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Can anyone explain why parents, especially mothers are so obsessed with food? Not with food in general, but with the food that their offspring should be ingesting.

Every time I talk to my mom or my mother in law the subject inevitably comes up. And since there’s a 7h time difference between their time and Montreal time, they’realways a bit disconcerted and ask whether we’ve eaten. When the answer comes back as “No, not yet” it opens a sort of Pandora’s box. Except we know what it contains.


When that box opens, 15 minutes of mostly rhetorical questions and  more or less medical remarks follow. “You have to eat balanced meals”, “You need a lot of vitamins, especially in the winter”, “You must eat x calories per day”, “Eat a lot of fruit”, “Do you eat organic vegetables?” “Cucumbers don’t contain vitamins”. OH LORD ALMIGHTY!


Last week D&I made the mistake of saying we were tired, and you know what that brought us to? Another 10 minutes of vitamin talk which resulted in me agreeing to buy the B complex for D, my starving husband!


You know what else gets to our mothers, especially mine? When we chat on GTalk and I chew gum. Oh boy does that get to her! I suspect it’s because she expects me to be in a constant state of chewing food, not gum. I guess that if I told her I’m chewing a piece of chicken she would feel so much better.

The gum conversation always leads to the weight conversation. She also asks if I put on weight. “One gram at least?” The answer varies from “Not really” to “A little bit” although the reality is that I haven’t put on any weight, no. FYI, I don’t have an eating disorder, I just can’t eat in large quantities and hence don’t put on weight that easily.


There is no comparison I could use (without you thinking it’s a hyperbole) that could  illustrate the number of sandwiches made by our moms for the trip to France for our wedding. Let’s say that if the wedding menu consisted of those sandwiches alone, we would have had enough for everybody.

And they probably would have been more calorically balanced than the foie gras.

Comments (6)

  • Ha, that sounds familiar. My mother used to ask me the exact same questions, since I was very skinny (no eating disorder either, just a really good metabolism I guess). After moving to the US, no more bike rides (didn’t own a car) and I guess getting older and having a kid, let’s just say I’m not really skinny anymore (but not overweight either). Now the only thing they can ask is if I haven’t gained any weight. (some people in Belgium are also way too honest and can say: wow, I almost didn’t recognize you, you really put on weight).

    With my 2 year old daughter I must admit I have the same food obsession, but I’m just thinking she really doesn’t eat enough (almost no vegetables, some meat and luckily she does like fruit). It is a constant battle almost to try to make her eat. I hope the coming years she’ll eat at least some vegetables 🙂

    I guess as a parent you just worry (a lot) and hope for the best for your kid. Unfortunately in the process it makes the kids frustrated :). Maybe one question I hate even more than what will you eat today is what will you do today.

  • Food talk is usually one of those small talk conversations that everyone talks about. Everyone’s interested in and no one can really take offense. I know in my own personal culture, a usual way of greeting is to ask, “Have you eaten rice yet?”

    Moreover, I think it’s a maternal thing. Love = Food. Particularly women. You show love through food. You feed your family. You feed your husband. You feed your children. You want to make sure that they’re all happy and well-fed. Nothing says love like a chicken on a plate. 😀

  • OMG.

    Alex, let me tell you something: According to my parents, no matter how old I am or how competent I am, I’m still starving away in a foregn country due to my own inadequacy.

    While this is good in the sense that whenever I go home, they feed me as if I was a malnourished Ethopian child, it’s also bad in the sense that our conversations are peppered with ridiculously patronizing phrases which would lead anyone to believe that I was wholly incapable of picking up a pot or operating the the oven.

  • That is so funny. My dad always asks me what we are having for dinner when I talk to him or if we have eaten if it’s around that time. I’m not sure if he fears we are starving or just looking for something to talk about.

  • My mother always asks what we had for dinner or where we went or something about food. Since when does that matter?!

  • Ohh yes. I can completely agree. Being vegan I get hit completely with it. BUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN? Well, if I didn’t have enough protein, I wouldn’t be alive or functioning but thanks for your concern.

    It’s not like we don’t know how to research nutrition or how to feed ourselves at this point in our lives.


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