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Nutrition and single parents: part 3 of 3

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 18, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Thank you, single parents who commented on my two-part blog series a couple of weeks ago.

I’m quoting Amanda from that blog series because what she said merits front-and-center attention:

“Robyn, I know what you’re going through, and thanks so much for writing on this critical topic! There’s very little information online about how to handle this problem.

Due to school and distance issues, my 11-year-old boy lives with his dad during the week and is with me on the weekends. One of the reasons we divorced is over the issue of nutrition. The dad is one of those poor folks who believes the ketchup on a Big Mac counts as a vegetable, and he’s not interested in learning anything different. If the FDA says it’s OK for us, then where’s the problem, right?

I recently heard from my son that he’s being made to take fluoride pills at night because their RO water treatment filters it out of the tap water. I asked, why do you think your system does that??? But dad heard from the dentist that if you don’t get “enough” fluoride, all your teeth will decay and fall out. If a doctor says it’s true, that’s all the proof he needs. Never mind the evidence I present to the contrary. I’m not a doctor, so my information can’t be valid, apparently.

So Robyn, I look forward to your entry tomorrow on how you deal with this emotionally. All I can do (without bad-talking his dad, which I understand is detrimental to my son’s emotional health) is present alternative information while he’s here, and hope that it somehow sinks in.

One ray of hope is this: I was raised by a hippie health food mom who shopped at co-ops and knew way ahead of time how important whole-food nutrition is. In fact, I was the only kid in my neighborhood who had a whole-wheat birthday cake every year. (OK, I have some trauma around that. 🙂 When I finally “got free” from her influence and went off to college, I narrowed my nutritional plan to two food groups: beer and pizza, in that order. I gained 25 pounds and developed some weird blood pressure problem that had me passing out after a flight of stairs. Man, I felt and looked like crap.

Here’s the good news: now, 25 years later, I’m a natural health researcher and a passionate and committed servant of anyone who asks for my input on nutritional or health issues. My mom’s lessons stayed with me through those turbulent years, and although I got off track now and then, her love and persistence paid off.

So will ours as we continue to deliver this important information to our children in a compassionate and loving way. Stay strong! My suggestion: don’t meet resistance with more resistance, but trust that your message will get through. Children are very sensitive creatures, and instinctively lean toward messages delivered with love and a high vibration. Encourage them to feel the contrast in themselves between different foods and ideas, and they’ll often correct course naturally.

Much love to Robyn and all you GSG readers! Keep up the good work!”

From Robyn:

Believe it or not, we had no conflict over diet or how to raise the kids, when I was married!

Nothing has honed my communication skills more than being divorced! Trying to inoculate your child against bad information without criticizing the source of that information…..that’s the tightrope single parents walk.

I have my hat off in great respect for all the divorced parents who try very hard to show respect to the other parent. After all, the child knows he is HALF his father. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of saying or doing something for the cheap grab at “favorite parent” status. It’s just a bad thing to do on every level.

I love what Amanda says: to just trust that the message is getting through, even if a period of beer-and-pizza might take place. Me, too: my entire sophomore year of college was spent eating almost nothing but Top Ramen and bananas. The year I was pregnant with my first son, right before I bottomed out and turned it around, I ate mostly burgers and fries, Ben ‘N Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream, 7-11 Nachos, and I drank all the liquid out of pickle jars. But eventually my mom’s good teachings and example kicked in, with a vengeance!

Posted in: Lifestyle, Relationships, Whole Food

7 thoughts on “Nutrition and single parents: part 3 of 3”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The bright light in all of this, Robyn, is that any period of beer and pizza can be turned around and healed. The body is wonderful that way–just give it what it wants and it goes all Oscar Goldman on the Six Million Dollar Man: We can build him better, stronger, faster….

  2. Anonymous says:

    LOVE IT!!!! By teaching them correct principles they can then govern themselves (with truth!!!)

    ps (Hope this helps any readers what I’ve been blessed to learn the last 10 years ) Breathe In through the nose and Out through the mouth, I say this to myself in all types of stressful situations & remind my children to do the same.

    Calm those EMOTIONS, so I can get a grip and move ahead, going BEZERK has never been beneficial for ME when I’ve slipped up, often times SAD EVENTS occurred in reaction to this conflict!!!

    I use to have tremendous amounts of conflict with one of my offspring, UNTIL finally one day I realized what was going on & I say to both of US for the next couple of years that “I will not talk or act like this anymore, I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH”.

    My family has picked up over the years that I will temporarily suspend communication if we are not able to have Pleasant & Effective Communication [yes, still at times I’m the guilty party, darn it ; ) ]. I will try again as quickly as I feel the negative cloud has passed. Most of the time it has & we can carry a healthy conversation and solve situations TOGETHER. I have a great marriage & kids BUT wow can life throw punches, twists & turns that I NEVER expected. Just trying to figure out how to survive & thrive with my FAMILY (though at times I’m wobbling & wonder if it will all miraculously work out, FAITH & HOPE, we must have IT)!!!

    Love You Robyn

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a single parent….but I am a mom….and even with being a mom who is happily married, there is some form of worry and stress over what my kids are eating “elsewhere”. All I can do, is make sure they can the best of what I can give them HERE and hope that it outweighs the “other stuff” they get from different places. When my daughter at dinner says, mom can i take steamed brocolli in my lunch tomorrow??? That makes me feel like I’m doing okay!!!

    It’s hard to realize that as they get older (my oldest is now 11)…that my control over what they eat diminishes, bday parties, friends…etc. I can only hope that the food they eat here will be MORE enticing then whats out there. My girls went to a bday party a few weeks ago, after attending a wedding party that same night, where they had something with sugar in it. When they got home from the bday party I asked them if they had cake and icecream. My one daughter said, no and the other one said, i just had a bite…I said why? They replied with, well, we had already had something with sugar b4 the bday party so we didn’t think you wanted us to have more….(obviously we don’t eat much sugar around here) I gave them big hugs and told them how proud I was!!! I know it won’t always be that way, but I can HOPE right??!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, speaking of fluouride and dentists, I have a question for you regarding mercury/silver fillings in a person’s mouth: For those who have those fillings and won’t/can’t remove them for one reason or another, will the fact that they have mercury fillings cancel out or minimize the benefits of following the 12 Steps? Thanks so much.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the comments, fellow moms! It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the ONLY one that is constantly trying to impart eating less sugar and healthier food on my kids. It often feels like I am really alone on the boat. My kids whine for candies from machines, cupcakes, any sugar cereal from TV, etc. I feel like I am constantly saying: “no, no, no”. Sometimes I wish I had never given them anything sweet, so they wouldn’t want it… but the more realistic/long term thing is probably to just keep feeding them healthier options that they ENJOY. Then they will lose interest in the other junk, I hope! Boy– this whole struggle seems to take a lot of energy though! I do wonder how you do it, Robyn. Is it that you are 100% no exceptions (apart from that once in a blue moon pizza party)???

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear Robyn,

    Sorry I did not have the opportunity to spend some time with you while you were at Creative Health Institute. I wanted to discuss the possibility of you setting up a “Green Smoothie Girl Resource Center” or centers in major cities in the United States. I believe a lot of people are now ready to consider a change in life style. There is more talk about the value of raw food so I believe such centers would be a successful venture.

    Let me know what you think.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Hiawatha, I am grateful for the little time I did get to know you—you are one of a kind, and a total delight! Thank you for contributing to my amazing experience there. Sure, email me, tell me more about your idea! 🙂

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