Uni Students

Last week I was at the shopping centre (nothing unusual there), going up and down the aisles of the supermarket grabbing everything I knew we needed, (still nothing newsworthy).  My last stop before heading for home was the greengrocers but once trapped in there, (it’s one way in and one way out), I realised that back at the supermarket I’d forgotten to buy the plain, Greek-style, sugar-free, organic, completely natural yoghurt Miss Arabella puts on my list.

Of course I groaned because I did not want to detour back into those over-crowded aisles.  But, there is a yoghurt section at the greengrocers so I headed over there and stood, staring at the selection not seeing Arabella’s preferred brand.  Then I noticed a woman who was about my age doing the exact same thing.

Chia seeds and the yoghurt that gets Arabella's stamp of approval

Chia seeds and the yoghurt that gets Arabella’s stamp of approval

I picked up a kilo of plain organic yoghurt that Arabella would just have to be happy with then the woman said, ‘Excuse me, is that yoghurt low in sugar?’

I said, ‘It’s plain so yeah, there’s no sugar’.

‘Is it regular or low fat?’

‘It’s the regular.  My teenager has something against low-fat varieties’.

And she smiled sympathetically and said, ‘Mine too.  Mine are on strange diets’.

‘So are mine.’

‘They won’t eat carbs’, she said, ‘And sugar’s the new enemy and I’m supposed to give them protein and they give me long lists of things they want me to buy like chia seeds and unsweetened muesli and non-homogenised milk.’  I’d just met my soul sister.

‘That’s exactly how it is at our house.  It’s something that’s come over them since they started at uni and it’s turned them completely mad.  Are yours shaking up powders and leaving a mess all over the kitchen bench?’

‘Yes’, she said like finally someone understood her world of pain.  ‘They buy these great big tubs…’

‘Yes, they’re blue…’

‘And they leave them on the bench taking up all the space and they have these shaker bottles with a metal springy thing to blend all the powder…’

‘And do they leave those containers all over the bench?’

‘Every time.  Never put anything away.  And there’s all this stuff they’re mixing up and saying this is what you need to do if you want to get in shape and lose weight.  Well look at me.  I haven’t had a fat day in my life and I never carried on with all this nonsense’.

Those shakers and this is about a tenth of the collection.

Those shakers and this is about a tenth of the collection.

‘Exactly.  And the diets are so strict they can’t stick to them and so then they go off on a binge’.

Uni student essentials

Uni student essentials

‘I was in my son’s bedroom and I found empty packets of Kettle chips, sour cream dips, chocolate wrappers and all the things that turn him hysterical if I dare to walk through the door with them’.

‘I was in my Archie’s bedroom and found three empty red wine bottles’.  And then the phone rang and it was Arabella and she was thrilled to hear I was at the shops because she wanted me to buy tamari almonds and spinach leaves and more organic eggs.

‘It doesn’t stop, does it’, said the woman full of sympathy.  ‘I keep hoping it’s just a passing phase.  Good luck to you’.  And she picked up the same yoghurt I was getting for Arabella and off she went.

Tamari almonds.  We make our own by tossing the organic almonds in tamari then placing for a few minutes in a hot oven.

Tamari almonds. We make our own by tossing the organic almonds in tamari then placing for a few minutes in a hot oven.

There’s others out there – just like Archie and Arabella!

If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it!


  1. Times have changed – when I was at uni we used to make tuna pasta and bread & butter pudding and wash it down with Blue Nun!! At least you know you’re not alone. Safety in numbers right?

  2. It must be comforting to know you’re not alone in being held responsible for the health of your children, until they break them, at which point they go overboard again on a new fad

  3. I have one too! She buys $10 bottles of drinks made with hemp(??!!) tasted of throw up to me. She asks for yoghurt, kale and Yerba mate tea….and so on. Never does an ounce of work at home, occasionally takes out the dishes but demands more than she offers. I feel your pain Charlie.
    We’ll get through this. xx


  4. Well my daughter is not at Uni, and she has the same strange diet. She has gone vegan this month, so nothing I prepare for dinner is suitable. She is using Hemp Protein Powder which is ugly green and sprinkled all over everything! Wet green smoothie rings dot the counter tops as she rushes out the door to go to work, at least she has a full-time job 🙂 Thankfully, my son eats whatever I put in front of him!

  5. Thanks for the warning, my time of this has yet to come. Had to Google tamari 😉

  6. Sometimes I think my family must wonder about me almost as much as you’re experiencing with the uni students! I tend to go off on diet tangents. I read something that intrigues and informs and I bounce between vegan and non-vegan, low carb and high protein and then turn on to smoothies high in soy or almond milk. We have so many options and sometimes I wonder if we aren’t all just a little spoiled. I do have yogurt and chia every day, but my yogurt is fat free–which is probably a mistake. LOL! Like I said, too many options and a lot of mixed messages! You’re a generous mom!

  7. Oh, I can’t stop laughing, because my husband just got a big pot of that protein powder. (But he’s in his 40s!) 🙂

  8. Hehe they really are like another species! 😛 But *sigh* I was exactly the same at their age…

  9. I love all your posts with their humour! My kids have probably 10+ years to go before uni, but I can picture these arriving much sooner as generation progresses.. maybe will happen before uni.

  10. be happy they are health conscious–no one at my house it unless I force it on them–came downstairs this morning in find all the cupboards standing open–apparently someone was looking for the good stuff (sweets that I hide)–there are none hidden–I am going to eat healthy if it kills me! (and my family)

  11. Kids today! I remember going to uni and being glad that I could pick up ketchup packets to use as tomato sauce on spaghetti! Americans don’t stay at home to go to uni and it’s very expensive and so are the books. We made do and without protein powder. Maybe I’d have done better with some of that – who knows. 🙂

  12. LOL. My sister’s a grad student and doesn’t have this problem with diet– she insists on getting a new wardrobe every semester!

  13. How things have changed! At uni we routinely planned our meals around which faculties were doing free sausage sizzles on that day. I also lived in catered accommodation for a while, and they couldn’t care less about what diet you were on- you got what you were given 🙂

  14. I couldn’t help but giggle thought this post. My sister is a uni student, survives on a bag of lentils and pasta per week and feeds her dog gourmet meals with fresh kangaroo meat. What the?!!

    • Hate to voice my thoughts but, methinks, your sister has her priorities absolutely right and why can’t we all have a laugh about that 😀 !!!!

  15. I am laughing out loud as I read this.

    I can do that. I have no kids to feed anymore as the youngest, who arrived home a week ago from his summer internship in a town an hour away, just flew out of Minneapolis-St. Paul, bound for Tufts University in Boston. I wish I had a teen to shop for, although none of my three ever had any sort of fad diet they followed.

    Hang in there, Charlie. This too shall pass.

  16. Haha – so love this post!
    I have a teen to, but she doctors up the quinoa I try to feed her, with salsa; she melts chocolate and pours it over oatmeal I make her – says she has to eat as she loves sports {about as much as I love food) 😉

    Yes – Minnesota Praire Roots is correct – “this too shall pass”

  17. The protein powders look familiar. My husband and his family have been in that gym line for a while now. We have stopped selling those whey proteins, the are all useless. What always works and which is a dietary supplement are amino acids. There are 11 essential amino acids (protein building blocks) which the body can’t produce by itself so we have to take it in with food. My husband takes them and it makes him feel more hungry. He is not that much of a eater but since he is always in our restaurant gym, he takes it so to not loose weight.
    I am sorry to hear that your kids food habits are a bit extra but I am sure they love all your wonderful dishes and gorgeous desserts Charlie.

  18. I tend to agree with you Charlie, old fashioned good food has nothing on these powders and mixes, I’ll stick to the natural stuff. You are indeed very generous to buy them their crazy food, my parents would have said “eat what we eat, or buy it yourself!”

  19. hahahaa, this is too funny! Good to know you’re not alone 😉

  20. Haha now I know my mum is not alone – I can’t say that during HSC year, I have definitely been guilty of trying to maintain my weight with random diets 😛


  21. My mum is the one who goes from fad diet to fad diet. I think it put me off ever trying to myself Charlie. Maybe you should develop a few specifics of your own and the Uni students might get the hint? At the moment my mum is just doing juices, in the past it’s been sprouted bread, raw egg shakes, grape fasts, sweet potato only meals, elimination diets, bio dynamic everything, organic everything, vegan, vegetarian, and high protein. Pick one Charlie and see what they think 🙂 I’m glad you know you’re not alone, mums of faddy eaters need a self-help group! Xox

  22. Ahaha oh dear. I bet that at least made you feel better. Barambah is the best! I buy all their dairy products. It’s one of the only organic brands you can get here in Bris.

  23. It is a comforting thought that there are others and I am sure it will be short-lived because they can’t survive on all that processed stuff. Real food is the answer. But a fad is a fad and what can you do to persuade them otherwise? Nothing – because they know best. LOL.

  24. I was never like that in uni but found myself I’m guilty for being like that now! haha whoops!

  25. You do have your trials with your uni students! But they give you loads of great material to write about. Really entertaining post – thanks.

  26. haha ive never believed in the whole protein shaking up thing. i hit the gym and eat whatever i like!

  27. I guess I’m relieved that all I had to deal with this summer was the big vat of protein powder…I hope Nick doesn’t start collecting those special shakers for it (shhh…please don’t tell!). Then there is my Katie who is a junk food junkie…sigh… Glad to hear that other mums have these issues!!!

  28. I totally get it. Our son, who is 23, has been a vegetarian for the last year. I applaud it on the one hand, and groan on the other. That’s two vegetarians vs me in our family. I am clearly losing the race…

  29. You two Mothers — and plenty of others — deserve medals. I believe differing diets are a rite of passage while at university. It’s a not so subtle way of separating the student’s new life from the old — and the diets universally drive the Mothers nuts. Once the student, however, is on her/nis own and having to buy and prepare all of these foods, most but the most dedicated will decide the old diets weren’t really all that bad.

  30. Charlie, I feel your pain. Don’t get too hung up on it as next week your uni kids will be on a different health kick and even more grumpy because of the lack of sleep from studying. Hang in there! BAM

  31. I reckon you should start a support group Charlie – imagine the fun you could all have sharing your various stories.
    Have a super day. Think I shall go and eat a baked potato piled with butter and enjoy something sweet and sugary for dessert.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  32. That conversation must have made your day 🙂 Your story has certainly made me laugh!

  33. Oh dear I have this conversation every day with the young ones at work. They are obsessed about sugar and carbs but dont think twice about eating chocolate and drinking. They are very scarey

  34. Haha I’m sure my mom would say something similar about me! Although…I spend my own money on all my crazy food items. And I never buy any weird powders. 😛

  35. Great post, I had a good laugh. Kids will change and go back to ‘normal’ eating pattern with natural foods.

  36. LOL. My boyfriend from college used to have those protein stuff. I was like… is this healthy?!?! Things in that kind of huge bottle didn’t seem to be “good” for people. 😀 I just remember the conversation from your photo…it’s at least 15 years ago! 😀

  37. Hehehe 🙂
    Now tell me, what on earth is in those shaker things?

  38. Oh it is not easy being you but at least you know there are others just like you walking dazed through the aisles of your markets with a list of items most of us have never heard of. 🙂

  39. Hahahahahahahahaha,..;what you go through each day! Those almonds roasted are easy to do & must be very tasty & flavoursome too!

  40. Oh, sympathies! And yet after having had to modify my diet in later life, I understand the other side too. At least she’s wanting to eat healthily instead of all the stuff that’s full of additives. Nice for you to find another mum in the same boat.

  41. Hahhha Archie and Arabella always crack me up laughing! I’m definitely not thin or anything close but I’ve never been on such strict diets and I still believe the best idea to lose weight or keep fit is to eat moderately and eat EVERYTHING but most importantly exercise.

    You poor thing, having to always buy them the ingredients and food that they want, these health food aren’t cheap!!! 🙁

  42. Mine is not a teenager, but a return-to-the-nester, nearly 30.He has a thing against fats, a thing against sugars, a thing for whole-grains all the time,(I am NOT putting the family recipe spaghetti sauce from my Italian mother on whole wheat pasta!)No plastic in the microwave,(there for a while, no microwave), and no non-stick pans… you get the idea.Funny, he managed to grow up to be OK with all my cooking , huh?

  43. In my book you are a saint for putting up with it all and catering to all those specific needs… my food shopping is complicated enough without tons of special requests! I wonder was the fad will be when my kids hit uni age?

Speak Your Mind