or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fast Food Baby

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Has anyone watched Fast Food Baby? I'm shocked at what these little ones are eating - 3000+ calories a day in fast food and soda. bigeyes.gif

 

Is this a rare thing? Or are there a lot of children living like this?  

 

post #2 of 47

Mixed feelings here about all this. I work as a family advocate in the field of children's mental health - a fairly social worker-type role. But my education is as a Health Educator, and I have some pretty strong feelings about nutrition. But then, add to that that I have a son with autism and sensory issues - who had some pretty major food aversions for many years. That is a vague way of saying he ate mainly only popcorn. Then, after a perceived choking incident, he put himself on a clear liquid diet for about 9 months. Nothing but apple juice, white grape juice, and homemade veggie/chicken broth I strained through cheesecloth. Today, he eats a full, healthy diet, and is amazingly healthy, but we had some rough years. I have also lived in poverty, and know how expensive it can be to eat "right". All this is to say I know what a healthy diet is, and I know what some of the obstacles are in providing it. 

 

I work with some families who truly don't know about nutrition. Even the most basic, mainstream info is news to them. Like one family, living in poverty, who I thought I had talked out of buying soda pop. I explained all about the unnecessary sugar, high cost, dental problems, diabetes risk, etc, and I thought they had understood that drinking water, milk, and juice would be better choices. Financially, nutritionally, and maybe even for the kid's behavior. Next time I saw them, Mom proudly showed me her fridge filled with Gatorade and energy drinks. Oh, my.

 

Then there is another group who simply don't know how or what to cook. They have totally bought into the advertising of prepared foods. I have gone shopping with a mom who filled her cart with frozen and boxed dinners. When we were in the produce section, (she was getting some bananas) I commented that they had a good price on broccoli. She admitted that she had no clue how to use it, cooked or raw. I spent a few weeks sharing recipes and cooking with her - I hope she is still occasionally cooking fresh meals for her kids.

 

Then there are the families with kids with sensory issues, or autistic rigidity. One family I work with has a child who only eats Burger King food. And to avoid major destructive meltdowns, Mom goes along with this. I don't blame her for wanting to avoid serious destruction of the home, and injury to her. I know it isn't sustainable, but I have no answers for her. And yes, she and her children are obese.

 

The issue of food is so complex. And I haven't even touched on parents' emotional issues around food, cultural traditions, and many other issues. But to answer your question, Cynthia, yes, there really are families like the ones in that story. 

post #3 of 47

My kids' best friend next door eats fast food every day and tons of freeze pops, poptarts, popcorn (hm, lotsa pops in this), cookies, cereal, sugar drinks, kraft mac and cheese, etc. When they do cook at home it's meat and corn. She eats limes and lemons, that's about the only produce. Some people don't have much free time or care much about food, so give the kids whatever they'll eat. Their kids are tall and thin and rarely sick, it's only the mom who's health suffers for it so far, she's had 2 surgeries on her intestines.

 

You can get grilled chicken salads from those places that are pretty good though, and leave off the white bread bun and some burgers aren't too bad either.

post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 

mamarhu, what a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I guess I assume that everyone knows what good food is. It is really sad to see those little ones in that video eating such food every single meal. 

 

You did mention juice as being a better choice. I know nutritional advice now to be to avoid juice because of the high calorie content and it being so easy for kids and adults to down those liquid calories and think it is part of a healthy diet. Has that changed?

 

JamieCathryn - add soda pop in there and you have another "pop". How odd!

post #5 of 47

The the poorer areas of Britian, like the North where my husband is from, this is fairly common. However, the same is true in the US. I think it's less to do with raw earning power and more to do with class. We don't earn much at all -- I'm a graduate student and my husband is in manual labor -- but we eat very conscientiously mostly because we know how important it is and because we believe that you pay the grocer/farmer now or you pay the doctor later. That said, in the UK when we visit it's not unusual to see babies with tea, milk and sugar, in their bottles and chips and biscuits on their trays.I really feel for the parents though, 99.9% of them don't want to harm their children, they honestly either just don't know better or can't manage otherwise due to time constraints, financial constraints or just a general lack of support.

post #6 of 47

How can someone not know that real food is better than fast food/boxed/frozen meals? I can't wrap my head around the fact that someone would not KNOW that. I understand the issues some kids have and will only eat this or that(and honestly I have a toddler who lost weight until I relaxed about her healthy eating and let her have some yummy junk! but I know which foods she eats is healthy and which is not), but you as the parent know what's healthy, I mean being proud of a fridge of gatorade and energy drinks? Really?

 

I do know MANY children who eat fast food literally everyday. My nephew at age 2 commonly has two cheeseburgers, fries and soda or juice from McD's. A neice had cheesesticks and corndogs EVERY DAY, for lunch and dinner. That neice will not eat anything homemade except pork chops. Nothing. When we'd have our huge family t-giving lunch together, there she was with her corndogs.

 

I hate babysitting those kids of parents who only feed junk/fast food, bc they just won't eat the whole time, even if it's 3 days! I will try to make the homemade version, such as pigs-in-a-blanket, but that doesn't work.

post #7 of 47
Quote:
How can someone not know that real food is better than fast food/boxed/frozen meals? 

 

I don;t think that they don't know it's better. I think that they think the packaged stuff is "normal" and the real food is "the ideal." Like the formula companies mess up breastfeeding by marketing it as the ideal, families who see cooking recipes with ingredients as the ideal don't do it because, after all, who's perfect?

post #8 of 47

I, too, have unfortunately seen way too much of this type of behavior happening. As a major advocate of baby-led weaning, I think at least part of it may have to do with using baby-food as a transitional food for children. Many parents in this generation may use baby food and the first “real” food that baby gets is this highly-processed junk, as a treat they just don’t want to withhold, and I can definitely see that when a child’s first experiences with flavor/texture are these foods they may develop an obvious preference. Although I know that baby food has been used for years without these problems, it is more recent that our society has moved more and more toward the fast-food trend, so I think in the past it wasn’t as much of a problem as babies were more frequently transitioned from baby foods to home-cooked meals vs. fast food.

 

We have at least one friend whose daughter refused to eat anything other than McDonald’s chicken nuggets from the time she was around 2 until she was around 5. They bought them for her every single day!

 

On the first occasion when our little girl had a McDonald’s chicken nugget, she really liked it and we were kind of laughing about it. But we both agreed that if she were to ever show a preference for fast-food options over “real” food, that we wouldn’t be having fast food for a long while. As it was, our daughter likes broccoli just as much as she does McNuggets, and I can actually envision her choosing broccoli over the nugget if they were side-by-side.

 

We do include fast-food, and possibly more than we should, in our diets. Since our daughter eats what we do, sometimes I feel that it’s more than what she should have. But it’s something we are well aware of, and we have always made certain that it isn’t enough to change her food preferences. I found myself laughing and proud the other day when I brought a TV dinner to work with us for lunch because we are often on the go. It was turkey/stuffing; mashed potatoes and green peas. My daughter spit out everything except the peas and ate the majority of the peas from my TV dinner!

 

In our household, we did a kind of modified baby-led weaning – we did use some baby cereal (oatmeal), when she showed an early interest around 4 months in sampling our foods and a hunger that didn’t seem to be completely satisfied with nursing (we started by offering banana, but she doesn’t like banana). So we used oatmeal and mashed avocado. And around 8 months, when she was regularly having samples of food and we started actual meals rather than just sharing when she showed interest, we did use baby food on some occasions for lunches. By that time, she was more accustomed to complex flavors and refused any other than mixed vegetables – she didn’t like the bland meats at all, and refused single vegetables even when they were vegetables that she otherwise loved. I might note that many of her vegetables at home were either fresh from farmer’s market or frozen with no additives with little or no seasoning, and after tasting the single baby food I can attest that it is still much more bland than the “real” food on its own.

post #9 of 47

Oh, my. Sadly, yes - this is more common than we'd like to believe. For the record, I NEVER buy soda, and 98% of the time I cook from scratch or very close to it. I went through a dark time when lived with my ex and his family in a teensy cornfield town in Ohio, where feeding your kids fast food and soda (or "pop" as they said) was very normal.  When we moved there, my DS was 9 mos old...and my ex MIL wanted to feed him Coke and Cheetos!!!  So she gave him some Cheetos and Coke in spite of my protests...and to my smug satisfaction, he promptly vomited them up, all over her bedspread.  A few months later, MIL's sister told me she used to put Mtn Dew in her kids' baby bottles (?!!) and said through her dentures, as she waddled her 100lb overweight physique over to me, "Oh, let the baby have some - it ain't gonna hurt him none."  REALLY?!  Then my ex FIL would call on his way home every night, and ask if we wanted Arby's, KFC, or Long John Silvers for dinner.  I finally had to start repeating a mantra to my ex-in-laws: "Real food doesn't come in a package. I feed my son real food."

 

Then one hot day, in this same little town, I was desperate to get a drink for myself & DS (by then about 18mos), and I stopped at KFC...when I asked the girl what kind of juice they had for the baby, she replied, "Uhh...Sunkist Orange Soda, Hawaiian Punch, Hi-C, Minute Maid Lemonade..." I stopped her right there, and said "So, you don't have any juice, then?" And she looked at me like I was the stupid one.

 

Come to find out, my kids and I have celiac and a slew of other food intolerances...so we eat healthy not just by choice, but necessity. About the time I discovered these food issues, we were destitute, in a bad place, and I was on WIC. For those who don't know about WIC, it's a nice idea in theory for people who can't afford groceries, but they basically give you crap foods that are marketed to be "healthy", like cheap canned tuna (full of mercury), non-organic carrots, non-organic milk, big-brand juice, big-brand cereals (full of chemicals), etc. And then you have to regularly go to appointments where they check up on your kids' "health" and make sure you're vaccinating them and feeding them the appropriate amounts of crap foods, as dictated by the Almighty Food Pyramid.

They hated me! lol.gif  We don't vax, DS had major developmental problems and allergies and would certainly have been one of the autism cases (he's still borderline ASD); he reacted so severely to all kinds of foods, additives and salicylates that I couldn't give him WIC foods or juice anymore.  When I told the WIC people about this, including the fact that he was getting OT and seeing a dietician at the Early Intervention clinic, they told me I should still be feeding him at least the rice Chex, and DO NOT give him lightly sweetened chamomile tea because it has "no nutritional value, just sugar...give him the juice instead, it has vitamin C." Imagine the sound of screeching brakes in my brain: "What?! So the 8g of sugar I put in his chamomile tea is bad, but the juice that has 28g of sugar and makes him break out in a blistered rash is better for him because of the vitamin C?! Are you people dumb, or just stupid?!" My point to all this is, even "health professionals" can be stupefyingly ignorant of what healthy foods really are. It's no wonder the general public gets duped into buying so much junk food.

 

"Real food doesn't come in a package." thumb.gif

post #10 of 47

Seems my hubby was discussing what solids our 7mo baby eats with someone and she was horrified. "Minced fruit, vegetables, and meat, usually a little of whatever is soft enough of what we are having" "nooo you have to give them jarred baby food and cereal!"

post #11 of 47

I don't want to be mean but seriously? I grew up on boxed or canned food. I didn't know about nutrition or how to cook most veggies. Healthy food was very limited in my house. This WAS my parents fault. They simply did not prioritize eating well.  In fact when I was about 25 years old I finally saw an unprocessed jar of pasta sauce at a friends house who worked a natural supermarket. I was shocked to see only 5 ingredients on the back. How could you even make food without all those ingredients I can't pronounce. 

Well, from that point on I went to find out. 

I decided to learn about health and how to cook. And low and behold ALL of the info is online. Now I can see if you are poor and don't have access to the internet but these people are not poor. Their priorities are messed up. One makes a clean house and guilt more important than eating right. The next makes guilt more important than eating right. 

IF your kids get hungry enough they WILL eat what you put in front of them. When I was doing daycare I had parents tell me "oh my child will only eat noodles with nothing on them, yogurt, and peanut butter". Funny, when in my house they ate everything all the other children ate. 

This is not the childrens fault by any means. The fact that the parents need someone to come in and tell them what to do seems insane to me. You know what you need to do. It's obvious to anyone - they just put other things first - as a priority. 

In the end if you are of middle or upper class means, if your children are living like this it is entirely within your control and it's your responsibility. 

post #12 of 47
Oh this drives me nuts. No, I'm not perfect, and yes, we do sometimes have frozen lasagna or fast-food, but I try hard to keep it to once a week or less. Our son was 2 years old before he'd EVER tasted fast food. Now he's nearly 3 and he knows what it is, likes French fries and corn dogs, but he knows those are special treats. But I know plenty of people who raise their kids on a diet consisting of less than half real, cooked food. When I was teaching, I had a student who routinely came running in late, McDonald's burrito in hand, then of course, she'd forgotten her lunch, so dad would bring her burger king, McDonald's or convenience store junk food for lunch. This happened probably 3 days per week. And you know what? That little third grader probably weighed 120 lbs. at just 4 feet tall. In fact, in kinder and first grade, she was so heavy and immobile that if she fell down, someone HAD to help her up, because she couldn't maneuver on her own. And running on the playground was out of the question. Really it boiled down to parents being irresponsible. Parents were split, would try to make nice with the girls by letting them stay up late, resulting in late wake up, rush to get ready, no time to make breakfast or pack lunch, then dad (or mom or gma) felt sorry for being late, so they'd mark up for it with more crap food for lunch. Our school district started a healthy food science program, providing fruits or vegetAbles for tasting once a month. The lesson plan included info on nutrients, servings, history of the food, along with a taste-test comparison. We sampled everything from blood oranges to beefsteak tomatoes to different salad greens. And you know what? She LOVED it! But her parents didn't like that stuff so they refused to buy it for her to eat. Luckily, I did have several kids who started bringing new fruits and veggies in their lunches and snacks. But of course, those were the kids who already had half-dozen eating habits to begin with.
post #13 of 47

JamieCatheryn-Lol, even though it's not a laughing matter, but I got a chuckle from that one.  As I run into it all too often.  Same for those feeding picky toddlers what the kid wants.  

  And, those kids may be tall and thin, but malnourished.  We can't see what's going on inside.  

 

My3beasties-we're food allergy too, and I wish we'd have known right away.  It would have made making food changes so much easier to deal with if we'd been doing it all along.  We were very rarely (like travelling) fast food people, and having food allergies takes away the quickness of stopping there.  We have to pack snacks/lunches, or seek out healthier places to eat.  

  

 

Cynthia-plenty of people eat like this.  It's a wonder people know what real food is any longer.  

 

 I look at it this way-the parent is in control, not the child.  If you don't buy it, you can't eat it, nor can your kids.  

 

    Dh and I, and some of my friends have been talking about this recently, not exactly about fast food, but caving to our kids wanting things that aren't the most ideal for meals, and making more than one meal to satisfy all in the family.  We're probably all guilty of it at some point.  But when I think of when we were kids-we ate what was in front of us or we didn't eat at all.  Especially my grandparents time.  Mostly whole food/cooked meals.  It's something we are trying very hard to imprint on our family and how we want to eat.  There are days my kids have skipped meals out of being stubborn.  Their option if they don't want a meal we made is fruit, not cereal or anything else processed.  If they're hungry, they'll eat the fruit or some of the meal.  

 

 I don't have exp with sensory issues and food.  I'm not sure how I'd handle it, but only giving my child one or two things would be hard.  When does it start?  With the start of solids, as a toddler? 

post #14 of 47
Quote:

  Dh and I, and some of my friends have been talking about this recently, not exactly about fast food, but caving to our kids wanting things that aren't the most ideal for meals, and making more than one meal to satisfy all in the family.  We're probably all guilty of it at some point.  But when I think of when we were kids-we ate what was in front of us or we didn't eat at all.  Especially my grandparents time.  Mostly whole food/cooked meals.  It's something we are trying very hard to imprint on our family and how we want to eat.  There are days my kids have skipped meals out of being stubborn.  Their option if they don't want a meal we made is fruit, not cereal or anything else processed.  If they're hungry, they'll eat the fruit or some of the meal.  

 

Yes, I think a lot of it has to do with the behavior of parents "caving in" to their children. I can tell you if we had a meal that our daughter absolutely refused to eat - and I'm sure the day is coming (thus far, most foods she has ever refused have been of little nutritional value or at least not foods that I worry about her not eating), the alternative would definitely be something that I'm sure a lot of children would find distasteful - leafy greens (maybe turnip greens), broccoli, lima beans or another type of bean. Then again, these would probably be one of the things she'd ask for instead, so maybe I would be caving in!

 

Visiting my parents one time, my father forgot that she absolutely loves cake but isn't a big fan of icing. She was digging into a bowl of beans that my Mom was helping her with and Dad scooped up some extra icing on a spoon and offered her a bite. She spit it right back out and went back to the beans with a boisterous "Mmmmmm...." after each bite.

post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Seems my hubby was discussing what solids our 7mo baby eats with someone and she was horrified. "Minced fruit, vegetables, and meat, usually a little of whatever is soft enough of what we are having" "nooo you have to give them jarred baby food and cereal!"

ROTFLMAO.gif Hahaha - Awesome!!  Our kids were all the same way - they wanted whatever we were eating!  On the rare occasions I tried jarred baby food, all 3 of them HATED it - spit it out immediately.

 

Hate to be "Captain Obvious" here, but if you deny them real food when they first "ask" for it as babies, and instead give them something processed in a jar, how can you expect them to eat the same thing you do later?! "duh.gif

 

On the other hand, my kids' favorite foods now are things like homemade chicken & veggie soup, chicken marsala, salmon, black bean & avocado tacos, zucchini bread - and the 4yo loves baby kale salad with cucumber and radishes (like Peter Rabbit - winky.gif).

post #16 of 47
Quote:

Originally Posted by hippy mum View Post


My3beasties-we're food allergy too, and I wish we'd have known right away.  It would have made making food changes so much easier to deal with if we'd been doing it all along.  We were very rarely (like travelling) fast food people, and having food allergies takes away the quickness of stopping there.  We have to pack snacks/lunches, or seek out healthier places to eat.  

  

.................

 

    Dh and I, and some of my friends have been talking about this recently, not exactly about fast food, but caving to our kids wanting things that aren't the most ideal for meals, and making more than one meal to satisfy all in the family.  We're probably all guilty of it at some point.  But when I think of when we were kids-we ate what was in front of us or we didn't eat at all.  Especially my grandparents time.  Mostly whole food/cooked meals.  It's something we are trying very hard to imprint on our family and how we want to eat.  There are days my kids have skipped meals out of being stubborn.  Their option if they don't want a meal we made is fruit, not cereal or anything else processed.  If they're hungry, they'll eat the fruit or some of the meal.  

 

 I don't have exp with sensory issues and food.  I'm not sure how I'd handle it, but only giving my child one or two things would be hard.  When does it start?  With the start of solids, as a toddler? 

Yep, we have to pack snacks/lunches everywhere we go, too! DH finds it equally amusing and annoying - he has NO allergies, so when we take the kids to the water park for the day and I have to spend 1/2 an hour packing enough food for an army, he can get a little irritated.  But he laughs, hugs me, and says that not many moms are great enough to spend 75% of their days either planning meals for their kids, cooking or cleaning up dishes.  He's really great at making me feel good about the amount of work I put in!

 

We do the same thing you do with making one meal for the whole family, and if they don't want to eat what's in front of them, too bad. They can eat veggies or fruit instead. Most of the time, they'll at least try a bite of everything, and sometimes figure out they actually like it!  I can't stand when kids are so spoiled, they think they can run the show and get whatever they want anytime they want it. Our kids are also taught to thank us for dinner before asking to be excused and clearing their plates...our grandparent's generation had the manners and respect thing right!

 

My oldest DS has some sensory issues, and he started with solid foods as a baby/toddler.  The injuries from his birth trauma made it hard for him to use his tongue to clear certain foods from the mouth, like mashed potatoes...he still won't eat stuff like that. You basically have to find textures they like, and get creative with varieties of nutrient-dense foods that fit their sensory preferences. Every kid is different, our nutritionist was a Godsend in helping me with that one!

post #17 of 47

All your comments remind me of the documentary A Place at the Table. Has anyone here seen it? 

 

A lot of people don't know about better nutrition. A lot of people know, but they're too poor to eat healthy. And other people would like to eat healthier, but can't find the good foods at the grocery stores in their area. 

post #18 of 47
I once caught a bit on TV where they were interviewing a family whose daughter was born with a heart defect and she had to be a certain weight to have surgery. Mom and Dad were both obese (link between bad nutrition and other maladies? ) and they showed a typical meal of cheeseburger and chicken nuggets and cola and them telling the four year old, "no more meat until you have a sip of soda." and the parents lamenting how hard it was for their daughter to gain weight. And how they were worried they'd have to postpone surgery.
Yes the parents should educate themselves more that a calorie is not a calorie but then again the doctors etc... Need to drive this point home as well and not just focus on weight.
post #19 of 47

Well, about once a week, my kids eat fast food.  And the rest of the week I work to give each girl 1 peice of whole fruit a day.  A whole pear is a messy PITA,and they get it because I love them and I want them to associate food with its whole, natural, created state.  Not because its easy or gets them out of my way to finish the meal (french fries on the other hand are a dependable 10 minutes of peace).  The pear is less expensive than the fries. just for the record, so its not a cost issue when we eat out, its a priorities issue.  I suspect that is the problem with these parents, on a larger worldview kind of scale.  

post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 Imagine the sound of screeching brakes in my brain: "What?! So the 8g of sugar I put in his chamomile tea is bad, but the juice that has 28g of sugar and makes him break out in a blistered rash is better for him because of the vitamin C?! Are you people dumb, or just stupid?!" My point to all this is, even "health professionals" can be stupefyingly ignorant of what healthy foods really are. It's no wonder the general public gets duped into buying so much junk food.

 

"Real food doesn't come in a package." thumb.gif

LOVE!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Nutrition and Good Eating