Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Our thirteen year old grandaughter is staying with us and is supposed to be on a heart healthy diet. She has a heart murmer due to a defective pulmonic valve and last year she gained a lot of weight. I provide healthy meals such as my husband and I always eat but would find she was eating very little of her meals and then "pigging out" on any unhealthy snack she could find. I decided to do a search, first on Spark then on the web to see if I could get any ideas.
As I guessed the most recommended diet for an adult with her problems would be the Mediterranean diet; this is very similar to the Seventh Day Adventist diet which as a member of course I'm very familiar with. Megan was adopted into my daughters family when she was two so she is also familiar with this diet. I looked up some suggested recipes and there is no way I would be able to get her to eat this stuff. It is just too unusual and exotic. They just don't seem to realize that just plain food can be fixed on that kind of a diet. Our church has made these recommendations for years. A diet based on grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits, avoiding animal fats and meat. We eat a modified diet of this kind.
I could find no recommendations that would fit with what a teenager would like to eat. Then I went back to my own training and experience in vegetarian cooking. You can make healthy pizza, healthy lasagna, healthy mexican food like tacos, stir fry etc ; all foods kids like to eat. I talked to her a little bit about how concerned I am with the choices she has been making and how it will not only cause her to gain weight but put an extra strain on her heart - we love her and want her to live a long and healthy life and I emphasized that to her. I don't know if it helped but the other thing I can do is to make the unhealthy snacks like chips and ice cream not available. As Sparkers we all know about that and my husband loves her enough to suffer along with her.
I was just wondering if anyone else had some ideas. I feel bad for her but she has lost the extra weight she gained and I would hate to see it come back. Teenagers need lots of calories and I certainly don't want her to think I am putting her on a diet as such; just a healthy lifestyle.