I’m recently married. My wife has an eleven year old son. I have a problem with his eating habits. He can’t live without sodas and crappy food. We were mowing the lawn and we were both really thirsty. I went in and brought out 2 cold waters. He raised a fuss and took one sip. He said he’ll just wait for his Dr. Pepper. I can’t get his Mom to help me help him to be more healthy. Both he and his Mom are pretty plump. I can’t convince her that it is in his best interests to not grow up to be fat. Am I out of line in pushing healthy food? Is my step-son destined to be Fat Freddie?
Dear Mr. Health,
First off-did you know this woman and her son before you married her? I assume you did. What has changed since you fell in love with her? I agree with you that introducing your family to a healthier life style would be in their best interests. But, the question presents itself: how much right do you have to insist these people follow your way of life? I assume you fell in love with wifey for reasons beyond your desire to watch her change her diet. You underestimate the influence you can have by quietly leading the way. You also underestimate the amount of resistance you will create by being a nagging pain in the posterior. So here’s a few recommendations.
- Be a loving, supportive husband to your wife, and step father to your new son.
- Go shopping with your wife once in a while. Pick out the healthy stuff you want, and pipe down about whining about the case of Dr. Pepper and 3 bags of pork rinds she might buy.
- Introduce junior to a few tasty treats. Don’t take it personally if change comes slowly. Cheese or peanut butter on celery, cut carrot sticks with ranch dressing, toasted seasoned baked pita chips are all fun to eat. If no one eats them, you eat them. Kids are starving after school – it’s a good time to tempt him with clever tasty grub.