5 Dec 2013

Eating Complex

Eli has severe allergies to food. Actually he's allergic to several types of foods. 

Obviously with another person to look after my attention has been divided and I've been slacking off in monitoring Eli's eating habits. As a result he's had a few minor reactions and he has not been eating as much as I'd like him to be. 

What pulled me up on my slackness was his bi-annually Dr's appointment with the allergen specialist. He was weighed, as he usually is at these appointments and learnt that he's still under 12kg.    

It's hard enough that he is allergic to so many foods limiting his diet, but add to that a really fussy eater - it can be very frustrating. I rack my brains coming up with new, allergy friendly and interesting meals, only to be rejected or literally spat out. Coming up with new menu ideas and the costs associated in doing so, I find is a total waste of time and money.

I shouldn't be too surprised he's such a poor eater because I was one myself. I recall childhood memories crying at the dinner table because my dad would force me to finish my meal. When I was in Year 1, my dad use to come to my primary school every lunch time and make me eat whatever home made meal he had bought in with him that day. I had to eat it in the car and was not allowed to leave and enjoy my lunch time until I had eaten an amount he was satisfied with. They were some of my unhappiest memories, and ones that stuck with me. Experiences which I think impacted my relationship with food. 

Growing up in my teens and twenties I had an eating complex, which was probably linked to my distorted views on body image. I saw food as something I could avoid and control. I would only live off one meal a day and it was something I tried to achieve. I viewed breakfast as a meal I could skip and I developed fears associated with food such as being afraid to eat alone in public. 

I honestly feel my childhood experience and my eating habits are linked. Since making this connection I wonder whether forcing Eli to eat when he doesn't want to, might impact his relationship with food or something else? I don't want these types of behaviours and feelings be stored in his subconscious and triggered into something else later on in his life. 

One thing I've learnt from being a parent is, your children are mirrors of yourself. How you treat others, the words that come out of your mouth and or the attitudes you inherit, children will most likely display the same characteristics .... initially. Basically show you who you really are.    

What have you discovered about yourself that you realised through someone else?
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