Be Strong. Be Fit.


Do Your Parents Influence Your Eating Habit?

June 21st, 2008 · 8 Comments ·


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?



Category: Health

If you like this or other articles in this blog, Subscribe to today. It is free.
Scroll down to leave a comment. I really want to know what you think.
8 responses so far ↓
  • durai // Jun 21, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    ya whatever parents do is for our good only..I too miss my moms food as i m staying in hostel..

  • Lisan // Jun 21, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    My mom is exactly the same as your mom where we aren’t allow any junkies or ice cream at all. The ‘worst’ junkies she allow us (with her permission) were only a certain amount of biscuits, cookies, cakes, chocolates or candies (mostly mint candies only). Very rarely or maybe on special occasion we got to to eat fast food or ice-cream.

    But on the other hand, my dad loves to spoil us with junkies and fast food! I remember my dad used to get me ice-creams or any junk food I want, whenever he fetches me home from school. That’s whe reason why I always looked forward to him fetching me.

    As kids, my brother and me sometimes will buy junk food from school canteen secretly. The worst case I rememeber was we both got canned badly when our mom discovered a toy we played was actually a free gift from the junk food we bought!! (she saw it in the TV advertisement!)

    Like you said we have all the freedom to eat whatever we want during our college and University days. Nobody can stop us. That was blissful! :-) But later in life as working adult I realized I need to look good and signed up for gym. From then on I’d discovered the importance of healthy eating and exercising regularly. I started to read many fitness and health books/magazines too. Slowly I changed my eating habits and lifestyle and it does help a great deal! Nowadays if I miss gym for more than 3-4 days I feel uneasy. If I ate a piece of cream cake, fried chicken or any junkies I feel bad and try to compensate by workout more. Or course once in awhile I do indulge my temptation but never over do. Unfortunately I still can’t change my sleeping habit till today! (I sleep very late) :-P

  • Yin Teing // Jun 22, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Yeah, when I was young, my mom made sure we eat healthy meals. She got up at 5am to cook lunch before leaving to work at 6.45am. Both my parents were away working so I ate LOTS of junk food, drank carbonated drinks, sweets which was readily available at 2 provision shops just within walking distance- all behind my parents’ back. Then when I went to study in Penang, I ‘let it all go’ and ate whatever I like in the food paradise. Gosh, how I paid heavily for my health. Suffered from constant tiredness and sugar addiction- and only intensive ‘exercise therapy’ is now curing it. Guess it’s a blessing in disguise – else, I would never start my blog and help others :)

  • cicada // Jun 22, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Sleep very late, i never slept before 3 that was about 3 years ago, change ur gym shedule to morning ..wake up no matter what and drag urself to the gym.. and tell me again u can’t sleep early by the end of the day shd help.. it’s painful have to wake up so early but then after a while u will get used to it ..

  • muchacha // Jun 23, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Apart from ice cream, my mom never fed me with junk food when I was a kid. These days, my mom, who is almost 70, stocks up on snacks and other foods with empty calories at home. I guess she is trying to catch up with what we missed out on previously.

  • xin // Jun 24, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    my mom used to spoil us with tonnes of fruits and vege, though she never banned fastfood, ice cream or junkies, but we were pretty much aware that they are bad for us. i am glad to have my mom! :D

  • alex // Mar 16, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    my parents are the opposite. they always had junk in the house and it was impossible to get away from it. even when i moved out i still had the habbit. i am trying to lose weight now and i cant seem to finde the right way to do it. i need help!

  • Rasheed Aladel // Jan 2, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    I wished my mum, did the same as your mother, as I kid I was allowed to buy sweets (which became my stable diet) and was probably responsible for my lack of attention in school, her only deterrent was to tell me if I continued eating so much sweets, I would end up with no teeth, at 8 years old I didn’t care, so that didn’t stop me. But I can’t blame my parents they didn’t know too much about nutrition, apart from giving me nice home cooked meals for dinner, they thought they were doing their part.

    Luckily for me I was always very good at sports, which eventually lead me to become a personal trainer, I wish my parents had the information I know now, it would of made a huge difference in my performance at School.

    You should be thankful for having such healthy parents, our society needs more parents like yours.

Leave a Comment