Is Your Tween Hiding Her Lunch?

REAL GRANDMOM ASKS: My 11 year old granddaughter is hiding her sandwiches and lunchables that are packed for her lunch in her room; sometimes before she even leaves for school. She takes a bite out of the sandwich or lunchable and puts in back in the container and seals it up, then hides it in her room. She doesn’t have an explanation for this and you can tell she is embarrassed when you talk to her about it. None of the food is new or disliked, that is why this is such a puzzle to us. My daughter is going bonkers over this and I simply don’t know how to advice her. Maddie has hidden evidence of “sneaked” food before when she was very young but this is a new behavior.What do you think? 

Thanks,

 

Debbie A., a perplexed Grammy

 

REAL MOM LAURA ANSWERS:

Thank you Debbie for your heartfelt question.  I am sure many other grandparents and parents share in your sincere concern for both their daughters and their  granddaughters. There are a few things you can do without alarming your granddaughter. Be sure to keep this a confidential as possible. It is  a very sensitive subject and privacy will help to ensure your granddaughter’s privacy and thus minimize any shame or embarrassment. I will answer the question directed at a mom (or dad) since mom (or the primary caregiver) will need to do the follow through.

In general when any tween is hiding food, consider checking in with the school nurse or guidance counselor (in private) to see if your tween is:

A)   Eating a different type of food at school?

B)   Eating any lunch at school?

C)   Attending lunch at school (some students hide during the lunch period to avoid social anxiety, bullying or to enable skipping the meal for restriction purposes)?

This will give you a better idea of what is happening for your daughter.  There are many things to consider such as is your child:

A)   Embarrassed to bring a home packed lunch?

B)   Perhaps your child doesn’t like the way their food smells?

C)   Perhaps your child is uncomfortable with their changing tween body?

D)   Has anyone said anything to your tween to make them feel shameful of their body?

E)   Is your child restricting their intake in effort to gain a false sense of control due to changes in friends, family, school…?

F)    Is your tween newly aware of her body and thus restricting her intake to prevent it from maturation? 

Next and most importantly, sit down with this wonderful child and let them know you are there to listen. Let them know you promise not to be angry (if you truly do) and can help to support them. Validation is the most important piece. Moms don’t need to solve every problem rather we just need to listen.  Tell your tween you love them and are there for them when they feel ready to share. Giving your tween an unbiased outlet and a few hugs may get them to be honest with you.

If your tween is not ready to confide, you can also offer to take the tween food shopping to see if that helps to resolve the issue. This may give you a better sense of what is going on if your tween actually takes you on the offer.

If the issue continues, it is best to have your tween see a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (therapist specializing in eating disorders) or a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (RD specializing in eating disorders). This accreditation is only given to experts trained in the  prevention and treatment of eating disorders by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (www.iaedp.com).

Enter to Win Peter Bereley's Cookbook and Solae Prize Pack

Last month, Solae–leading company in developing soy based foods like soy milk and energy bars–hosted a dinner created by Chef Peter Bereley. Peter Bereley, author of The Flexitarian Table, prepared a 4 course dinner with every dish containing tofu. Unlike the typical tofu you might imagine, Chef Bereley used it in innovating and delicious ways: tofu-ricotta,miso salad dressing, chili, and even pie for dessert! As he demonstrated how he prepared each dish, he provided creative tips on how to incorporate soy protein to our meals.  At the end of the event, Solae provided us with an awesome giveaway, including an extra for our readers! Included in the awesome backpack are several of Solae’s soy based products and a copy of Chef Bereley’s cookbook so you can try his “soy-licious” recipes on your own!

Thanks to Solae and Peter Bereley, Mom Dishes It Out will be giving away a “Solae Prize Pack”:

· A copy of Peter Bereley’s  “The Flexitarian Table”

· Solae Backpack

· Reusable Water bottle

· Cooking Tools

· A few coupons and samples of Solae’s soy-based products like Balance Bar, 8th Continent Soy Milk, and Special K protein shakes

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

Winners will be announced on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM EST.

Mom is Dishing Out Free Yoga Sessions!

Yoga combines stretching, meditation and breathing exercises, which has shown to have many positive health benefits.  It can help improve balance, back pain or posture, tone muscles, and may even serve as a creative outlet or stress reliever.

There are different forms of yoga out there, with Hatha yoga being just one of the many. If you’re new to Hatha yoga, here’s your chance to give it a try!

Mom Dishes It Out will be giving 100 followers a free yoga class at Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York City! 

Located in NYC, the Jivamukti Yoga School offers Hatha Yoga classes to beginners, prenatal, kids/teens and families. When you’re there, be sure to check out their new cafe, where you can enjoy a tasty pre/post session vegan meal!

Want to enter for a chance to win a free yoga session?

Enter by one of the following ways:

Let us know what you like about the yoga and you could be one of the lucky winners!
Winners will be announced on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 6:00 PM EST.

MomDishesItOut’s 5 Family Friendly NYC Food Spots

Playgrounds and museums, there’s no doubt that NYC is jam packed with kid-friendly activities and events. But are there children friendly food spots too? If the thought that restaurants might be ‘too fancy’ to take your kids along has ever crossed your mind, think again! Busy Moms and Dads, grab your partner and your kiddies too!

New York City is filled with healthy and affordable restaurants that are family friendly. If you want a night out, kids-free, you can always get hip and healthy with my list of NYC’s Top Chic Restaurants. In the meantime, navigate your way to these eateries for tasty and budget friendly neighborhood food.

 

Bareburger
Enjoy a fun and adventurous meal with your family and introduce your little ones to bison, boar, elk, lamb or ostrich! If that doesn’t suit your families’ taste buds, this restaurant has a little something for everyone. It also specializes in more traditional burgers with grass-fed meats like beef, turkey, chicken, and portabella mushroom for vegetarians. This Mom loves the all-natural bison burger on a whole grain roll!!

Dig Inn
Come here for local produce and lots of flavor. While you pretty much make your own plate, it adds to the atmosphere, making it fun and casual. How does it work? You choose 1 protein, 1 grain or green, and a pick of your favorite seasonal vegetables, (perfect for sharing). With so many options sometimes it can be hard to pick. Go for the lemon chicken, raw baby spinach, tomato & cucumber salad!! My son Billy loves their hummus!

Energy Kitchen
At Energy Kitchen, you don’t have to sacrifice health and nutrition for taste. With a kid’s menu and healthy sides, I love taking my kids here! The bison burger is > 90 % lean so this is always a heart healthy bet!! All meals are less than 500 calories so perfect for a kid’s dinner or a quick, healthy mom lunch. Mom Dishes It Out is offering a free giveaway to Energy Kitchen. Check out our blog for more details.

GustOrganics
Choose food that you can feel good about. Kid friendly food from turkey burgers (large enough to share for young kids) to quesadillas!! The filet mignon and the sizzling fajitas are delic! Using 100% organic ingredients, with Latin American-inspired cuisine, the average kid can find something to eat here. My favorite part is that everything from the purified water to the packaging is based on organic and sustainable practices. This restaurant is actually the first and only certified and organic restaurant in New York – how awesome!

Josie’s Restaurant
Start with fun finger food such as the edamame and or one of the many dumplings at this dairy free, health conscious restaurant. Whether you are vegetarian or a beef eater, you can find a simple no fuss dish. This mom loves the tuna burger and the fish specials. Picky palates can opt for the pasta with turkey meatballs or the roasted chicken with the smashed potatoes!!!