Mom Finds Devastating “Diet List” on 7-Year-Old’s Bedroom Floor

As a mom we are aware of the pressures put on our little girls to be “pretty” and “fit”. You do your best to steer your daughter in the right direction so she makes good choices when it comes to what she eats and her activity level. All the while you think you’re doing the right thing. When do the influences get to be too much? Was it something you said or did? Is someone outside the family making comments that are pushing your daughter to excess? At what age should you start to be concerned about your child’s self image? If nothing else, this article will make you think. It will make you want to pay closer attention to how focused your daughter is on her physical being.

Mom Finds Devastating “Diet List” On 7-Year-Old’s Bedroom Floor

by Eileen Kelly / from Lifetime Moms

diet list

How would you feel if you found this “diet list” in your seven year-old daughter’s room?

This is what Australian mom Amy Cheney found among her daughter’s toys in her bedroom.

Note the title.  Diyet.

“Seventeen Poosh-ups two times a day. Three Appals, Two Keewee Froots. 5 glases of water.  Jog/run up and down the driv way 3 times.”

This girl is seven years old.

In her blog, Ms. Cheney talks about how angry she was when she found her daughter’s “diet.” She asked herself all the questions I would ask myself. How did this happen?  What/who is to blame? Is it playing with Barbies? Is it TV? Is it…me?

“I am smart about this stuff,” Ms. Cheney writes. “I have a degree in early childhood studies. Our family focuses on and promotes healthy eating and healthy bodies. Our attitudes are reasonable and balanced. Weight has never been an issue in our home – it is, for the most part, irrelevant.”

I think it’s better that this girl is aware of the importance of eating healthy foods and exercise than if she was lying on the couch all day eating Doritos and drinking Hawaiian Punch. But is this the beginning of anorexia? No kid should be this focused on what they eat.

In response to this topic, some cite celebrities like Adele and Melissa McCarthy as body image role models. I don’t agree.  Obesity is not the solution to society’s pressure to be thin. Being healthy, strong and fit. That’s the answer. Showing an anorexic person a picture of someone who is obese and telling them that that’s the way they should look is the quickest way to send them reaching for the laxatives.

As a parent in 2013 we have so many more challenges than our parents did. When I was a kid, we played outside because there was nothing else to do. There were Saturday morning cartoons for a few hours, Sunday was a television wasteland and weekdays there was an hour of cartoons after school. If I wanted to watch TV after the “Jetsons” was over, it was reruns of “Good Times” or the early news. After I’d seen every “Good Times” episode twice over, playing outside was really my only option.  Nobody had to tell me to do it.  But with 24-hour kid programming on Nick, Cartoon Network and Disney, I have to constantly be on my kids about their “screen time.” It’s exhausting.

Same goes for food. There are so many more junk food options now. Every movie has some sort of junk cereal or snack tie-in. And even the snacks that we grew up with have been “optimized” to make us eat more of them. Product optimization is when food engineers alter the formula with the sole intent of finding the most “perfect” version of a product. One that will make the consumer want to eat more of it, and with ingredients that cost the company the least amount of money. So things we ate and drank as kids that used to have sugar now have high fructose corn syrup and often an artificial sweetener as well.

Parents are up against a lot. It’s truly us against them when it comes to the food industry. We’re in a battle to keep our families healthy.

I try to focus on food as fuel. I’ve explained to my kids that their bodies have engines and what they put into their mouths determines whether they’ll have energy to do the things they like to do. When we’re at the grocery store, I tell my kids that if something has a princess or a superhero on it, it’s junk.  As my daughter now explains it, “That’s the company’s way of trying to trick kids into eating it, but it’s not good for your body. Real food, like ice cream, doesn’t need princesses.” Well, she mostly got the message.

How do you promote healthy living in your house?


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