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Feeding young family while on a liquid diet and beyond?



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Hi everyone! I'm new here and looking forward to getting to know you. I have a 5-year old girl and 2-year old boy, and I'm trying to move away from the easy processed foods I'm increasingly finding myself chucking into the microwave for them.

However, looking into the near future and beyond, I'm wondering how some of you manage the demands and needs of cooking healthy for a family while you yourself are drinking stuff out of a box. In particular, I'm trying to figure out how to manage the mixed messages about health that I might be sending to my daughter - on the one hand, I want her to eat whole foods and minimally-processed foods. On the other, I won't be setting the example for a time. She's getting to the age where she's being called "fat" (she's a strong build and not a thin, lithe thing. I emphasize strength and soul over beauty and thinness), and I'm trying to make sure that she knows that what I'm doing it to help me be stronger.

I hope my question makes sense. I'm honestly still rolling it around in my head as I move forward toward surgery. So, for those of you with small children, how do you try to reinforce good eating behaviors when you're not really doing it yourself? How do you make sure that they know that the different thing you're doing is "ok for mommy or daddy" but they should do what you tell them?

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you'll only be on liquid and pureed diets for a few weeks. After that, you're likely to be eating healthier than you were pre-op. Most of us focus on Proteins and vegetables during the weight loss phase. Feed your kids the same thing but add something like a potato, rice, or bread for them.

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I don’t know how far into the process you are, but start working on your “life style” menu. The liquid and purée stages are short lived, but rethinking how you prepare and what foods you serve will be forever. Get the kids involved in preparing/Choosing/shopping for meals

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Posted (edited)

I started my lifestyle change a lot earlier, so the family has had some time to accept this huge change. I completely cut out processed foods. I signed up for imperfect foods, and incorporate many veggies and lean meats/vegan Protein to meals. Oatmeal/ fruits for breakfast , cut out milk by replacing it with unsweetened almond milk. See I had to remind myself, I’m the one doing the grocery shopping and cooking. So if folks in my house are eating pop tarts and burgers it’s because I bought it, and then cooked it for them. I replaced the Cookies with grapes, and m&m jars are now filled with nuts. It’s a very new life. Rice was abandoned and replaced with quinoa, beef is out and turkeys in, pork chops aren’t fried and salmon patties are sautéed. You got this!

Edited by Tinesia

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Thank you everyone! It helps to remind me to think more objectively long-term. I think I was focusing too hard on all the other things I have to deal with and forgetting the big picture.

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I think your kids are young enough they won’t necessarily know you are doing anything different, unless you make a bid deal of it. I didn’t tell my 6 and 8 year olds I was having the surgery and honestly, they were both pretty oblivious to the fact I wasn’t eating the same way. After the first month I was able to start eating family meals again. So a relatively short period of time that you will have limited food choices. After you are cleared to advance your diet, focus on modeling healthy food choices and behaviors for your kids. I do exactly what catwoman7 recommended. I stick to Protein and produce, and they get an added carb in. I LOVE what you said about “emphasizing strength and soul over beauty and thinness”.
I also focus on words like healthy, strong, and fit, and avoid words like skinny, fat, diet, and weight loss.

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My husband has an eating disorder that basically keeps him from eating or even touching vegetables and fruit. In his previous relationship, he did everything (including cooking and packing lunches), so my two step children (8 and 6) never really knew what healthy foods looked like before I came into the picture.

Breakfast was always some sugary Cereal. Their lunches were made up of primarily a couple pieces of rye bread with butter and lunch meat on it. A typical dinner would be frikadeller (meatballs) and brown sauce. It could have been worse, but still -- that wasn't going to cut it for me. These children are my responsibility now, too, and I won't let my kids grow up like this.. like me.

I remember my husband telling me a story about his neighbor trying to help him with his condition by making lasagna (with carrots in it) and having him and the kids try it. The kids were eating it up, but once they saw that their dad couldn't handle it, they stopped eating it too.

Roughly 2 years ago is when I came into their lives. I am the parent who takes care of the food, from meal plans to getting it on the table. I started making dishes where the kids could choose at least one healthy thing to go into it, while my husband could eat it plain. They fought with me at first, told me they didn't like x, y, z, but I was persistent. I also started making food that would just normally include vegetables, like chicken stir-fry, or tuna & broccoli casserole, which only had minor nitpicking in response. I started putting mixed vegetables or just a specific vegetable as a side and they were told to eat them first. They do this without any complaints now. I don't even have to ask them to eat it first because I know they will finish it.

These days, my daughter begs for me to make asparagus for both dinner and to take to school for her lunches & my son is always picking out fruit in the grocery store. 👍

For breakfast, we've ditched the sugary cereal and have started going with whole-grain, if we don't have time to sit down for a real meal. My husband put sugar in their cereal one morning and received complaints from the kids that it was too sweet for them. :) On days where we all have our **** together on time, we will usually have eggs, bacon, and fruit, or a whole-grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese and fruit on the side.

Lunch boxes rarely come back with anything left in them. Unless we have leftovers that are wanted for lunch, the rye bread remains, but I've added oranges, grapes, apples, carrots, etc. Snacks usually consist low-fat yogurt or whole-grain crackers/pretzels.

This was all done while their dad sat at the table and didn't participate in adding vegetables to his diet and sometimes even needed a completely separate meal made for him. It wasn't easy to get the kids to this point, but that felt like it was more because they had formed a habit of not eating properly and didn't want to change it, rather than being worried about what dad was eating.

Either way, I think leading by example is a good way to teach children anything. I see so much of myself in these kids that aren't even biologically mine and it's because they mimic almost everything I do. 😅 Even though you won't be on the liquid diet for long, I think you should explain why you are having to eat that way and why they should be eating the way you are presenting food to them. If quick foods are a necessity, I'd recommend some kind of meal prepping once a week so that the kids and you will have something healthy and easy to grab and go with.

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