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Girl with Hamburger | TheDaddyBlogger.comSome time ago, my wife watched me down a glass of water after dinner and told me I was odd. Me being odd was no surprise to me, but why now? She highlighted the fact that I don’t drink anything while eating but will immediately drink something once I am done.

Huh. This was something I quickly recognized that I do in fact do, but never really thought about it until then. The culprit? As with all things in a man’s life: Mom. I have mentioned in my multiple posts related to childhood obesity, I was a fat kid. Not heavy. Not chunky. Not overweight. Fat. Of course I don’t truly blame my family for this, but I can see where confusion starts.

Growing up, my mom felt that we would fill up on water or milk during our meals and to counter that would not let my brother or I drink during our meals. Fast forward 20 or so years and you have a guy guzzling water after a meal like he just ran across the desert. Her goal? Make sure we ate our meals. As we battle with our son now to sit down and eat his, I realized that this is like the mixed message I brought up here where children are told to be comfortable in their own skin even if they are obese but that they shouldn’t be obese since it is deadly. Now we are saying “eat! eat! eat!” and later saying “stop! stop! stop!”.

In this case, we pound into our children “eat your dinner” and focus on getting them to eat before they go off and play — then later in life tell them that they are eating too much. I am not a psychologist, but I have to imagine this brings about a bit of internal conflict and confusion just like my tendency to not drink with a meal (in the many years since she showed me that, I have since introduced water throughout the meal as a great way to portion control). I even caught myself trying to get our son to eat his peanut butter and jelly even though he had eaten nearly half a cucumber and wanted more. It was my reflex to have him “eat his dinner.”

My mom didn’t have the internet growing up, so it was most likely simple advice from our family doctor that food was important for a growing boy. Even now, nutrition is a passing conversation with the pediatrician. We aren’t the best or ultimately any good at nutrition with our son, but we know it is critical and hope you think the same. At the very least, I hope this is food for thought. You can get more information from and — but as we all know, the plan goes to poop when you are too tired to fight and too tired to cook.

Happy dinnering!

Image courtesy of Pong /

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