The term ‘almond mum’ refers to a legendary clip from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, 2013. In it, supermodel Gigi Hadid complains to her mother that she feels weak from eating ‘like, half an almond’.
Her mum Yolanda suggests she ‘have a couple of almonds and chew them really well’. It caused an outcry at the time and has now resurfaced and gone viral on TikTok – with users sending up neurotic mothers for foisting their healthy-eating obsessions on to their children.
The joke encompasses conventional diet culture – with mantras like ‘You probably aren’t hungry, you’re just bored. Or thirsty!’ – and parodies a newer breed of nutrition-fixated mother preoccupied with #nourishing their brood.
In theory this means feeding their kids ‘wellness’ staples like kimchi, nut butter and various unappetising ‘swaps’ (hello, avocado chocolate mousse). In practice, it means policing their offspring’s diets to ensure zero processed food. These are the children who get grapes when they ask for something sweet and are McDonald’s virgins at 11.
I’d love to say I recognise none of this in myself, but having grown up in the superfood-obsessed noughties, and with three sugar-mad children, I know I’ve dabbled.
It caused an outcry at the time and has now resurfaced and gone viral on TikTok – with users sending up neurotic mothers for foisting their healthy-eating obsessions on to their children
Low points include passing off beetroot juice in yogurt as ‘pink pudding’ and pushing lolly sticks into bananas and freezing them in breastmilk storage bags.
In defence of almond mums, do we have a choice? Nutrition advice is rammed down our throats from pregnancy.
We must be ‘treatwise’, but not controlling. Children must understand ‘the importance of a healthy diet’, but they mustn’t view foods as ‘good or bad’.
Perhaps the only sane response, like TikTok, is to laugh –and do our quiz.
FIND OUT WHAT TYPE OF ALMOND MUM YOU ARE
Naturally your kids start the day with porridge. But how?
A) With artisan-oat brand Moma’s sachets. It was cranberry, until they discovered the cacao.
B) With defrosted raspberries and cinnamon. You insist the red mush is ‘jam’, and swear that you have ‘mixed all the sugar in’.
C) Steel-cut oats with a raw egg for protein, turmeric for immunity and kefir for the gut. You Instagram it fast in case it’s regurgitated (though it already looks like sick).
In defence of almond mums, do we have a choice? Nutrition advice is rammed down our throats from pregnancy. Stock image used
Do you use food as a reward?
A) Not in public.
B) Never, it’s always an ongoing issue with the grandparents.
C) Sure, but it’s all good stuff! They do homework for mum’s
gluten-free beetroot brownies.
What treat situation do you supervise?
B) The cinema. You bring your own unsalted popcorn and sprint past the pick ’n’ mix.
C) Squeezy agave syrup. Though, to be honest, you supervise yourself around that stuff.
What are your children’s associations with cauliflower?
A) You once attempted a ‘healthy cauli cheese’ for a playdate, which nobody ate.
B) They think they don’t like it, but you regularly pass it off as rice.
C) They love the leaves baked with olive oil and chilli #sogood.
At a hotel breakfast buffet your child chooses Frosties, a chocolate muffin, salami and a doughnut. What do you do?
A) You’re too hungover to intervene, and tell yourself that ‘life’s all about balance’.
B) Smile, but start mentally planning afternoon crudités. They won’t need lunch, surely?
C) That wouldn’t happen.
Performative almond mum
You do a great line in low-sugar cookies for bake sales and after-school rice cakes. Behind closed doors there are a lot of nuggets and hastily bought ice creams for a quiet life. And the more ‘cheat day’ food you eat, the more you push coconut water and vegan products on your children. This somehow makes you feel better.
Sneaky almond mum You’re obsessed with what your children eat, and gaslight them with DIY versions of processed delights. This started with Annabel Karmel’s ‘hidden vegetable’ pasta sauce and you’re elated when your child ingests a pepper without realising it. You dilute juice, and mourn the era when they thought doughnuts were wholemeal bagels.
Preachy almond mum With Gwyneth Paltrow your idol, you firmly believe that ‘we are what we eat’. This means your children are asparagus spears dipped in butterbean hummus. You also think they’ll self-destruct if they ingest anything sweeter than a fig. What’s more, you aim for #tenveggiesaday and fear E-numbers in Calpol more than any illness.