food

Pete Evans uses a "bunny" analogy to stops his kids from eating lolly bags.

Celebrity Paleo chef, Pete Evans. (Source: Facebook.)

There’s no denying Paleo champion Pete Evans is strict about what comes into his body. But the celebrity chef has now spoken about how he’s shaped the eating of his two daughters Indii and Chilli, too.

“It’s interesting because they [daughters] generally make the right choices, even when I’m not there, which is awesome,” he said in an interview with News.com.au for his new publication, The Paleo Way Magazine.

Evans spelled out an instance where his daughters returned from a children’s party with lolly bags and asked whether they could keep them. He decided to let them make up their own minds by delivering them an, erm, interesting analogy. One involving pet bunnies. Sick pet bunnies.

“What if the bunnies wanted to eat lollies because the other bunnies in the street were and there was a chance that maybe their bunnies would get sick or not live as long or be in pain, would they ever feed the bunnies the lollies?” Evans explained.

“I said that they need to think of themselves as ‘bunnies’ and hopefully they will learn to make wise choices when it comes to what they feed themselves.”

Translation: “Oh hey, kids, what if your cuddly, soft and adorable pet bunny gets really sick because you fed it a couple of lollies? Oh, and watch out for those shady bunnies roaming the streets eating sweets…”

Obviously, Evans’ daughters decided not to eat their lollies in that moment and possibly forever. He said that it was “awesome” that his daughters make “the right choices” when it comes to food.

As a parent, I understand what it’s like to want the absolute best for your children. It’s clear that Evans adores his daughters and that the reason for his anti-junk food stance is because he wants them to have the best, healthiest lives possible.

Pete Evans with one of his daughters. Image: Instagram.

But sometimes, forbidding your children from having something - and scaring them into avoiding it - can have disastrous effects.

I feel for any child whose diet is influenced and controlled from a young age, especially when fear is the main motivation to be “healthy”.

Yes, we know that lollies aren’t exactly health food, but telling kids stories about "sick" rabbits and “street” rabbits isn’t the answer.

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To raise your children in an environment in which certain foods are demonised is dangerous as it sets a fearful and potentially disordered attitude towards food. Let’s not forget that food is there to keep us nourished and energized – and that’s it. It’s not a healer, or the answer. It’s just food.

Carla's daughter tucking into her lunch at home. (Source: Supplied.)

What do I do if my kid’s at a party? Well, if she wants lollies, she can have just one or two.

It may be a snake, or a piece of chocolate. I let her eat one piece of birthday cake. And that’s it. She’s had her fun and a taste of lollies and won’t leave the party obsessing about anything she didn’t get to eat. And she (hopefully) won't try to gorge on sweets behind my back either. And, you know, she rarely finishes the cake anyway, because she just wants to run off and play.

Everything in moderation is the key – and especially when it comes to stories about accidentally killing your favourite pet.

Do you agree with Pete Evans' way of persuading his daughters not to eat lollies?

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