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Fast Food Baby - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post

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

 

Just a thought that ran through my mind as I read this - does WIC provide nutritional supplements as part of their package?

post #22 of 47

What stood out to me about the families in the film was that there were other problems, not just food: very young teen mom (I know that's not always a "problem," but it seemed to be for her) and in poor health to boot (heart attack in her teens - must have been something going on!), mom with OCD spending 5 days a week cleaning her house, parents and baby who had been traumatized by baby's meningitis at 6 mos. The junk food thing seems like a symptom of larger dysfunction rather than just ignorance about what is healthy.
 

post #23 of 47

Here's another interesting random story... I was born in 1980 in Romania. At the time, the country was under the communist regime and considered to be part of the 3rd world countries. We didn't have any fast food, very little processed foods and everything was for the most part "organic" and farm-fresh because peasants were too poor to use fertilizers and chemicals for their crops. Because most food was rationalized (1kg of flour per family, and stuff like that), most of the food my family ate came from my grandparents' backyard. All the eggs, all the vegetables, most of the meat and grains too. In today's view, you would call that "organic" and "sustainable". Back then, it was the only way. After 1990 we received some aid from Western European countries and one of the boxes contained instant chicken noodle soup. I was probably 12 years old when I ate my first processed food. Until then, everything was cooked from scratch. To this day I remember the moment: that instant soup was so tasty - packed with sodium and MSG, my taste buds were experiencing an explosion of flavor I was not used to. 20 minutes after I ate that soup I got really, really sick. My stomach was not used to the chemicals and whatever else was in that heavily processed food. 

 

I was one of those kids who loved every vegetable and knew what each and every one of them was. Sometimes my grandmother would send me to the backyard with a basket, a knife and a "shopping list" to procure the ingredients for that day's soup straight from the garden: a few carrots, a few onions (that I had to dig out myself), a few tomatoes (oh, the smell of those!!) etc. We were poor 3rd world country people, but in hindsight I feel very lucky and grateful now to have had that experience. 

 

In any case, my point is that exposing your children to healthy foods and making them try out all vegetables and not be afraid of them from an early age will help them form good eating habits from early on. I now meet adults all the time who won't touch salads, tomatoes or some other vegetables or fruit just because they didn't grow up eating them and are not familiar with the taste or don't crave them. 

post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

 

Just a thought that ran through my mind as I read this - does WIC provide nutritional supplements as part of their package?

Nope - just certain foods. They portray these foods as providing all the basic nutrition a child would need, and they do not allow substitutions, even in the case of severe allergies (such as, swapping out canned tuna for canned chicken).  The nutritional "education" they provide parents with is pathetically incomplete and touts all the "benefits" of feeding your kids dairy products and processed foods like General Mills cereals and Juicy Juice.  Their health advice revolves around regular vaccination schedules and growth percentile charts...if your child is otherwise healthy, but tall & slender (like mine), they advise you to feed him more cheese and fattening things. I guess because their percentile charts are skewed by all the obese kids they see?? headscratch.gif

 

You're only allowed to get things like the cheapest brands of milk & eggs, cheese, peanut butter, juice, cereal, cheap baby formula, and only breastfeeding moms can get the cheap tuna and carrots...but only non-organic, nothing "DHA-added" or otherwise enhanced with healthy additives.

 

The only thing I found mildly helpful was the eggs, peanut butter, carrots and bags of dried beans...which I would boil down into soup with whatever meat I could afford, usually bone-in chicken thighs, and things like celery, onions, and frozen peas.

 

So it did help me a little when I really needed it, but I quickly realized their program was NOT designed to provide kids' developing brains and bodies with the best possible nutrition, but rather to keep them and their disadvantaged parents "dumbed down". The whole program, in my opinion, is unconscionable, Orwellian propaganda. Having been there myself, I know how heart-wrenching it is to be aware of what's healthy, but have no other choice than to accept what you're given...so I have a lot of empathy for parents who are in that situation. Words can't describe how thankful I am those days are over for us, and I have a wonderful DH now who works his butt off to provide for our family.

post #25 of 47

I finally watched the video that started this. I suppose learning to cook at home was a huge step they aimed for, but I was startled to see the stuff they called healthy alternatives - cereal, yogurt raisins, pasta, and sad to see they still demonize sat fats. Also, interesting that they mentioned little Cuba "foraging", it's so great having good options (only) around when kids want to feed themselves. It might end up unbalanced (too much nuts and fruit in my kids' case) but at least they're eating and it's good stuff in general. But what the foraging brought up for me was when my kids go out and eat wood sorrel like candy, and snap peas and baby spinach from outside. And back in CA my DH as a child eating anise as candy and collecting mussels for dinner.

post #26 of 47
This video made me so sad, seeing those little kids drinking soda and eating all that crap, my heart broke!!!
post #27 of 47

Yeah, I am from Germany - and though we do eat fast food and processed food (as a group) traditional food still has it's role. Cooking is a big thing here, and home baking and stuff. (it gets a little bit like in the u.s. but sloooowly)

 

I worked in the u.k. for a couple of years, and I was really stunned by the food the english people offer their babies (in general) there were so many kids in strollers with sugared drinks and cheesy sticks (I don't know what they are called) at an age were people in germany would not even think about giving that to their kids. I have never seen a stroller age child with crisp or salty snacks here (but with cookies, to be honest :) 

 

I think it has something to do with culture as well, but I am not sure ....

post #28 of 47
I have to chime in about this and feel that I have an angle similar to mamarhu's. I am a nutritionist (& registered dietitian). The ignorance about basic nutrition info is unbelievable. The sad fact is that most people don't know how to cook and unfortunately our fast food/processed food society is enabling this to go on.....
With that said, there are programs (albeit small and way too few & far between) including the WIC program that can help. It's unfortunate that my3beasties had such a horrible experience with the program, as this was not my experience AT ALL. I grew up very poor (but with loving parents, mind you who did their very best) with younger sibs who were on the WIC program. Yes, there was a lot of juice- but my mom bought tomato juice to cook with. Yes, there was a lot of dairy, but dairy is a minimally processed food that does remain an affordable source of protein. My mom main homemade yogurt (which she learned how to do from a WIC nutrition workshop). Yes, there was processed cereal, but my mom bought old-fashioned oats that stretched much further than a box of Cheerios. And the beans were a mainstay in our diets. I remember tuna cakes, and at times, the carrots were the only fresh produce at the table. The nutritionist (who did have a nutrition degree but was not a registered dietitian) allowed me to shadow her when I expressed interest in becoming a nutrition professional. The program isn't perfect, but has improved greatly even today and participants can now get fresh produce- lots of fruits and veggies. As well as buy produce from the local farmers market (this was actually part of the program when my family participated, but our little community out in Hoo-hoo Holler did not have a farmers market).
I'm not saying that the program isn't without it's problems, but for my family it was very helpful- such a blessing during difficult times.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

 

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?

 

I know juice is not an ideal, or even a neutral, addition to the diet. But for some of the families I work with, it is as close as they will get to fruit. Folks who live in an urban area without a car often have few shopping choices. It is called a food desert. The only store in walking distance might be a mini-market, primarily stocking beer and soda pop, chips and candy. In my area, 3 major supermarkets have closed in the last few years. No fresh produce or meats are available. So for these families, juice seems better than soda pop. What amazes me is the number of families, who really don't have enough to eat by the end of the month, yet they buy bottled water. My city has GREAT tap water, yet these folks buy individual size water bottles by the case. That is really a case of the corporations creating the need and then convincing the public they need a product. Even if our water wasn't so good, a one time purchase of a filter system would solve the problem.

post #30 of 47
I see this all of time here. Were so insulated from it as a family that frankly I'm surprised when we see a fast food restaurant full of people, but I guess that's reality.

I have to stick up for WIC, though. We don't qualify for it anymore, blessedly, but I used it for years when we had less money. I'm no fan of juice, cereal, and so on, but this program was so helpful to us. We watered down the juice, or used it make things like jelly. We even used milk to make yogurt at times. So it wasn't organic... But we were nowhere near being able to afford organic. We bought dried beans and sometimes evaporated milk. The tuna was always no-albacore (less mercury). We bought cream of wheat instead of Cheerios and used it in baking as well. Make do with what you have, you know? In California they give farmers market coupons each month, too!

They gave out breast pumps and other bfing supplies!

We were oddballs with vaccines, extended breastfeeding, etc, and had one child who was not even on the charts for weight she was so slight. So we had our struggles, but overall WIC was such a great thing.
post #31 of 47

I have to agree that WIC can be extremely helpful for some families. As for the milk, most families on WIC couldn't afford organic milk anyways. There are plenty of alternatives to the processed cold cereals, such as cream of wheat or oatmeal. There are lots of veggie options, and frankly the non-organic thing isn't an issue for me because I can't afford to buy organic without WIC anyways. Sure it is tough if you make specific dietary choices that don't allow you to use certain vouchers because you won't eat the product, but how is that worse than not getting the voucher at all?

 

As to the ignorance issue, unfortunately not everyone is curious and interested in educating themselves. Information has to be presented to them in an accessible way, or they just don't know it and won't seek it out. It's hard not to judge people making these decisions, but we all have our personality strengths and weaknesses, and challenges in life. What bothers me isn't the individuals, but our whole society that doesn't try to better itself to educate the whole. Those who do know better, but don't make good choices that affect their children and families are the people that bother me. If it was more "cool" to actually care about nutrition and the types of food that we are given access to, then I think things would be much better.

post #32 of 47
Some people truly don't get it and some do but don't care. I have a friend who is a mix of both. She just doesn't care enough to learn so she remains ignorant.

When her oldest was in kindy she would throw a Lunchables in his backpack every day. After a few weeks, the teacher pointed out to her that they weren't really very healthy due in part to the high sodium content. So instead she made a sandwich of cheap deli ham on white bread and added a Capri Sun and bag of Doritos. And was proud of it, like she had actually made an improvement!
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkri View Post
As to the ignorance issue, unfortunately not everyone is curious and interested in educating themselves. Information has to be presented to them in an accessible way, or they just don't know it and won't seek it out. It's hard not to judge people making these decisions, but we all have our personality strengths and weaknesses, and challenges in life. What bothers me isn't the individuals, but our whole society that doesn't try to better itself to educate the whole. Those who do know better, but don't make good choices that affect their children and families are the people that bother me. If it was more "cool" to actually care about nutrition and the types of food that we are given access to, then I think things would be much better.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
Some people truly don't get it and some do but don't care. I have a friend who is a mix of both. She just doesn't care enough to learn so she remains ignorant.

When her oldest was in kindy she would throw a Lunchables in his backpack every day. After a few weeks, the teacher pointed out to her that they weren't really very healthy due in part to the high sodium content. So instead she made a sandwich of cheap deli ham on white bread and added a Capri Sun and bag of Doritos. And was proud of it, like she had actually made an improvement!

 

I was having a conversation w/ a friend today.  She's gluten intolerant & has issues w/ dairy.  She recently was at a frineds to celebrate both their birthdays, with a lot of food that she hasn't eaten in a long time.  She ate a bunch of it which had gluten & dairy in it.  The next day she was lethargic, foggy, felt like sitting on the couch, doing nothing all day.  She had no motivation.  As we were talking, I said that listening to how she felt afterwards, I had to wonder how many people out in the general public, feel like this on a regular basis because of what they eat.  How many people look like lazy couch potatoes, but wouldn't be if they weren't eating things that actually turned them into couch potatoes because of what it did to their minds & bodies?  So, reading these replies reminded me of that.  I wonder how many people are truly paralyzed?

 

Sus

post #34 of 47
I didn't really understand how bad the majority of peoples food habits were and just how many people are obese until our county fair two weeks ago. I mean everyone eats crapat the fair but I was way shocked at the number of familes where every single person no matter what age in the famuly was obese. Its sad.
post #35 of 47

Even if people do have an interest in feeding their family better, the stress of poverty can be a overwhelming.  We had the opportunity to help a family that was living on the edge (as in no money food, zero, on a regular basis).  The mother did an amazing job with what she had but after working full-time and caring for the children, there wasn't enough physical and emotional energy at the end of the day to expand her cooking skills.  We stocked their freezer with meat (beef and pork) that she had no idea how to cook.  I could see the stress on her face as I was explaining how easy it was to put a roast in the crock pot.  

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierramtngirl View Post

I have to chime in about this and feel that I have an angle similar to mamarhu's. I am a nutritionist (& registered dietitian). The ignorance about basic nutrition info is unbelievable. The sad fact is that most people don't know how to cook and unfortunately our fast food/processed food society is enabling this to go on.....
With that said, there are programs (albeit small and way too few & far between) including the WIC program that can help. It's unfortunate that my3beasties had such a horrible experience with the program, as this was not my experience AT ALL. I grew up very poor (but with loving parents, mind you who did their very best) with younger sibs who were on the WIC program. Yes, there was a lot of juice- but my mom bought tomato juice to cook with. Yes, there was a lot of dairy, but dairy is a minimally processed food that does remain an affordable source of protein. My mom main homemade yogurt (which she learned how to do from a WIC nutrition workshop). Yes, there was processed cereal, but my mom bought old-fashioned oats that stretched much further than a box of Cheerios. And the beans were a mainstay in our diets. I remember tuna cakes, and at times, the carrots were the only fresh produce at the table. The nutritionist (who did have a nutrition degree but was not a registered dietitian) allowed me to shadow her when I expressed interest in becoming a nutrition professional. The program isn't perfect, but has improved greatly even today and participants can now get fresh produce- lots of fruits and veggies. As well as buy produce from the local farmers market (this was actually part of the program when my family participated, but our little community out in Hoo-hoo Holler did not have a farmers market).
I'm not saying that the program isn't without it's problems, but for my family it was very helpful- such a blessing during difficult times.

Sierramtngirl, I'm so glad you had a mom who was able to make good choices with the WIC foods!! It is definitely a blessing during difficult times, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was ungrateful at all for the help it provided.  I guess I was being critical of the way our WIC program was - they did not provide the kind of education workshops that would help people make healthier choices with the foods given, and instead steered us toward processed foods. At the time, there was no option for farmer's markets or other fresh produce...seems they have expanded the program over the last few years, which is great!

 

I did a lot of creative cooking with the WIC foods we could eat, and when it came to the point that we could hardly get anything on the list because of our allergies and intolerances, I felt it wasn't worthwhile continuing with the program, especially with how condescending these individuals were about our different needs and unwilling to provide alternatives for us. It would have been easy enough to say "Oh, you can't drink milk, so try rice milk instead", or "If you can't eat tuna, how about canned salmon" but they wouldn't allow any substitutions or even offer suggestions. I couldn't afford much, so our fridge was usually very empty, but even still, we wound up being healthier in the long run. I am very glad to see they have improved WIC so much...even though it didn't work for us, I know first-hand it can be such a help to those in need.

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post

 

 

I was having a conversation w/ a friend today.  She's gluten intolerant & has issues w/ dairy.  She recently was at a frineds to celebrate both their birthdays, with a lot of food that she hasn't eaten in a long time.  She ate a bunch of it which had gluten & dairy in it.  The next day she was lethargic, foggy, felt like sitting on the couch, doing nothing all day.  She had no motivation.  As we were talking, I said that listening to how she felt afterwards, I had to wonder how many people out in the general public, feel like this on a regular basis because of what they eat.  How many people look like lazy couch potatoes, but wouldn't be if they weren't eating things that actually turned them into couch potatoes because of what it did to their minds & bodies?  So, reading these replies reminded me of that.  I wonder how many people are truly paralyzed?

 

Sus

I felt like this the first 28 years of my life, and couldn't figure out why! It wasn't until my DS was 2 that I found out he has celiac and a ton of food intolerances, and so do I. Once we changed our diet, I felt like a different person! For the first time in my life, I had energy, no digestive problems, and wasn't in pain.  DS was all of a sudden a healthy child, where before, he was so sickly it broke my heart. 

 

When you eat gluten and all these allergens every meal of your life, you get used to it and feeling like crap all the time seems "normal".  I've often wondered  the same thing: how many people are out there who are overweight couch potatoes, and in chronic pain with all kinds of health problems, because they have undiagnosed celiac or food allergies?? I bet the number is staggering. The problem is, you become addicted to these junk foods, and getting your body on a clean diet is just as hard as getting clean from some kind of drug...so I think many people, even if they realize it, don't have the willpower to kick the junk food habit.

post #38 of 47
I didn't read all of the posts... I scanned but couldn't bring myself to indulge in all of the criticism--open and veiled. My heart aches for the countless moms who are doing their best but are having their choices strewn on a forum without their permission for strangers to "tisk-tisk" at, or worse. And I feel saddened not so much for the "obese kids at the fair" who were enjoying their corn dogs, but for the mamas posting here who were more concerned about what other families looked like and were eating than enjoying the outing with her own family.

Instead of openly criticizing others, I hope that I can teach my infant daughter to love people and reach out to them from a sincere place to help them where they're at. For example, sharing healthy snacks with the "obese" kids at school, or inviting the obese kids to play fun games at recess. Isn't that a better legacy than putting up one's nose in disgust or veiling that disgust with pity??

And for the record, my mom is overweight and we've always eaten phenomenally (read: wild game, fresh veggies, and almost no fast food). It tears her heart out to be glared at and judged by strangers. And my husband is extremely fit and healthy and was fed almost entirely junk food just about from birth. Just a reminder that no one can accurately judge a book by its cover.

Well, that's my two cents. The post that stuck out to me the most on this topic was the first poster's (mamahru). She spoke from actual experience--not as the critical neighbor or judgmental stranger--as the person genuinely seeking to educate and empathize with mamas. I appreciate her sharing her experience and insight into such a complex topic!
Edited by skinnyloveBC - 8/29/13 at 2:58pm
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 

Sierramtngirl, I'm so glad you had a mom who was able to make good choices with the WIC foods!! It is definitely a blessing during difficult times, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was ungrateful at all for the help it provided.  I guess I was being critical of the way our WIC program was - they did not provide the kind of education workshops that would help people make healthier choices with the foods given, and instead steered us toward processed foods. At the time, there was no option for farmer's markets or other fresh produce...seems they have expanded the program over the last few years, which is great!

 

I did a lot of creative cooking with the WIC foods we could eat, and when it came to the point that we could hardly get anything on the list because of our allergies and intolerances, I felt it wasn't worthwhile continuing with the program, especially with how condescending these individuals were about our different needs and unwilling to provide alternatives for us. It would have been easy enough to say "Oh, you can't drink milk, so try rice milk instead", or "If you can't eat tuna, how about canned salmon" but they wouldn't allow any substitutions or even offer suggestions. I couldn't afford much, so our fridge was usually very empty, but even still, we wound up being healthier in the long run. I am very glad to see they have improved WIC so much...even though it didn't work for us, I know first-hand it can be such a help to those in need.

 

Concerning what I bolded, WIC was started as a farm subsidy program.  In the simplest sense, it was used to keep the dairy prices up first, providing food aid second which is probably why alternative foods (rice milk as an example) aren't offered/permitted, it doesn't help the dairy industry.  Someone correct me please if I am wrong, I volunteered with the program but that was 20+ years ago.

post #40 of 47

I'm not sure anyone was sticking their nose up in the air or anything. I think most or all of us are legitimately shocked that people feed their kids this way, ie: giving a 19 month old up to 6 cans of coke a day. Giving him that much pop has nothing to do with being poor (which they are not) or not knowing that that is bad for him. And I wasn't saying that people were wrong for letting their kids have corn dogs at the fair, I was saying that I was surprised at the number of families where all the people were obese. I'm not talking about heavier person who is healthy, I'm talking about obesity. I don't think sharing a healthy snack with an overweight kid at school is going to make their parents wake up and stop giving them junk food, for whatever reason they have, for every meal. The 'everybody just needs a hug, and everything will be better' attitude just doesn't work and having a greater and greater number of people raising kids with terrible eating habits is going to effect everybody.

 

I think not watching the video, skimming posts, and then saying that we are all bashing fat people and being snobs is a little bit judgemental.

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