Thursday, December 30, 2010

So let's talk about food and eating issues

Julia, if you're reading - no email address came through on your comment so I couldn't send you the link. Email me on marcia @ the123blog dot com and I'll sort you out :)

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There are two parts to this post - my views on the eating thing and then how these views seem to offend 90% of the population.

Let's start with my views, shall we?

I have very clear ideas (no kidding!) about what my kids can and can't eat.
  • No sugar
  • No added salt
  • No sweets - will allow the very occasional biscuit (cookie), cake (without icing) or muffin
  • No chocolates
  • No cooldrinks - juices diluted 1:3 and only about 100 ml a day. Water the rest of the time. (K actually flings the juice away - yes, we're working on the manners - because she prefers water like I do)
I know they technically can eat these things from a year onwards (and some people do even before that) but I'm of the opinion that if they don't know what they're missing, why mess with that?!

They're perfectly happy living in their sugar-free lives and I am living proof that sugar is very addictive. Once you start, it's hard to stop.

And God has provided lots of natural sugar in fruits. I still maintain there is nothing quite as good as a Granny Smith apple - seriously. Yummy! Or a juicy orange, mango or pineapple. Yum! And they eat plenty of fruits and raisins as snacks.

I also am not going to be a short-order cook whipping up many different meals so I have a rule for the babies - you can eat what I provide (and there are always choices within that meal - like carbs, protein, vegetables and fruit) or have a dry Provita.

Life is about choices, after all.

Sometimes they choose the Provita and happily eat carrots and some Provita instead of my (lovingly cooked) meal, which is fine with me. Honestly. There are some nights I also only want a slice of toast with a cup of soup, so I get it.

Also, you all know there is an obesity problem the world over due to overeating/ eating incorrect foods and lack of exercise. There is also a rise in childhood obesity and I just don't think that current trends of bad eating will help that problem go away.

I'm not entirely happy about my weight (those last 3 kg have to go next year - watch this space!) but mostly it doesn't define who I am - I know that that's about 5% of who Marcia is. And I don't talk about weight in front of the kids or much in front of D either. I don't think I have issues in this area besides the "who wouldn't love thinner thighs?" thing. LOL

Besides all that, a you just feel better when you eat better. Again, I'm living proof of that. I was on weigh-less in 2006 to lose a few kgs and never felt better. I still eat mostly the same (except for the odd cake now and again) and when we're away and are eating more junk than usual, I feel more sluggish and blah. That's why I tell everyone, go to Thailand for a holiday - the food is fantastic, healthy and you will look and feel great.

So that's all the background.

I'm fully aware that I'm unusual being so vigilant about what my babies eat and that 90% of those reading probably disagree with me. Have at it!

But I'm their mother and I honestly know this is best for them.

So I get really ticked off when...
  • people sneak "fun" food to the kids thinking it's cute
  • go on and on and on about how "deprived" the kids are
  • give me The Look and shake their heads
I do make different choices from a lot of people for my life and I don't tell them, "what you're doing is wrong for your life or kids" so why do they feel the need to tell me how wrong I am to feed my kids only healthy, nutrititious food.

I don't rip that sweet from your child's hand and give them an apple slice instead. Don't sneak chips and sweets to my kids.

Maybe it's that they think I'm depriving the kids of fun?

In the writing of this post, I just realised that I now have good answers ready when people ask me food questions or give me The Look.

"Don't say "shame" - they eat healthy, nutritious food 99% of the time. They are BLESSED!" :)

I realise I'm extreme but I'm very comfortable living on the edge of normal. But where on the spectrum do you fall?

10 comments:

  1. I'm totally 100% in agreement. WHEN I have kids one day, I will do exactly the same. There are studies proving that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Like you say, they don't know what they are missing, so how can it harm them? On the other hand I believe that if there is cake on the table and all adults (including parents) are having, it might be a good idea to give the child a little bit because otherwise they might become obsessed with what they aren't allowed to have.

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  2. Mash, that's why they're allowed a little bit of cake at parties and such. :)

    It's definitely addictive - the more sugar I eat, the more I want LOL

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  3. Totally agree with you! I'm type one diabetic so grew up sugar free, our whole family made the same changes which made it very inclusive. Now that I've got 3 step kids, I like you, get grumpy when people sneak them pillows, and ice-creams, and cookies, and cakes, and... !!! One of my step kids is overweight, and I hate seeing him being basically force fed "treats" from some of his grandparents. And if I say anything, I get my head bitten off! So now I just try and feed everyone in my house on wholesome, healthy, low sugar and recently gluten free food. They eat what they eat when out of the house! We try to educate ourselves and the kids on making good food choices, but they don't always understand the science of how food works. I've been going to dietitians and nutritionists all my life, so I'm comfy reading carb counts etc. Just stick to you guns and let them experience as many fresh healthy foods as possible :) I reckon if kids eat veggies when young, they are more likely to enjoy then later in life. :)

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  4. Lollies! Not pillows! Silly spellcheck :P

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  5. I'm a firm believer that everything in life needs to be in moderation, so that is what we do with our diets as well. I feed my kids a healthy diet but it does incorporate an occasional treat.

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  6. I am with you!!! My husband treats the kids to a sweetie or crisps on a Saturday... that's it, it is his thing and my kids know not to even ask me!!! No juice, why drink it when you can eat it, no desserts except maybe on a wednesday when the m.i.l. comes to dinner and chocolate - always 85%, which means nearly no sugar. For years my mother in law moaned that she couldn't treat the grand kids shame that I only gave them water and shame that they ate rice cakes and shame that they think dried fruit is an extra special treat!!! She doesn't say anything now that her husband and both sons were diagnosed with type ii diabetes... and I just say we are strict about what they eat for their health... she made choices for her kids and we are making choices for ours.

    Here comes my food bug: Parties - there should be no food it isn't about the food it is about doing stuff together and having fun they all come from breakfast or lunch and why should they stuff themselves on junk, I digress... parties: I hate HATE hate going to really "health conscious" who assume that by going gluten free and dairy free they are giving their kids a healthy option and they serve up food that looks like it was mulched in a concrete mixer and then smooshed out with " goodness knows what" on top... And you read the ingredients and there isn't a real live edible thing within it and you have to ask.... if you don't want your kids to eat junk don't assume that being "everything-free" is the healthy option dare I say a piece of watermelon is the way to go. And this isn't for folk who cannot have dairy or gluten obviously... but a lot of folk seem to think it must be healthier and yet they are literally feeding their kids toxins...What is that about? What is wrong with fresh, organic and un-processed... it costs the same as all the sugar junk when you add it up... Sorry I went on a bit - I think you may have hit a nerve!!!

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  7. I am not very strict about food issues. I grew up eating pretty much as I wanted to, and I love fruits and vegetables, etc. I am hoping my girls will have a natural taste for it as well.

    They eat most of what we eat as a family, and they get lots of fruits and veggies on a daily basis. As long as they are getting the good stuff in, I don't mind if they have a few M&Ms in the afternoon or a yogurt smoothie.

    I agree with LauraC about moderation being key.

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  8. I think they are fine. That's why you are their mom. You get to decide what's best for them. Our kids do get some sweets, but that's my decision. We do water down juice and they drink plain water too. Don't worry what other people think.

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  9. I'm toward your end of the spectrum...here are our guidelines (everything is flexible though):

    - organic meat
    - no juice (except they get it at preschool unbenounced to me until Matt told me)
    - snack consist of fishies, fruit, cheese, fruit snacks, or organic gummies
    - mostly organic fruits/veggies
    - not a whole lot of sweets (although they do get things on special occasions)

    People don't really try to sneak them anything b/c I would kill them, so we're pretty safe there. You're right...you're the Mom. You know your kids. You're making the right decisions for them.

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  10. That's my goal, and I do try hard to limit the sugar and grain products in my house. LOL

    But I guess ha^ing dozens of well meaning relati^es bringing my kids treats constantly wore me down somewhere along the way.

    Yes, LaRue lo^es chocolate. :(

    On the other hand, I must be doing something right, because at Thanksgi^ing, I told Joel he could ha^e 3 deserts (sounds excessi^e but there were probably more deserts than food left o^er when we finished! .. and he had to eat e^erything on the plate that got fixed for him.) .... Joel ate his 3 deserts, and wanted more to eat, so I told him he could ha^e anything in the kitchen to eat except the deserts. So while his cousins snuck deserts the rest of the day, he was sneaking celery, fruit, turkey, cheese, brocoli, and other stuff like that. I also saw him with a handful of pretzals and chips, and a bowl full of jello salad. And the adults did notice. Later I told him he could ha^e one more desert after we had our "supper" part of the dinner.

    There were around 40 of us there - all my family. It was great fun.

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