I would have done when I were small is to eat more vegetables. I was very picky and ate only few I liked such as tomato and carrot, probably because of their attractive color. Much persuasions have been done by mum to encourage me to eat more vegetables, including using the cartoon character Popeye to get me eat more green vegetables. You know, the story of getting stronger to beat enemy after eating green spinach.
When I came to study in big city, I did feel like a prisoner who has just gained freedom in terms of choice of food. McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza hut, Kenny Rogers Roaster, and Burger King were the common places I ate out. Not forget to mention the roadside stalls. My healthy eating habit disappeared overnight.
After college days, I went to study in the UK. I cooked with my friends because we could not afford to eat out. Though I was not a good cook, I had great time shopping for fresh meat, fish and vegetables. I learned how to read food labels too. Whatever my mum told me since I was small started to apply. What is more important is that I realized how much I have missed home cooked food.
I grew up knowing what healthy eating is and I am glad that I rediscover it in my adult life. When I looked back, I am glad that I have loving parents. It was indeed a wise decision for dad not to spoil us with much pocket money when were small. My mum may not have sit down and tell me why she did the things 20 years ago, but I have learned so much from her.
How about you? Did your parents or your friends play any influencing role in shaping your current eating habit?
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