I'm a mom....I'm a step mom.... !/2 eat healthy and 1/2 do not...please help!

Rebecca - posted on 08/10/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am a mom of a 13,11,10,and 8 yr. old. I have 2 boys and 2 girls. One boy and one girl are step children. Because of their mom's struggles and poor choices, I am with them 100% of the time. I have my own children most of the time, but they do go visit their dad and step mom. Oh I could just go in several directions of frustration at this point, but my first focus area is this. My husband and I have been together for about 3 years now. I have known him long before that (since preschool) but we have been a couple and with our own children for about 3 years. I know that his children are having a hard time with the choices that their mom has made that cause them not to be able to see her for their own safety. (ex. being in jail for a while) Here is a little less of a problem, but a problem indeed. My children are very healthy eaters and love vegetables. My husband says, "hold the garden" when ordering a hamburger at a restaurant and ops for another potato instead of a salad. I only say that because you can see where my step children could be influenced to eat the way they do. He is all about any adjustments I would like to make to help his children eat healthier, but not willing to make changes to help them. It's really hard.

I have taught middle school for 12 years and have always loved it, so I know all about creativity, flexibility, and just making it work. I can't seem to make this work no matter what positive outlook I try to have. I have read to involve your kids in meal planning and cooking and just make few adjustments at a time. I have tried that too. If my husband were incredibly overweight with tons of health problems this would be another issue, but really he just has a belly. He is a great man, but this is one area that drives me nuts. Because I see the horrible physical and social effects of childhood obesity as a middle school teacher, this truly concerns me and hurts my heart for my step children. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't frustrated, but I am trying to remain positive. Any and all suggestions would be truly appreciative. Thank you in advance for taking the time to post.

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Ev - posted on 08/11/2013

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Then you also have other issues too going on such as the kids adjusting to their new blended family and each other too. Plus a new family cook and way of eating. It will take time and asking that new adjustments be gotten used to overnight never happen. You have a long road ahead. If what you have said you do and my suggestions have been tried, I am not sure what other choices of advice to offer. It may be that this will have to take time to work out. Have you tried fixing just one meal and telling them that was all they had to eat for supper or whatever meal it was?

Rebecca - posted on 08/11/2013

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I wish it were that easy. We rarely eat out. I used the baked potato example in my post because I was just giving an example of my husband. I do most of the grocery shopping, but my husband also picks up stuff that I would not buy. I am a certified nutrition and wellness counselor as well, and am with you on all of the substitutes. My biological children love eating healthy, but my step children are so used to eating poorly, that it seems to be a struggle every time at the table. As far as a family meeting... we have all talked about this, but that doesn't stop the struggles. My husband is an adult obviously, so I am not about to go on and on about what he should be eating. I know we are still in the adjusting period as we were married June of last year, but this seems to be difficult.

Ev - posted on 08/10/2013

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Sounds like time for a family meeting for all of you to become on the same page. Its also time to start eating at home exclusively because frankly it costs a lot to eat somewhere and more time consuming to get there and then home. Once you eat more at home, that is where the changes can be made and change the potato salad for the regular greens one. Or make a potato salad say with greek plain yogurt instead of mayo. Add the veggies to the burgers. Make a veggie pizza at home rather than buy the ones cooked elsewhere or frozen ones. You can always make your own dough, and by the way you are eliminating a lot of the excessive stuff in pre-made foods and even processed foods. Also when shopping for groceries buy only what you want them to have at home. And do not take any of the kids to shop as this will add stress to you picking up what you need. Set a specific menu and stick to it.

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