‘Healthy eating’ is never an easy topic for parents and their kids.
At best, if they get a few vegies in them every now and then, that’s a win.
But it was a very specific question, about a specific version of this topic that threw This Glorious Mess hosts Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo when a listener asked them for help.
The mum, who we’ve called Jodie, says her 16-year-old daughter is a vegan for “health and moral reasons”, but that she’s noticed something worrying about her approach to eating.
Listen: Holly and Andrew discuss the listener question before a fellow mum offers her tips. (Post continues after audio.)
Jodie says she’s caught her daughter binge-eating chocolate and ice cream in secret a number of times and when she confronts her about it she becomes “distressed and ashamed”.
“How can I bring up the conversation without shaming my daughter and tell her that it’s okay to eat these things?” she asks.
Well, according to Butterfly Foundation CEO, Christine Morgan, the best time to approach the topic is at a moment when her daughter feels comfortable and relaxed.
Morgan tells Mamamia that parents should focus on the feelings associated with the behaviour, rather than the eating of non-vegan foods itself.
“Being gently inquisitive. So try: ‘I’m noticing the behaviour, that’s fine. I’m more interested in why you feel so distressed about it’.”
If her daughter is distressed about her secret eating, Jodie could talk to her daughter about visiting a dietitian to make sure she’s still getting all the nutrients she needs, Morgan says.