Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just eat it.

Interesting post on this blog: about eating and intention. In the post, Karen says that she used to sneak food when she was young.
I had the opposite experience in my youth because my mother always made too much (you know, like the very old commercial about the "second turkey"). She made extra because the idea was to have a late night snack or second dinner should anyone get hungry after the first dinner. We never got hungry for the second meal during the week but there was something about Saturday night that caused my father and me to end up at the frig some time after ten o'clock at night, rummaging around for leftovers (the second turkey). There was no shame. It was expected. Hoped for, in fact. My mother enjoyed watching us eat the food she lovingly prepared. She was happy that we liked her fare so much that we couldn't fall asleep without a second (and sometimes, third) helping. There was no concern about calories or getting fat. It was about the joy of eating tasty food.
I never had to sneak candy either. My mother loved candy bars, especially ones that contained nuts, so there was always plenty of candy around the house. I never heard, "You'll spoil your dinner." If I wanted a piece of candy, she gave it to me because she knew I'd eat my meal. And here's the "ah ha", she knew I'd eat my meal because eating at mealtime had nothing to do with being hungry. It was mealtime, EAT. Because people in China were eating garbage in the streets. That made me shudder to think that there were people who had no regular meals; people who didn't get to sit down at the table, eat off of plates and enjoy a hot meal. I was privileged. I had not only the first dinner but the second one waiting in the frig should I get hungry late at night!
So I was brought up to ignore hunger and eat because the food is there. Eat it because other people some place in the world are hungry even if I'm not. Eat it because my mother cooked it for me. Just eat it.


Jessie said...

It's amazing how many parents interfere with a kid's natural instinct with food. When I was little, I was always told to "clean my plate", and now I sometimes have a hard time not doing so.

Anonymous said...

Food was hidden from me. I was yelled at for eating anything fattening. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and eat. To this day, I think my mom is insane and completely neurotic about food.