Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Rule of One: In Which I Tell the Truth About Food

The truth about food is that it is a continual challenge—to eat reasonable portions, to eat at reasonable times, to make reasonable choices for particular times of the day (like, for example, avoiding ice cream for breakfast), and to eat at a reasonable pace. I will not detail what defines “reasonable,” just state that it is a very generous definition.

The truth about food is that Jessie’s difficulty demonstrating self-control around food is limiting her ability to go to certain functions on her own. Because she makes herself sick, or I get calls of concern from her colleagues or mentors.

I will state that we never used food as anything other than food. And we have always enjoyed food—baking, cooking, eating, sharing, preserving. So the root cause of the challenge is something that I am not sure of. I do know that there are certain things we no longer have in our house—like ketchup and nutrigrain bars.

However, we are trying to make certain situations manageable and as easy as possible. So we came up with the RULE OF ONE. When you go out, you can get ONE muffin, you can take ONE sandwich, you can drink ONE soda, you can buy ONE croissant, you can have ONE piece of cake, etc… It covers most situations and is a pretty clear rule. One. Simple, straight forward. Those are things that always work best in the beginning.

And I was speaking to Claire, she of patience and other wise virtues, and she agreed that this was indeed a very good rule. A rule that they in fact use over at their house too. “But,” she said, because we often share our brilliant ideas and the not so brilliant (but certainly creative) variations our daughters dream up, “what do you do when Jessie applies the rule a bit too literally?” Country gal had taken Claire at her word and when she came home from school chose: one muffin, one yogurt, one rice dream, one smoothie, one juice, and one cheese as her snack.

There is no doubt, our daughters keep us thinking and reinventing..

What food rules do you have? And more importantly . . .  do they work?


Team Lando said...

Oh, my daughter is only 20 months and this will be an issue! She inhaled our Thanksgiving dinner AND finished her friend's potatoes! I've heard this as such a common "little thing" that impacts "big things" - I'd never through about social functions, etc!

Nan said...

Its easy (relatively) if you are there, not so easy if you aren't. I really think (also) that Jessie's stomach takes a while to send out the full signal, and it only kicks in after its a bit too late. So there is that. Tonight she is out for dinner with Drummer Boy. We actually got the menu before hand so they could look at it and plan for a)what they might want to order and b) how much it was going to cost and a bit of coaching on figuring out the tip etc... I am hoping that this works!