Will My Children Pick Up My Husband's Terrible Eating Habits?

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will my children pick up my husband's bad eating habits

I'll be the first to admit that my interest in nutrition borders on obsession.

The list of things I like to avoid is so long, I might as well limit my time in the grocery store to the produce section. THAT would be impossible, though, because they don't put the frozen pizzas, pretzels and soda that my husband loves anywhere near the organic carrots. Yeah ... my husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to food. A quick peek into my shopping cart leaves most folks puzzled. Quinoa and Stouffer's Salisbury Steak? Hmm.

Aside from eating more than burgers and fries together than I care to admit, he and I have gotten along well despite our different diets. But then our daughter started joining us at the dinner table. And reaching for daddy's unhealthy snacks. You can only exclusively breastfeed your for so long before they she realizes there's more to eat out there besides boob milk. 

At first it was easy.

We bypassed purées and started our daughter off with small, soft finger foods (like steamed veggies, bananas, avocados, pasta and rice). Now that she is nearly one-and-a-half-years-old, pretty much anything is fair game. Daddy just walked in with a greasy bag of fries? Let me at 'em!

So what's a health nut to do besides whine, cry and fear having to parent that child who only eats chicken nuggets? I scare the sh*t out of my husband by making him read the research and watch the food documentaries warning us against anything other than a whole foods diet. I know I won't have control over our daughter's eating habits for very long (science proves it!). I can't allow her to indulge in junk food before she establishes that fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and lean protein comes first.

Every few days, I think I have my husband on board with me.

He understands how harmful processed, chemical-laden foods can be for small bodies, and he doesn't want her to have the same, often challenging, food aversions that he has. Then I'll catch my daughter with a mouth full of organic barbeque-flavored snack fries. And no, the organic part doesn't help when you're talking about "snack fries."

So far we haven't had any major battles over her eating habits. He and I are co-parents, and I cannot control every little thing he does while he is with her. He knows that fast food is off limits (as are sweets and dairy products). Will a pretzel or french fry every now and then turn her into a picky eater? It isn't likely. In fact, it's safe to say she will go through a choosey phase no matter how much effort I put into her diet, so I try not to make it a point of contention in our marriage.

That's not to say there isn't regularly occurring eye rolls, extra loud sighs and a few mini-lectures. With such opposite lifestyle choices, we are bound to butt heads ... even if I'm the one who's right. 

Though soon enough, when our daughter starts asking why she has to eat her veggies even though daddy doesn't, he's going to have some major 'splaining to do.

As we get closer to that charming "100 questions of why?" stage, I would like to think we will find a happy medium that benefits all three of us.

Until then, I'll just continue to secretly dash in and out of the frozen foods aisle and keep referring to cans of soda as "Dada's water."