It’s happened more than once. My son goes somewhere public and is offered food. “I can’t have that, I have a special diet.” The typical response is an incredulous look followed by, “You’re to young to be on a diet!!”
Yes, I am that irresponsible, image-obsessed mother who puts her 7-year-old on a diet.
No, in all actuality I am not. My son’s food-sensitivity diet isn’t a mainstream concept yet. That, and the word “diet” is perceived by our culture in a specific way.
When I hear the word “diet,” I immediately envision Garfield on a scale, bright leotards and jump-around videos. Perhaps that’s because I’m a product of the 80s, or maybe it’s because I, like many other people, was brought up in a culture of yo-yo dieting (with the specific goal of losing weight). Lately that hasn’t been my perception of what a diet is, or what it should be.
To me, a diet is more like this:
The cheetah consumes a diet of meat.
The blue whale lives on a diet of krill.
The panda bear consumes a diet of mostly bamboo…
Get the picture? My son avoids foods that trigger his symptoms for an ADHD diet. I eat a diet low in added sugars and extra calories to stay healthy. My baby girl eats a diet with healthy, brain-building fats. Diets are the types of food we consume every day.
You could have a fast-food diet. You could have a high-MSG and high fructose corn syrup diet. You could eat a diet consisting mostly of Cheez Ballz.
Truth be told, I don’t understand the conventional meaning of the word “diet.” I don’t get the concept of eating rabbit pellets (or what-have-you) until you hit your weight loss goals, then reverting back to your old habits (which leads to weight gain). But that’s what has been modeled by our society – that’s what people have been doing ever since we can remember, so that’s what we think a diet is. Well, I’m blowing the wienie whistle and calling it bologna.
If you’re going to eat food for any reason, it should be for your individual health goals! And it should be for life. Then all the other pieces will fall into place. 🙂
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