I had a pretty colorful mix of the wonderful and the terrible food-wise growing up. My parents divorced when I was 6 and they had very different opinions on food and nutrition, so it was an interesting bucket of conflict to try and navigate as a child:
THE TERRIBLE (DAD) -With a new wife and four teenage boys in the house, buying food was all about VOLUME. We were all very active in competitive sports and I remember the days when being on a carb rollercoaster and seemingly unable to burn fat for energy, I literally could not get enough food. I felt like I was starving or something. One of my older brothers would come home and make himself a slurry using 3 boxing of KD with that horrible fake orange cheese, a stick of margarine, half a liter of skim milk and half a can of cheese whiz.
-My stepmom worked at DAWN FOODS, and she would get buckets of horrible synthetic test tube food to try, and in the name of thrift my dad would insist that we eat it. I literally mean that there were tubs of neon colored goo in the fridge, in "flavors" like "purple" and "green". This is food I am convinced contained no actual food product. The good thing coming out of this is that since them I have been unable to stand artificially flavored anything.
-My stepmom probably had a few eating issues of her own and was rail skinny. She would make giant pans of brownies, cakes and pies and not eat a single bite. She went running every day and if she missed her run she wouldn't eat anything at all.
-My dad developed weight issues during these years (surprise!) and despite my insistence that I was trying to eat healthy because I was an athlete, he would make extremely rich dinners and desserts that he would watch us eat and not eat himself. It was really weird. I later on developed some messed up food patterns of my own, but it seems like that's par for the course for most teenage girls these days.
THE GOOD (DAD) -For weekday dinners neither parent was home in time to cook anything, so my household chores included cooking for the family from age 8 up. This gave me a lot more control over at least some of the menu (though it would be a long time before I understood what to even do with it, once I had it) and I always had to make sure there was a meat, a starch and a vegetable on the table. Corn and potatoes did not count as vegetables so at least I was doing something right. I also learned how to cook and love cooking to this day, which a lot of people my age are just learning(or failing to) now.
-Because there were so many ravenous kids in the house, we rarely got 'junk' food (different in my mind then just poor quality crap food, junk food is designed to be unhealthy, and it's usually semi-expensive). Shopping day was on monday, and by tuesday morning the frosted flakes were gone because someone had sat down and eaten the whole box the night before.
-Going out to dinner was extremely rare and usually involved “all you can eat meat” somewhere, because these were the kind of kids that would probably eat 3 or 4 hamburgers at a fast food restaurant.
THE TERRIBLE (Mom)
-My mom believed all the press about fat and cholesterol and salt, ect. She really tried hard to make sure that we ate properly, but this involved things like buying the 'whole wheat' croissants instead of regular (to be fair, I begged for them) and screaming at me for putting butter on my eggs. (I ate buttered eggs for breakfast this morning, enjoying them with the kind of vengeful relish that characterizes teen angst.)
-Mom believed the press about eating many small meals throughout the day, which pretty much led to me constantly snacking and never eating proper meals. Being used to chewing on something all the time has set me up with weird issues where I have a super hard time skipping meals, when I get hungry I get HUNGRY NOW DAMMNIT. I am still trying to fix this today.
-Low fat version of everything. Skim milk, fat free cream cheese, fat free cookies, the works. All fat free really means is extra sugar, of course...
THE GOOD (Mom) -No margarine, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners allowed. Fast food does not count as food (still to this day I have never eaten at McDonald's or anything, it doesn't even seem like food to me) Ever. In soviet Russia, food nourishes YOU.
THE TERRIBLE (ME)
-I used to love nerds (basically colored sugar pebbles) and a drink called all-sport which was basically extra sugary gatorade??? that I was convinced was good for me.
-I have a weakness for the plastic gas station nickle candy that persists TO THIS DAY. Why???? Especially the pink/red marshmallow 'strawberries' when they're just stale enough to be crispy on the outside. It's sick.
-My sister and I were obsessed with cookie dough anything. This culminated in one fateful day when we bought a cylinder of raw pillsbury cookie dough from the refrigerator section on the grocery store and ate it on the way home from school. Five blocks later we threw up on the church lawn.
-When I was in charge as a babysitter at 12 or 13 my sister and I would go get KFC wraps. I hate mayonnaise and always have but I liked whatever the white saucy goop was in the wraps, so I am pretty sure it is some other-substance and not actually mayonnaise.
-I used to mix up graham cracker crust, a spoonful of butter and honey and melt it in the microwave. I still do this with peanut butter and honey.
Maybe a little lengthier than you ever cared to read, but I had fun with this one. Good question.