When considering your co-parenting arrangement, your child’s diet might be one of the few things you neglect to consider. Food just does not seem as important when you are in the throes of hashing out a child custody agreement. Some experts say, however, that food can be an important factor and indicator of wellness in the aftermath of a divorce. Children’s eating habits, and even those of parents, can show emotional health status like few other indicators. Learning to let go and relax about your child’s diet is one sign that you are becoming an effective co-parent.
One woman relates a story about her child wanting sunny-side up eggs, something he had never eaten at her house. When she asked him where he had tried sunny-side up eggs, he quickly told her that his father’s girlfriend made them at that house all the time. The woman said she was more surprised that her son was willing to try a different type of egg than she was about her ex-husband’s girlfriend; she took that as a sign that she was proceeding well as an effective co-parent.
In the early stages of divorce, it would be easy to beat yourself up for not exposing your children to everything they experience at your ex’s house. Perhaps you would feel guilty because you had never provided them with sunny-side up eggs. As the sting of the divorce fades, though, most people admit that they appreciate the diversity that accompanies their child’s trip to their other parent’s home. Without his dad, the boy in the story would not have tried a new food.
You cannot control what your children eat while they are at your ex’s house; you have to trust that they are feeding your kids appropriately. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of co-parenting. Learning to trust your ex with your child’s diet and welfare is a difficult transition, but it is one that improves over time.
Source: Huffington Post, “What food can tell us about how we’re coping with divorce,” Erin Mantz, Feb. 8, 2013.