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Is it a battle to feed your child healthy food in a junk food culture? (bit of a rant, sorry) - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Originally Posted by llwr View Post


But maybe you can start to teach her how to make good choices herself, because in time, she will be the one chosing what she eats.  After she eats junk and has a tantrum, you can point out how you notice it seems to be hard for her to ______ after she eats __________.    Or see how you cough after you eat _________.   I don't really know school climate right now, and I'm sure it differs from place to place anyway, but even if you pack a lunch, I expect it will be hard to keep her away from all outside influences.   At 3, you do still have a lot of control, but it won't last forever.  You also don't want to set her up to have her eating be a control issue.

I haven't had any problems.


I think that it is mostly because I tell whoever is involved that my dd is not to eat or drink anything that doesn't come from home, and I say it with a happy positive attitude that communicates that I am certain that they will comply.  And they do.  Unless they ask why, and they usually don't, I don't volunteer the reason why because they're usually not interested.  I just say that we have this weird practice of not eating anything that does not come from home.  Everyone I've ever encountered has been very good about complying.


When my dd was three years old, I taught her that it was her job not to eat or drink anything that didn't come from her lunchbox, even if the daycare teacher said it was okay.  I told my dd that the only person who could okay the food was mama.  And my dd did a great job with that.  When my dd was four, I started teaching her how to read the ingredients on the label, so that I could teach her how many different types of hidden dairy were in processed foods.  At five years of age, I taught her how to look for artificial flavors and artificial coloring in the ingredients list on the label.


Every child is different, but I think some three year olds can learn to say no to food from other people.  I see it as the first step in teaching a child to manage his/her own allergies.



post #22 of 35

This sounds like my life!  I am constantly being pressured by others to give my child junk.  I too have dont A LOT of research into food and the current, typical American way of life and how harmful it is.  But, no one seems to care if I try to give an explaination, so I just say NO, she cant have that.  Usually people listen when I am right there, but when I turn my back, they try to sneek it to DD, and I get furious.  Why is giving a growing child disease causing, chemical ridden food considered loving?  I have yet to figure this one out.  I guess because people these days are so ignorant and believe that if its on the stores shelf, it must be a safe and healthy food choice.


Originally Posted by Rosebud1 View Post



I have been doing so much research into healthy eating.  My child has some chronic issues that doctors have not been able to address (asthma,etc).


Basically we want our child to eat whole, healthy food without preservatives, colors, dyes or too much sugar.  And we aren't huge on juice.


You would think this was the most radical, unheard of thing ever.


Adults in our lives are undermining us.  My MIL gives our child dairy whenever she babysits her, despite the fact we have explained to her numerous times that she is on a dairy free diet, which has reduced her night time coughs.  Today she gave her ice cream.  She even questions our choices in front of our daughter. I have told her today that I will provide a packed lunch, and that is all she will give her. I told her I am the parent and these are my wishes. If she disregards our wishes again, I think I will seek alternative care.  I haven't told her that part yet.


Also today, my child was given jello at Preschool.  With all the childhood allergies these days (hers is a nut free facility), you would think institutions like this would avoid feeding kids.  It is a three hour class, and kids bring their own individual snacks daily.  I think she was given candy earlier in the week.


Another friend offered her a cupcake today.  It's from  a mix, with butter and sugar................. but it is "organic".


So in one day, she ate jello, ice cream and was offered a cupcake.  She is three years old.   This is an ordinary day.   But people always say to me, "oh, it's just a treat.  Just this once. C'mon Mommy". 


When we explain our food decisions to others, it is always met with befuddlement, active challenging, willful ignorance, trickery (I don't think my MIL would have told us she served ice cream, our daughter told us) or sabotage.  These are decisions my husband and I have come to after copious research and reading stacks of books.   The reality is, my daughter tends to have big temper tantrums after eating junk food.  These tantrums seem to occur immediately after she is returned to me.  I am wondering if having occassional babysitters so that I can have a break is even worth it, as I pay the price for their decisions. 


So, I guess what I am asking is, how do you stand strong when the grownups in your child's life will not adhere to your wishes?  Also, do you go cold turkey or zero tolerance?  Because I feel by letting my daughter have occassional treats, I am badgered into making even more exceptions. 


Why is it an expression of love to give a child something full of carcinogens?  Like, daily?  The harmless ice cream aforementioned was full of chemicals like tartrazine, which is banned in Europe.  When I tell people this, they shrug their shoulders.  My MIL LITERALLY shrugged her shoulders.  My daughter had another tantrum right after leaving Grandma's today, the ice cream day.


Also, do you ever feel you need to fabricate support from the conventional medical community?  Like by saying "her doctor has her on a special diet"?  It seems many people will only accept the advice from a medical professional.  I feel like as her parent, it is my right and duty to choose how she is fed.  And if people don't like it..............


Perhaps it seems that I am overreacting, but the one time I recently sent her to a party without me, recently, she was returned home and minutes later started a forty minute tantrum that was really alarming.  I heard later her dinner was animal crackers, plain pasta and lots of juice.  Her lunch at the MIL's tends to be things like milk, a cupcake, crackers and celery sticks.   Really?  Is this how grownups feed children?


Why do grown adults have so little concept of nutrition?  


I am not sure how to address the jello thing with her teacher.  It is not a public school.  My husband said to tell her "we don't give our child junk food" but I think that just puts people on the defensive to justify their choices.  I really don't care how you eat, just don't feed it to my kid.  I understand that people don't want unsolicited advice, so we only discuss this when people press us and question our choices.  At Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws (sans DH, who was traveling), I was beseeched five times -- oh c'mon mama, just a little ice cream on one of the two pieces of pie you are already giving her....


Maybe there is a way I can carry myself differently or communicate my wishes in a way that people are more likely to accept.  People just pay me no mind.


Thoughts, commiseration appreciated!




post #23 of 35

My father's wife just said to me the other day that her DIL was a "food snob" b/c when she is watching the kids now DIL told her no more McDonald's! I was like "OH DD is allergic to McDonald's (b/c there is dairy in EVERYTHING even the french fires!" Although these kids won't eat ANYTHING so I kind of see her point of why make a nice meal that will be thrown in the trash...Luckily my DD eats everything except pasta really!

post #24 of 35

I have had this battle too. I have found the information at this site helps  with explaining that my dd has food dye issues. This diet has made a remarkable difference in my friends children, and it really helps with my daughters (admittedly less intense issues)  Maybe this will help Feingold diet  


as for dealing with disrespectful unthinking people...I'm still working on that one.

post #25 of 35

no ideas, this is already a battle with our 11 month old... just subbing to get suggestions...

post #26 of 35
Originally Posted by silversparrow View Post

no ideas, this is already a battle with our 11 month old... just subbing to get suggestions...

With an 11 m/o! My gosh! DD started solids at 10.5 m/o I would be livid if someone fed her junk!

post #27 of 35

DS1's first solid food was blue jello.  My exFIL thought it'd be hilarious to slip it in.


One reason my current MIL has not been allowed to babysit DS2 is because we saw how they fed one of our nephews in the absence (and against the explicit instructions) of SIL and BIL.  Nephew was lactose intolerant, but MIL gave him milk "because he needed it."  Then he'd get crazy diarrhea when he went home to his parents and SIL would interrogate me about what MIL fed him.  MIL also bribed him constantly with candy and junk, but now complains that he eats so much garbage and compliments us (well, to our faces, anyhow) how we feed our kid.  I just completely don't trust that she'd do right while we were gone, though, so we've never left him there (that is definitely not the only reason, but it's one of them).  She thinks we're nuts for avoiding juice and even triumphantly pointed out that sugar was "not an ingredient" in juice.  I try to explain the "total sugars" thing, but I don't think I got too far.


I very frequently decline sweets and treats on his behalf from tellers, waitresses, neighbors and have learned to say that he is on a restricted diet.  He is on a restricted diet.  We put him on it. 


Sometimes I get p.o.'d because my decisions as a parent are being challenged or mocked--ie:  neighbor saying "Oh, you're not still doing that nutrition crap on him, are you?" or MIL saying at DS2's 1st birthday party "Tell mean Mommy you want some of Grandma's chocolate cake!" though we'd told her ahead of time that he wasn't allowed to eat chocolate and that we were going to be bringing him a sugarless blueberry "cake."  Often, I know it's just people wanted to be nice and not realizing nutrition's an important issue for us since they don't know us that well.


It will get a lot harder, I know, when he gets older and knows what he's missing.

post #28 of 35
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

With an 11 m/o! My gosh! DD started solids at 10.5 m/o I would be livid if someone fed her junk!

yeah, at a party several months ago, a guy a barely know tried to give him gingerale and said jokingly "well there no rye in it!" and then at the same party a friend stuck a finger of chocolate icing in his mouth while my head was turned (fortunately her mother freaked out her for me). and then there's the typical 'but why wouldn't you use baby food/ cereal?" comments from the ILs and "does he like popsicles?"


NO, he doesn't eat popsicles. He 6 months old!

post #29 of 35

We have the constant popsicle battle with MIL!! She brought over a huge bag of them and said "I made sure to get them dairy free, are just corn syrup and food dye!!!" I nearly died! Flat out REFUSED them.

post #30 of 35
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
"I made sure to get them dairy free, are just corn syrup and food dye!!!" I nearly died! Flat out REFUSED them.

Because corn syrup and food die are so good for her!  Right?  eyesroll.gif


post #31 of 35

She said corn syrup was natural!

post #32 of 35

Awww, it's so disheartening isn't it how many people just "accept" and choose to ignore the evidence that food is medicine/poison?


Sorry Rosebud. This is so tough.

My in-laws and my own mums favorite saying is "you had juice all the time and you are fine" HA. RIGHT.


Anyways, hugs. Sorry you are dealing with this!

post #33 of 35
Originally Posted by dovemama View Post

 "you had juice all the time and you are fine" HA. RIGHT.


I get this all the time about EVERYTHING.  Candy, vaccines, etc.  Ugh


post #34 of 35



Originally Posted by dovemama View Post

 "you had juice all the time and you are fine" HA. RIGHT.


I get this all the time about EVERYTHING.  Candy, vaccines, etc.  Ugh




you need to learn some come~back lines -


"we use to have lead in gasoline/paint and they found that to be dangerous"


"we now know asbestos is harmful to you-haven't you learned anything in all these years? I have"


"some people live and learn and other choose to remain ignorant"



post #35 of 35

We haven't had any issues, but I think part of this is we've maintained fairly controlled environments for DD since birth.  We're vegetarians (mostly vegans), so DD's exposure to outside food sources is limited by virtue that we don't go to chain restaurants, fast food places or do much shopping in a regular grocery store.  DD was in a no-share/bring-your-own-lunch/snacks school for three years, and now she goes to a school that requires all students to eat from the school menu (which is largely an Italian/Greek menu because of the neighborhood and the vendor who provides the food) (no tator tots!).  In her former school, a lot of the parents were super crunchy, so DD didn't see a lot of Cheetos, etc.


I know this will sound weird, but we got DD a puppet when she was very small which has become DD's "sister" by default.  The puppet is this character who doesn't take very good care of herself.  She eats junk and doesn't exercise and watches too much television.  DD has learned a lot about healthy eating/living through the use of this puppet.  DD likes to tell relatives and friends that "Abby" looks terrible because she eats junk (in reality, Abby hasn't been washed in a few years but I'm not telling).  The use of Abby has been a great way to put "junk" into context. 


Another thing which I don't regret is that we do allow DD to have sweets and the occassional junk item at a party or the like.  When I was growing up (and my own parents were sort of health food nuts and thus we don't have any issues with them), we were permitted to have candy after lunch and dessert after dinner.  I think that in learning that certain things have a time and place allowed us to develop overall healthy eating habits. 


I would say that my biggest problem thus far has not been in connection with DD's eating habits, but those of her neighbor friends.  Whenever they are over to visit, they can't comprehend that we don't have juice.  "Why don't you have any juice????"  I tell them that we have good clean water, but they always decline.  :(


That all being said, and to keep me humble, I do like Cheetos and will buy them for myself on occassion.  There's something about that color.  It's wrong, but satisfying.

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