Social media has brought many things to the surface in recent days. One of those things that is going around all over social media, especially TikTok, is “almond parenting.” But this is something that is not recommended for use at home.  

This is something that has gone viral; all thanks go to Yolanda Hadid. One of the clips from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, where she was seen talking to her then-teen daughter, Gigi Hadid, who is now a super-model, has gone viral. 

In the video, Gigi Hadid tells her mother, “I’m feeling really weak. I had, like, half an almond.” to this, Yolanda Hadid replies, “Have a couple of almonds, and chew them really well.” This is where the term “almond mother” originated, and now it is going viral all over social media. 

But in an interview, she told the media people that when the video was shot, she had just come out of the surgery, and it was out of context. But what is “almond mom?” 

What is actually an “almond mom?” 

An almond mom is a mother who gives out unhealthy eating habits and advice to their kids. This actually means that they force their kids to follow a very strict diet so that they maintain a very low weight and do not put on some extra. 

Why is being an “almond mom” problematic? 

Karla Lester, MD, and a pediatrician, posted on TikTok and shared a video where she said that she had wired with “almond moms” and thinks that this is a concerning thread. Dr.  

Lester says, “It’s really harmful. This phenomenon of ‘almond moms’ is a spectrum; it’s been going on for a long time, rooted in diet culture, internalized bias, fat phobia, projection of fear, pursuit of thin privilege, and not health.” 

She also explains that this could be because of a mother’s own eating disorder, or they believe that it would be better if their child stays thin. The role of a parent is extremely important in a child’s life and also shapes their concept of body image. 

If you introduce a kid to the diet culture, it can form a negative relationship with their bodies and food. And according to research, body shame can lead to poor mental health and well-being. This can cause depression as well as eating disorders. This can also lower their self-esteem. 

You have to keep in mind that it is not just verbal comments that play an important role. The way a parent puts eating disorders in front of them also impacts their children. Charlene Johnson, another mother on TikTok, mentioned that she is relieved after hearing Yolanda speak.  

She further added that she has never made any comment on her child’s weight, but then she also self-reflected that she might have been a different kind of “almond mom.” 

Two types of “almond moms?” 

In the video, Charlene Johnson mentioned that there can be two different kinds of almond moms. One is who focuses on the health and food habits of their child, and the other kind is who unconsciously or consciously promotes diet culture along with their own habits. 

She says that she brought up her child during the diet culture and knows how other people saw it. She says, “As much as I tried to let my kids eat whatever they wanted, never talked about their bodies, never talked about my own body in front of them, they still were watching what I was doing.” 

A fitness instructor told Johnson that she would be more marketable if she lost some weight. But she tried something else. She said, “What I was doing was exercising for hours and hours and hours per day. I never ate what they ate.” 

She says that as she walked out of the industry, she reminded parents that it is okay if they make mistakes. She further added, “No parent is ever going to get it perfect. We have to give ourselves grace, and when we know better we can do better.” 

Orthorexia is a form of eating disorder where a person believes that they are having a healthy diet, but in reality, they are depriving themselves of calories or any particular kind of food to such a level that it is becoming unhealthy. But this is actually an eating disorder. 

Mothers or parents who have eating disorders themselves can transmit this form of eating in their children by modeling their preferences, feelings, and needs about their own bodies and food habits and telling their parents to do the same as well. 

According to Dr. Erikka Dzirasa, MD, MPH mentions, “Perpetuating restrictive eating is really dangerous. An almond a day or per meal is not enough to sustain life, and it is actually quite dangerous. Inadequate nutrition and restrictive behaviors can lead to electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, hair loss, gastrointestinal disturbances, infertility, and, worst case, sudden cardiac death.” 

Sign that you are an “almond mom” 

Here are some of the signs listed that you are dealing with an almond mom. Dr. Gail Saltz, a clinical associate professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, told Parada, with examples, that you can identify an almond mom if they say some of these things: 

  • “We can’t have sugar in the house.” 
  • “We can’t have this food in the house because it makes me fat. It makes your father fat. It will make you fat.” 
  • If a child expresses that they are hungry, and the mother replies with “Really?” or “You are just bored, try doing something,” or says, “Have some water.” 
  • When a mother discusses food in terms of calorie intake. 
  • When a mother discusses their dissatisfaction with their own body openly. 

How can you instill healthy eating habits in kids? 

According to experts, healthy eating habits start at home from childhood. This is not only limited to the nutrition level. It implies a lot more. To promote healthy eating habits, experts recommend caregivers and parents the following: 

Stay away from food shaming 

Labeling certain foods like cookies as “bad” and vegetables as “good” might make kids feel like their eating habits are a parameter for judging whether they are good or bad. Do not say, “Eat your vegetables.” Instead, say, “Fruits and vegetables are going to build your immune system.” 

Tell them that sugar provides energy, but cookies and chocolates are not on tonight’s menu. They can have them tomorrow or the day after. Ask them their preference and get them their favorite kind when you see fit. 

De-emphasize the scale 

Body mass tools are mostly problematic, as they are a bad proxy for overall health and health behaviors. And never take racial factors into consideration. And mostly focusing on the number of the scale is a possible cause for triggering eating disorders

Do not focus on weight. instead keep your kid focused on they can be healthy if they do proper exercises and have vegetables and fish, which can give them energy and help in releasing endorphins. It is good for improving their mood and also lowers stress. 

Involve our kids in preparing meals 

When you involve your kids in baking and cooking, they become less picky, and their love for food increases. They become more adventurous eaters. They get to know about the ingredients and are also encouraged to try new food, which includes veggies and fruits. 

Teach them with examples 

According to experts, trying role modeling moderation, like eating proteins and giving them treats every now and then, can build a truly healthy and sustainable eating habit for your child. 

Bottom Line 

Encouraging kids to develop healthy eating habits is not always easy. If you are concerned that your child’s eating habits are getting unhealthy and they are not getting all the nutrition they need, then it is best to consult a mental or medical health provider, but don’t just become an “almond mom” just yet. 


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subhasree nag
Subhasree is a content writer who is passionate about traveling, writing, and reading books. In her leisure time, she is seen listening to music and watching web series. Writing along with music and dance are ways in which she expresses herself.

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