or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Soda!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Soda!

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Looking for some input from like-minded mothers...

My children have never had soda, as we do not keep it in the house and never order it on the very rare occasion when we eat out. I think it's liquid candy and the pinnacle of "junk" food - just terrible.

However, I hesitantly took my 6-year-old to a birthday party for a neighbor child who has mainstream parents (public school, supermarket food, television, well-child visits, etc.) and there were sodas in a cooler. Some of the adults were partaking, and some were pouring a bit of soda into cups for their kids.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do not judge other parents and what they feel is right for their families. However, I am very adamant that my children do not consume addictive and unhealthy substances that contribute to tooth decay, obesity and offer no redeeming nutritional value. I have not consumed soda in over 15 years, so I definitely model this to my kids.

Of course, at the party, my daughter asked for some "soda in the can" and I said absolutely not. She was upset with me and started to beg in front of the other parents and children. One of the moms said she could cut a bit of soda with water, which really undermined my position, and I held my ground.

Now I am wondering if I did the right thing. It was a rough afternoon for us because the cake wasn't vegan and so we couldn't have any, and my daughter left the party feeling left out and sulky.

Now I am really questioning myself - should I not have let her go? I am reluctant to quiz parents as to what they will be serving at their kids' parties - because it's really their business and I understand that completely - but I cannot keep being put in these situations where my values are undermined by the mainstreamers and my daughter isn't old enough to appreciate that I have her best interest at heart.

How do you other natural living mamas deal with the times when your children feel "left out" of the things mainstreamed kids are "getting" to do?

Thanks for reading and for your input...
post #2 of 59
Maybe next time talk to her about it before hand - you could bring a special drink/snack that she could have instead so she wont feel left out. (my ds gets a special kind of all-fruit organic juice, that he only gets once in a while like at parties)

I think giving an advance warning, explaining that there will be junk food there but we dont drink/eat it because ___. Might make it easier on her knowing what to expect. Also focus on the stuff she CAN do at the party - play games, be with friends etc.
post #3 of 59
IMHO, I think it is wrong to take a child to a party and then not allow them to partake in the party (ie, the cake and drinks). It is like teasing them, IMO.

You may not allow it in your house or let your children generally have it, but why bother going to a party where the child will feel very left out and isolated because every other child gets to have cake, icecream, and soda?

It is just MO, but if you were not going to let your child enjoy the party, why take DD in the first place? I am guessing that you knew or at least considered that the cake would be not be vegan and that the other food/drink items there would not be something you would allow. So, I am wondering why you went?

I don't mean to sound harsh. I am just thinking about it from the eyes of a six year old that was taken to a birthday party yet not allowed to have any of the party stuff. Sounds very mean to me. And no matter what your convictions are, your child does not understand them at 6.
post #4 of 59
I hear your plight, I'm very strict on sugar intake. My son is young enough, that I can bring something special for him, sparkling water, juice spritzer... and he's happy with that.
My parents didn't allow me to have sugar as a kid. I grew up feeling "left out" and did a lot of sneaking in sweets when away from my parents. As much as I could get
After having that experience, I let my son have a little of what is being offered. Literally a few bites worth of cake, watered down soda... and just on special occasions. For our own family's special days, I've made it know that we'd appreciate alternatives to the usual.
So the need for me to stretch my values is rare, so far.
I don't blame you one bit for putting your foot down, I only ask what is your daughter going to do when your not there?
Because sweets weren't a part of my daily life though, I soon grew out of them. I don't like soda anymore, and don't keep sweets in the house.
post #5 of 59
In the future I think it would be a good idea for you to bring along safe foods for your child. My 2yo dd has a gluten-intolerance and that is what we do.
post #6 of 59
Well, take this with a grain of salt, since by your definition I am a "mainstream" parent (my kids go to public school, they have had well-child visits, we buy some of our food from a supermarket especially in the winter, and we have televisions in our house) but...

I don't see anything wrong with your stance on the soda issue. I bet your kiddo was probably more enraptured with the "in a can" bit than anything else.

I DO think, however, that despite your protestation that you're not "judging" that honestly...you kinda are. Especially if someone having soda at their house would make you consider not allowing your child to go. Then again, I tell my kids 'no' a lot in regards to things that other people can have and that I do not believe is good for them, so it doesn't bother me when they are pissed at me because of it. I don't really worry what other people think, most of the time they're not really thinking about you after 5 seconds anyway. The woman offering to cut it probably was NOT trying to "undermine" you but rather was trying to come up with a nice compromised, which you politely declined (I assume). Very nice, all around, and nobody but you is likely thinking about it later.

The thing with accepting other people's hospitality is that sometimes they're going to offer you things that you wouldn't have chosen. It's within your guest-right (IMO) to politely refuse. If your child isn't quite ready to follow home rules when you're not there, then if you accept invitations you'll have to be there too (which, you were, so this is not a big change).

I don't see the host in the wrong. I don't see that you are in the wrong either (I might quibble with how you've boxed people up though, and with the idea that you're not negatively "judging" people when you pretty obviously are!)

It sounds like you were kind of embarrassed by your daughter's behavior "begging in front of other people" but you're only focusing on the environment. I get that, I hate it when my kids do that too--it IS kind of embarassing when you unexpectedly are made the center of attention (I really hate whining and begging too, it's my fasted button the kids can push). But they also know that if I say no once, and that it is not up for discussion, then further begging means that we leave (many things ARE up for discussion, but in the situation above, that would have been a non-negotiable for me as well.)
post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
IMHO, I think it is wrong to take a child to a party and then not allow them to partake in the party (ie, the cake and drinks). It is like teasing them, IMO.

You may not allow it in your house or let your children generally have it, but why bother going to a party where the child will feel very left out and isolated because every other child gets to have cake, icecream, and soda?

It is just MO, but if you were not going to let your child enjoy the party, why take DD in the first place? I am guessing that you knew or at least considered that the cake would be not be vegan and that the other food/drink items there would not be something you would allow. So, I am wondering why you went?

I don't mean to sound harsh. I am just thinking about it from the eyes of a six year old that was taken to a birthday party yet not allowed to have any of the party stuff. Sounds very mean to me. And no matter what your convictions are, your child does not understand them at 6.
This. Maybe I'm more mainstream than most, but I think the important part is what happens on the regular daily / weekly basis at home. For a party outside the home, I suggest either: 1) let them eat one bite and one sip, then provide your own snacks for the main "meal", or 2) don't go. Your mileage will vary.
post #8 of 59
I would bring safe cake if you're a strict vegan because it really sucks if your child can't have cake while everyone else is eating cake. My son is allergic to many things so I always just bring his own food.

On the soda thing, if there's not a food allergy, I'd let them have it occasionally. I just don't think having it very rarely is going to be a health concern. Just my opinion.
post #9 of 59
Quote isn't working on my phone, but I wanted to say I really like Tigerchild's post (and btw, it's good to know I'm a bit mainsteam after all ) what she said makes a lot of sense - even though I am a parent who allows soda on occasion and has served store bought cake - I respect that the OP wants only the best for her child.

But, I kinda agree with kidzaplenty, too. Chances are that if you go to a birthday party there will be plenty of things that don't fit in with a vegan and sugar-free lifestyle. Your child doesn't have any say, it seems, so it is a bit cruel to taunt her like that with treats at a fun celebration she won't be allowed to have.
post #10 of 59
I also agree with Kidzaplenty. I do not think it is a good idea to take a 6-year-old to a party where she can't eat the same cake and drink the same drinks as the other kids. But I'm an "everything in moderation" kind of parent and honestly can't imagine forbidding my children to have normal, everyday birthday cake throughout their entire childhood.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
I also agree with Kidzaplenty. I do not think it is a good idea to take a 6-year-old to a party where she can't eat the same cake and drink the same drinks as the other kids. But I'm an "everything in moderation" kind of parent and honestly can't imagine forbidding my children to have normal, everyday birthday cake throughout their entire childhood.
Yea, that.
I am also of the opinion that the bigger deal you make of some things, the bigger deal they will be to your child.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
IMHO, I think it is wrong to take a child to a party and then not allow them to partake in the party (ie, the cake and drinks). It is like teasing them, IMO.

You may not allow it in your house or let your children generally have it, but why bother going to a party where the child will feel very left out and isolated because every other child gets to have cake, icecream, and soda?

It is just MO, but if you were not going to let your child enjoy the party, why take DD in the first place? I am guessing that you knew or at least considered that the cake would be not be vegan and that the other food/drink items there would not be something you would allow. So, I am wondering why you went?

I don't mean to sound harsh. I am just thinking about it from the eyes of a six year old that was taken to a birthday party yet not allowed to have any of the party stuff. Sounds very mean to me. And no matter what your convictions are, your child does not understand them at 6.
Pretty much all that. I just don't see a soda a few times a year will be harmful. I don't see it any worse than other junk foods. Obviously you don't provide it at home so I'd think that would take care of keeping the times she does have it few and far between.
post #13 of 59
I'll jump on the kidzaplenty train. I understand wanting your child to eat well, but at some point the dietary issues are going to cause hurt feelings. So long as it's occasional (like just at birthday parties), IMO feelings are more important than diet. I understand not budging on the vegan issue, so maybe a little soda would have spared her feelings. I would have said, "Sorry about the cake" and been lax on the soda issue, personally. Well, I'm not vegan so I would have said OK to the cake too - though my dd doesn't like cake - but like I said I get that a vegan can't sometimes have non-vegan stuff.
post #14 of 59
Yeah, I agree with the other moms.

Might I also gently suggest that sugar does have some redeeming value? Not particular nutritional value, but the ability to make things taste exceptionally wonderful, and to make us feel a little bit of joy. Maybe I'm not actually a like-minded mom, though. I do try to talk to my kids about how our strong bodies can handle a little bit of sugar, and how it makes things taste really good, and it's good to have for a treat or special occasion like a birthday party. I will not have them under my roof forever, and I would hate to send a child who had never had any refined sugar to the dorms.
post #15 of 59
If it was the in a can part your DD was focused on could you find something else in a can she could drink? I think they make seltzer water in a can and I know you can get oj and apple juice in a can. I know juice isn't that great, but it's better than pop and then she could still be having something in a can like everyone else.
post #16 of 59
I'm probably more mainstream than I like to think but I also don't give my children soda at home. But then again, I believe in teaching my children moderation in all things, so I see the occasional soda or sugar treat at a celebration as a good treat and not at all detrimental to their overall health and well being. It's a good thing, imho, to teach them that someone can have just one or just a taste and be satisfied with it.

When soda or treats are offered or preferred for an event, I usually try to choose carrot cake or seltzer water with a splash if it is available, it seems like a good compromise and elevates anyone feeling left out.

But, that is all just what works for our family.
post #17 of 59

Us too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
IMHO, I think it is wrong to take a child to a party and then not allow them to partake in the party (ie, the cake and drinks). It is like teasing them, IMO.
This is my feeling as well. Our kids get junk at parties, events, and in restaurants if other people are having it, and if they ask for it. For several reasons :

- It's rude and unfair to ask anybody to watch others eat and drink while they look on wishing they had some too. We hope to teach our children healthy eating. but good manners and sensitivity as well.

- Ultimately, it's more useful for kids to learn moderation and how to consume sensibly than to have their diet micromanaged. Our kids know what is junk, and that it doesn't help their bodies grow. Feeling denied and like you have no control over what you eat can lead to some pretty serious food issues.

I think it's very reasonable for you to bring some alternatives for your DD, ones that she would find acceptable. But honestly, you may find that she doesn't even like pop once she tries it. Our kids don't really care for carbonated beverages. and generally consider chocolate milk and orange juice even of a treat at celebrations.
post #18 of 59
If you're invited to a party by people who you strongly suspect don't share your food values, then it's up to you, as a parent to bring something that your children WILL be able to partake in when the other kids have cake and treats. I know a fair number of people with children with severe food allergies, or who are gluten/casein free. We know one family who keeps kosher. They always bring food that they know is 'safe' for their kids.

I would buy some natural juice boxes and bring those to the next party. (FWIW, I hate juice boxes because of the packaging. But you can buy 6 and have them last 6 months if they're a treat.) Bring a piece of vegan cake. Your child is young enough now to have a really hard time resisting things, even if she understands it intellectually. You can short circuit that by bringing your own special things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
mainstream parents (public school, supermarket food, television, well-child visits, etc.).
Two thoughts on this: First, you ARE judging. That's OK, we ALL judge. I think it's better to acknowledge that you're judging rather than to say that it doesn't matter to you when it clearly does. Be up-front about your values. (FWIW, by your definition, I'm mainstream. My neighbors would beg to differ (I nursed well beyond 2, I have a small organic garden in the front, we pull our weeds by hand and refuse to put chemicals on the lawn, we limit (but don't forbid) screen time), but I will readily acknowledge being more mainstream than you are.)

But this leads me to my second point: I think it's important to separate your food values from some of these other things. You can, believe it or not, cook whole foods from scratch while shopping at a supermarket. For reasons that aren't germane to this post, I'm a firm believer in public schools. But, you have some very definite and clear values around food. That's great. But you also need to be prepared when you bring your children to events where you know (or at least suspect) there is going to be food that you can't tolerate.
post #19 of 59
I agree with all those who suggest you bring your safe foods with you on these occasions. You don't have to compromise your food beliefs, but for your dd's emotional well-being, you should be prepared to help her out. A 6 y.o. is just not going to understand why she can't enjoy the same food and drink as everyone around. She won't have the capacity to be graceful about denying herself these pleasures - and that's what they will seem like to her - not dangers.

If you quietly decline what's offered, having already pulled out some special treats of your own, she's less likely to make a fuss. And who knows, maybe if others try some of your special foods, they may find something they like too. Win-win all around.
post #20 of 59
I'm going to disagree with a lot here

--Please don't bring your own food, unless you talk to the host first. It's not a food allergy, it's because you judge the choice of food not good enough for you dd. To me that is ruder than telling your dd absolutely not in front of the other moms. Either explain to your dd that she isn't going to be able to eat at the party, or realize it's a treat and moderation isn't a bad thing and let dd enjoy a little of a special treat.
--The thread is judgemental. I'm sure the moms all felt like you thought they were making the wrong choice for their children and I'm sure some moms felt you were making the wrong choice. Not right or wrong, just the way society is. You can politely decline food at a party. DD does it all the time and has since she was little. She'll request water and eat only the food that she likes (which isn't alot).
--Mainstream people aren't evil. They are different than you. Some of my closest friends parent completely different from me and it's great. I learn from them, they learn from me and our kids learn from each other. So don't close yourself and your dd from pareties that are held differently than yours. Be respectful to their choices and they'll be respectful to yours.

I don't think there is anything wrong with not letting your dd have soda, but I think the situation could have been a great party and time for your dd if you'd discuss what she can/can't eat before the party, polietely decline to the host if you don't eat, and keep an open mind to those who parent differently than you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Soda!