Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Food scripts

One of the comments on a previous post mentioned the scripts in our heads from childhood telling us what we should and shouldn't do.  While clearly not limited to food, I don't think any of us can avoid having this kind of script around what we eat.  After all, food is such an important part of life and there are so many ideas around it regarding what is right and wrong.  We get these messages both from our culture at large and more especially from our family.  Things like: "No snacking between meals", "Eat everything on your plate", "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!"

On Deanne Jade's course we explored these scripts a little with some questions.  I thought I'd adapt and share some of these here.  They could be an interesting prompt either for journalling or for discussing with a group of friends.  Certainly, doing this exercise made me realise the root of some of my habits and fixed ideas around food, and with awareness we can decide if these ideas really suit us or whether we'd like to change them and their associated patterns.

Were you told or forced to eat everything on your plate as a child?

Were you ever made aware of food shortages, eg. the starving children in Africa, how your own family suffered at some point?

Were you ever told that certain foods are good/bad for you?

Were you ever rewarded with food treats?  How and by whom?

Did your parents eat between meals?

What special foods, if any, were you given when you were ill?

Did you ever sneak food as a child? How and where?

Who did most of the cooking in your family?  Did this person enjoy cooking?  Who did this person cook for?  How did this person feed themselves?  What does that tell you about how that person felt about themselves?

Did your family ever/always eat together?  How was the atmosphere?

I'd love to hear your experiences of examining your food scripts!

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