How Childhood Influences Adult Eating Habits

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My wife and I had entirely different diets in our childhood.

She grew up in our hometown in rural India eating natural foods and didn’t have access to modern foods like pizzas, burgers, etc.

On the other hand, my family moved to the city as soon as I was born so I would have more opportunities in life.

An unintentional side-effect of this was that I grew up eating pizzas, McDonald’s, samosas, roadside street food, and other varieties of junk.

Today as an adult, when I crave a “food”, I crave fries, chocolate, pizza, street foods, and other unhealthy nonsense.

When my wife craves food, she craves for things like tomatoes, spring onions, apples, lemon water, oranges, and other natural foods. The only unhealthy thing she ate as a kid was Maggi and she does crave it from time to time.

What you teach your brain to “enjoy” during childhood sticks around later in life.

I never had a single momo as a kid and to this day I never crave momos – even though I find them delicious. My friends who ate a lot of momos as kids crave them all the time.

For my western audience: Momos are a type of Tibetan/Nepali dumpling.

You can lose all the fat but you can’t completely change how your brain is wired. Even though I am in perfect health, I still crave junk food when I’m on a cut.

I’m one of those people who has to track what he eats because if I don’t, I inevitably start overeating and getting chunky. If I’m not careful, I start eating 4000 calories a day.

There’s nothing I can do about it – my body just likes food. I count calories and resist my cravings because I’m not a bitch.

That said, my life would have been much easier if I had grown up eating natural foods. Craving salted carrots is far better than craving a deep dish pizza.

What you eat during your childhood shapes what your brain pushes you to eat later in life.

This Article is For Your Children

You can’t really change what you ate during your childhood. But you can make life easy for your children if you know what you feed them will impact them for decades to come.

If you feed your child healthy natural foods, they will want to eat that as adults.

Big food corps really want to get you as a child because if they can get you addicted to KitKats and McDonalds at age 5, they have a customer for life.

Teach your children to enjoy healthy foods like all kids did before factory manufactured foods were a thing.

Instead of them feeding them chocolate and sugary foods as “treats”, give them strawberries, pineapples, and mulberries as sweets.

Instead of feeding them burgers, pizzas, and samosas as snacks, cook them something healthy like grilled and spiced paneer (cottage cheese) or sweet and sour fried eggs (cook in ghee).

When they grow older, instead of craving junk foods, they’ll want to eat healthy food. You are setting them up for a lifetime of better health and better dietary adherence.

Of course it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and people can ruin their health and habits despite not having the junk food brain wiring, but it does make life a lot easier for your children if they are less attached to garbage foods.

– Harsh Strongman

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