Hear Them Out
Janice Wan, a psychotherapist from Alliance Professional Counselling, suggests actually listening to your parents when they try to defend their eating habits. Do they feel that it’s a personal choice? Do they think that there’s nothing wrong with their diet? “After hearing them out, politely and calmly tell them why you’re worried. Explain that you want them to be healthy and live a long life, and that their food choices may not be the most sensible,” says Janice.
Instead, share your concerns – especially if your folks are overweight or have a medical condition that could be improved by adopting better eating habits. You could even inject a little lightness or humour into the situation – say something like: “Char kway teow three days in a row? Dad, I thought you had heart trouble!”
Don’t Deprive Them
Total deprivation is not the solution. If your folks like snacking on chocolate but are diabetic, buy them a sugar-free variety. Or suggest healthier ways to cook their favourite hawker or fast food dishes.
Text: Sasha Gonzales, Simply Her, April 2014 / Additional Reporting: Sylvia Ong