I'm at my wits' end with my stepdaughter these days. In trying to help her eat healthy, I think I have laid the groundwork for an aversion to anything with a fat content.
Six months ago, she was taking ham and cheese sandwiches to school for lunch. At the time, she worried that the cool kids would think she's a dork for bringing a brown paper sack lunch. She bawled over the fact that she didn't have any American Eagle clothes and that she looked "hideous."
But something has happened. She's developed an aversion to food over 100 calories. She's loaning her $50 American Eagle Christmas present sweatshirts to girls who don't know what return to sender means. She nears tears when I tell her to eat peanut butter crackers before her track meet..."But they have a gram of trans fat in them STEPMOM!"
"Yes, they do, but so do a lot of things and you've not died eating those have you?"
Her responses cite Women's Health magazine articles and or books her mom has with impressive PhD's in them. I've told her numerous times that she will not become fat or obese if she eats these foods in moderation, and like every pre-teen, she's got an answer for everything.
I fear that she's going to become anorexic. A family friend viewed food a similar way. She wound up leaving high school for a year so she could rehabilitate herself from the anorexia she plunged herself into...all because she didn't want to be fat. Three years after she came back from rehabilitation, she still battles the demons.
Am I ruining my stepdaughter's life because I encourage her to eat foods that have a trans fat in them? Should I sit by and not say anything when her mom hands her a chicken nugget and she refuses to eat it because it's fried?
Is her attitude healthier than mine and am I just jealous?
This is the part of (step)parenting that I fear the most. If she were my biological child, I would have pushed for her to start seeing a counselor and to work with her to figure out why she's so scared of food. But she's not my biological daughter. It's not my decision. It's my job to back up her parents.
I'd give anything for someone who has experience in this to shoot me an e-mail and tell me how I could handle this...