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anybody else turned off by 'force feeding' - Page 3

post #41 of 81
I was forced to eat everything on my plate (prepared by my mother) before I could even get up from the table. This continued into my middle school years and then made to feel guilty about as I grew up. I think this behavior has contributed to our nation's obesity problem because it causes the person to not be able to determine when they are full, so they eat and eat. There is scientific data proving this. So I am so very against forcing your child to eat, however, i don't believe my kids can only eat a few bites and then get dessert. And I am not going to fix 3 different meals because one child doesn't like what I fix. My kids have always been great eaters, especially of vegetables (I think because I ate lots of them while breastfeeding and continued to introduce them over and over, even when they refused to eat them!) But it is much healthier for everyone, especially children, to eat several small meals throughout the day, instead of stuffing themselves with 2 or 3 large ones. So all hail to the little grazers!! They know what their body needs. I just make sure my 2 year old has healthy items to snack on because she is always on the go, and always HUNGRY!!
post #42 of 81
Does anyone else have a kid who gets crazy grumpy when he doesn't eat, but claims he's not hungry, and then wants to nurse either constantly or every ten-15 minutes to assuage the hunger? I don't know where I fall on the eating issues. I have given up on following him around offering it to him when I know he's hungry or almost-hungry, trying to prevent the crazy grumpies. Now I just let him hit the wall and get grumpy; but then the nursing constantly starts, and that makes me grumpy. Then I end up stopping the constant nursing, and he eats, but by that time we've had a bad hour or so. I've tried saying he can only nurse after he eats, but that feels semi-manipulative and weird. (I only say that when it's painfully obvious that he's hungry: he is grumpy, his stomach is growling, etc.). I've tried asking what he needs the nursing for -- to fill his belly, or for cuddles, or for thirst; that worked for a while to help him understand he was hungry, but it's stopped working. He doesn't seem to have food allergies. He'll be three in Feb. And sometimes he does eat when he's hungry -- it's gotten a lot better since I stopped trying to prevent his hungry grumpies, and just let him hit the wall. But then sometimes the nursing starts...

So I guess I'm saying I'm afraid I'm creating food issues for my son. I have been found, on occasion, begging him to eat -- in order to curb the grumpies and the constant nursing. And once he does eat, he's the picture of sunshine. Does anyone else have a situation like this?
post #43 of 81
Have you tried just making an observation (without asking or pressuring or expectation) -- "I thought you might be hungry, there is _______ for you that I put ____ (on the table, on the bottom shelf of the fridge, in this baggie etc) Maybe that would help? Have you tried foods that are really easy to get in him to stop hunger quickly? In other words, maybe he likes the nursing (not only because it's from mama ) but because it is like a liquid meal which he is used to filling him up quickly? Have you tried smoothies? They can be really healthy -- or if it isn't a *cuddle* issue, maybe you could pump and have some bm available to him if he wants some?

Sorry if you have tried those things, just thought I would take a shot ---

On the other issues raised --- I just have to repeat that no one I know who *doesn't* have food rules makes more than one dinner (unless they choose to, want to, or there are severe allergies etc) --- I know I don't make more than one dinner and I don't plan to in the future. There are tons of things our daughter will happily eat which are nutritious, tasty, and very quick to prepare/make/serve --- I just need to clarify that because that is the big thing I hear when the discussion of food comes up regarding children and honoring their autonomy as it relates to it "I'm not a short order cook!!!" "I can't let them eat dessert for dinner!!!" and all that ---

On that issue, I have no problem with dessert before dinner, or dessert as the whole meal or dessert all day long --- for two reasons --- it has never happened and I don't see it happening. I have found in my own daughter and have observed in other children raised in this manner relating to food, that when food holds no *power*, when it evokes no strong emotions or arguements or power struggles, when it has no allure (other than maybe the taste of it) -- it is unlikely a child will actively choose to eat ding dongs all day -- especially since their palates are already used to certain foods --- and as addictive as some foods can be, I assert that the same types of foods can be seen as too sweet or rich or not appealing to someone who's already developed a taste and familiarity and a positive connection to *healthy* foods.

In addition, one piece of cake never gave someone diabetes. One serving of chips never made someone fat. Once piece of cheesecake never gave someone heart disease. Yes, these things are not the *healthiest* of items, and are not regular visitors in our home -- but I we can all agree ( I think and hope ) that the occasional, rare item like this in an otherwise healthy, nutritious, balanced diet including exercise is not the creator or cause of a nation of health problems and obesity.

In my humble opinion, having our daughter be a witness to the occasional, responsibly consumed "treat", and seeing that it is not abused, seeing that while it is enjoyed, it is done so in moderation, with responsibility before returning back to our regular, healthier diet is better than the "eat as I say not as I eat" attitude I see a lot.

Babe needs me more later!
post #44 of 81
I don't like the idea of force-feeding. We do try and have 3 meals a day and we want her to at least try/have a little of whatever it is we are serving (she gets to choice out of the selection whats on her plate). Unless it's super-close to a mealtime, she's allowed to snack pretty much at will as long as she's not wasting food.

With my niece, it feels almost like force-feeding her sometimes (she stays here periodically). She is 10 and will go literal days without eating unless you literally say "What do you want, I will fix it and you will eat it" (though I never force her to clean her plate). She isn't a good "grazer" either because if junk is available, that is all she will eat (We've taken her to dinner before, bought her the meal of her choice from the kids menu, have her take 2 bites and say she's full to come back to the house and grab chips and start chowing down). Needless to say, we don't keep junk in the house when she's visiting anymore!

Her mother/grandmother are so desperate to get her to eat that they will let her have chocolate frozen yogurt in lieu of a meal because "it has calcium." Which I think is giving her the impression that if she doesn't eat meals, she will get junk.
post #45 of 81
Like most things, I'm growing/evolving on this one. There was a time, not long ago, when I really felt like I had to get my 2 year old to eat at least 2 bites of his dinner. But, like most folks, I've observed that he really does eat when he is hungry, and will eat very healthy food (unless it is green - I still have to sneak the green stuff in to sauces, soups, etc.), and when he doesn't feel like eating, he usually has a good reason not to (often he needs to poop). And when he isn't hungry, even his favorite foods (pizza, mac n cheese) will not really tempt him. So I'm learning to trust him, like I'm learning to trust hm about so many other things. I do ask him to at least try to eat a bite of what I cook...because he usually does say no at first to new things. We also are pretty much a non dessert family (or, to be honest, sometimes a dessert after he goes to bed family) because I just don't want to play that game of using sweets to manipulate him into eating, and he does really have a sweet tooth. I just don't want him expecting dessert with every dinner. For us, dessert is a special treat, not an every day occurance, and when we do have dessert with dinner on a special occasion, he gets some whether he eats his dinner or not.

We eat 3 meals at the table. It is just fun/important social time for us, and my son honestly enjoys it. My husband cooks breakfast every morning (lately, since I'm preggy and tired, I sleep), and the two of them eat together. Sometimes my son eats, sometimes he doesn't, we try not to fret about it. He seems to enjoy the ritual even if he doesn't eat.

I grew up in an "at the table" family, and really value that. There were never food battles - I didnt' have to finish my plate. I just enjoyed having that time to check in as a family. My brother, who seems to have responded to everything differently than I did, really resented having to eat at the table, but that is a different story. We also snack. I have low blood sugar and need several smaller snacks each day to keep from getting grumpy, so I usually offer my son a slice of cheese or a piece of fruit when I'm having my snack. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes no. We allow snacks on his train table or outside, but regular meals happen at the table.

One issue that we do have is that my 2.5 year old still likes for me to feed him! I don't all the time, but there are days where he says "mommy feed me" and I will. I worry sometimes that when I feed him, he is eating when he isn't hungry. He also will ASK me to play airplane games with him, which we played when he was younger. I don't have any problem with those sort of games if they aren't being used manipulatively. He asks for "steam engine bites", "diesel train bites" "hellicopter bites" etc. and sometimes even makes sound effects as he feeds himself. I think it is more about his enjoyment of eating...but it does have me wondering. Eating for us seems mostly fun, rarely stressful, and I'm learning to not be stressed about it at all because when he is hungry, he will EAT...and I mean EAT. It blows me away how much he will put away when he is hungry.

He also is one of those kids who thinks everything tastes better with ketchup, but that is another story - at least we are using organic/low sugar/low salt red stuff. I don't have any problem giving him ketchup with his whole wheat pancakes if he asks for it.

This has been a very helpful thread. I will say that I think that parents who play food games...or ask their kids to take a certain number of bites are doing what they think is the right thing. I went through a really fretful stage between 1-2 because he was such a good eater earlier on...loved broccoli, spinach, veggies, and then really seemed to get picky. I felt like I was failing, and really tried to encourage "just a couple of bites" because I felt like I had to do that to be a responsible mom. I've learned...but don't be too hard on folks. For me, it helped to realize that it really was a control issue, and that as long as I was giving him healthy choices, I didn't have to be so in control of what he choose to eat or not eat. I also sympathize with parents with older kids...because it really does seem like it can get to be a trickier issue.
post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsmama View Post
I went through a really fretful stage between 1-2 because he was such a good eater earlier on...loved broccoli, spinach, veggies, and then really seemed to get picky. I felt like I was failing, and really tried to encourage "just a couple of bites" because I felt like I had to do that to be a responsible mom. I've learned...but don't be too hard on folks. For me, it helped to realize that it really was a control issue, and that as long as I was giving him healthy choices, I didn't have to be so in control of what he choose to eat or not eat. I also sympathize with parents with older kids...because it really does seem like it can get to be a trickier issue.
I agree, it's surprising when your child gets a little older and all of a sudden only wants about one spoonful of something. Or the same thing all day every day for three days. It can be worrisome. I had heard from lots of different places about how children get picky as they get older, so I was even prepared, and when my dd started doing this, I still got worried and tempted to enforce some more rules. But, it seems like she is still eating pretty well, most of the time.

I do have to disagree with this, though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCrunchy
I have found in my own daughter and have observed in other children raised in this manner relating to food, that when food holds no *power*, when it evokes no strong emotions or arguements or power struggles, when it has no allure (other than maybe the taste of it) -- it is unlikely a child will actively choose to eat ding dongs all day -- especially since their palates are already used to certain foods --- and as addictive as some foods can be, I assert that the same types of foods can be seen as too sweet or rich or not appealing to someone who's already developed a taste and familiarity and a positive connection to *healthy* foods.
This is exactly the opposite of what I've observed. I have been very surprised by how quickly my dd's tongue became desensitized to "junk" food, to the saltier tastes of hot dogs and the sweeter tastes of store-bought baked goods. If I agreed to buy all of these things at the store, as she always requests, I am sure this is all she would eat. When she gets candy as a gift, I occasionally let her have free rein with it, and she does not choose to eat carrots or beans or cheese or anything else normal until she has eaten it all.

And I don't think it has that much to do with control. I think the biggest part is biological, an urge that has evolved to preserve the human race, and is now, of course, turning on us. I believe our bodies crave high calorie, high fat, sweet foods because for most of the time that humans have walked the earth, this has been a very good strategy for preservation. We like those foods because they prepare us for times of famine. I think it's just too simple to dismiss an entire culture's obesity epidemic as one of food control issues. There's greater forces at work here.
post #47 of 81
I hated that my son's cousins were punished w/ time out and no dessert w/ out cleaning off their plate.

I say why should they get punished & get something taken away when they did eat a bit of it. They shouldn't be expected to eat every single bit even if they do take alot . Half the time when I see my cousins fill their plate up omg it is sooooooo full' . I couldn't even be able to eat that much and they expect them to eat it all. To me that's nuts even my mom was trying to 'force feed my son' . I go - that's alot ' and my son will eat what he wants to eat and when he will eat it.

So many times even parents who do force feeding of their kids barely finish their own meals themselves half the time I bet we are nearly putting our leftovers in the garbage so why should we make our kids eat when we barely eat anything.

Like for example my son's grandma who's trying to force feed my son is like only having one 'big full meal which is at dinner otherwise she just eats yogurt, banana & popcorn,

I go think this is why my mom has so much trouble sleeping. I give my son offering of food , fruit, veggies, meat, drinks he is able to eat if he wants to eat today he didn't want to eat at all except a little bit of string cheese.


He's sick with an ear infection so I won't press him on eating cuz chewing proably bothers his ear .

Force feeding can lead to obesity which means you can either eat so quickly that you don't feel full so you 'overstuff yourself because it takes at least 20 minutes for you body to know their is food in you . Forced feeding leads to continue to eat even if your full.
post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolhagan View Post
Is your nephew special needs? I just find this really odd. My son is really small too. (Almost 30lbs at five years old) He was admitted in the hospital for failure to thrive several times, but I would still never force feed him. He is autistic and has issues with certain texture foods. I try to provide healthy foods that he will eat, and not sweat it if he doesn't eat.
They claim he is just "Failure to thrive", but that when he is alone with them, he is happy and animated. I have only spent about 20 hours with him, (They live in St Louis) and I saw absolutely no response at all. He just sits there and stares. The only time he makes a sound is when they are feeding him, and then he cries. He spends a lot of time in a wonderful Childrens hospital, and his mother is a nurse. So, since I don't see him often, I just don't know.

He weighs about 11 lbs and is 16 months old. My daughter was 8 lbs at birth, so he seems so small to me. He is not only skinny, he is tiny. He has tiny hands, a tiny head. He was born on time, but weighed only 4.5 lbs. Then he never would eat, so they kept him in the hospital for a long time.

I wish I knew more, but I am not very involved.
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
And I don't think it has that much to do with control. I think the biggest part is biological, an urge that has evolved to preserve the human race, and is now, of course, turning on us. I believe our bodies crave high calorie, high fat, sweet foods because for most of the time that humans have walked the earth, this has been a very good strategy for preservation. We like those foods because they prepare us for times of famine. I think it's just too simple to dismiss an entire culture's obesity epidemic as one of food control issues. There's greater forces at work here.
To make this more complicated, I think it depends also on our individual genetic heritage, which is why different parents have different observations about how this stuff affects their own kids.

So I think it's entirely possible that some people's kids react to these kinds of foods by eating them in moderation, while other people's kids react to them by eating nothing else.
post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
This is exactly the opposite of what I've observed. I have been very surprised by how quickly my dd's tongue became desensitized to "junk" food, to the saltier tastes of hot dogs and the sweeter tastes of store-bought baked goods. If I agreed to buy all of these things at the store, as she always requests, I am sure this is all she would eat. When she gets candy as a gift, I occasionally let her have free rein with it, and she does not choose to eat carrots or beans or cheese or anything else normal until she has eaten it all.

And I don't think it has that much to do with control. I think the biggest part is biological, an urge that has evolved to preserve the human race, and is now, of course, turning on us. I believe our bodies crave high calorie, high fat, sweet foods because for most of the time that humans have walked the earth, this has been a very good strategy for preservation. We like those foods because they prepare us for times of famine. I think it's just too simple to dismiss an entire culture's obesity epidemic as one of food control issues. There's greater forces at work here.
I agree. My SIL's dd only drinks chocolate milk and only eats cheese cubes and sugary snacks. She is ~3. My MIL watches her and will only give her junk because she wants to show her she "loves her". Where SIL tried to get her to eat other stuff but failed due to her mother's interference. And now SIL tries to force her to eat meat (she hates meat) and refuses to make veggies and fruit for her.

When she comes to our house, she eats what we give her. But I think that it is situation dependent. Some children DO prefer junk (I was one of them as a kid and still struggle with it and force down some healthy stuff), and some kids could go either way.
post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
I agree. My SIL's dd only drinks chocolate milk and only eats cheese cubes and sugary snacks. She is ~3. My MIL watches her and will only give her junk because she wants to show her she "loves her". Where SIL tried to get her to eat other stuff but failed due to her mother's interference. And now SIL tries to force her to eat meat (she hates meat) and refuses to make veggies and fruit for her.

When she comes to our house, she eats what we give her. But I think that it is situation dependent. Some children DO prefer junk (I was one of them as a kid and still struggle with it and force down some healthy stuff), and some kids could go either way.
So wait --- how is that making an arguement that children are biologically programmed to want sugar? That seems to me a case of providing unhealthy food from a very young age --- tying it up with emotion (to show she loves her you said) and interfering in the mother's attempts to provide alternatives.... none of which involves veggies and fruit??

That is not what we do at all. We don't give our daughter food to show we love her --- well in a broad sense maybe, we provide organic, vegetarian, whole, nutritious foods as another means of showing our care for her body --- but there are no emotions tied to eating or not (other than does it make our body feel good? Does it taste fresh? etc)

People are not biologically programmed to want "junk" imo -- considering the fact that in the early days of the human experience, there was no "junk" --- the only real fat I suppose came from animal fats and oils --- otherwise it was grain/seeds/nuts/fruit... then of course later, vegetables which could be planted and harvested etc...the *sugars* were fruit sugars or very unrefined ---

I don't think control issues are the ONLY thing which create unhealthy people and unhealthy relationships with food -- but I think it has a lot to do with it -- I think all the power, and manipulation, and threats and pressure, and emotional ties, and withholding certain foods or forcing certain foods, or changing the "rules" depending on how you feel at the time (for instance no *junk* unless it is a holiday or we are on vacation, then go nuts) which creates an unhealthy attachment and relationship with food. It gives it so much power.

I suppose I feel that if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. Our daughter is extremely healthy, eats a wide array of healthful foods, is at a very healthy weight, gets a lot of activity --- and we have no food rules whatsoever (except where it breaks federal law, like with alcohol or something) ---- now if she were obese, or lacked energy, or had behavioral issues related to certain foods at 17 monthsold I may think, "sheesh, something isn't working" and modify. I trust her ability to seek out foods (if provided to her and are enjoyable to the palate) which will make her body feel healthy and she has showed me so far that she willingly does that. Why change it?
post #52 of 81
Humans are biologically programmed to want sweet/fattening foods because of the long harsh winter sans fresh food, so they want to pack on the pounds before the famine ahead. It's called nature. It's how we survived our hunter gatherer times.

Also Sweet = Safe
Bitter = Dangerous

Many poisonous plants are very bitter to the pallate, masking poisonous tendencies. So the sweet ones are the safe ones.

Hence why sugar triggers the whole "Must eat lots...must store up...this bounty..mffmffmffmmmm must pig out..." reflex in alot of people, because the body is well lets just say no matter how far we try to THINK we have evolved past our hunter gatherer tendencies, the biology is still there...so sweet = bounty must eat, must put into body storage for winter because it wont last.

Make sense???

Unfortunately refined sugar has tricked our bodies...

but that's another can o worms
post #53 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
So wait --- how is that making an arguement that children are biologically programmed to want sugar? That seems to me a case of providing unhealthy food from a very young age --- tying it up with emotion (to show she loves her you said) and interfering in the mother's attempts to provide alternatives.... none of which involves veggies and fruit??

That is not what we do at all. We don't give our daughter food to show we love her --- well in a broad sense maybe, we provide organic, vegetarian, whole, nutritious foods as another means of showing our care for her body --- but there are no emotions tied to eating or not (other than does it make our body feel good? Does it taste fresh? etc)

People are not biologically programmed to want "junk" imo -- considering the fact that in the early days of the human experience, there was no "junk" --- the only real fat I suppose came from animal fats and oils --- otherwise it was grain/seeds/nuts/fruit... then of course later, vegetables which could be planted and harvested etc...the *sugars* were fruit sugars or very unrefined ---

I don't think control issues are the ONLY thing which create unhealthy people and unhealthy relationships with food -- but I think it has a lot to do with it -- I think all the power, and manipulation, and threats and pressure, and emotional ties, and withholding certain foods or forcing certain foods, or changing the "rules" depending on how you feel at the time (for instance no *junk* unless it is a holiday or we are on vacation, then go nuts) which creates an unhealthy attachment and relationship with food. It gives it so much power.

I suppose I feel that if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. Our daughter is extremely healthy, eats a wide array of healthful foods, is at a very healthy weight, gets a lot of activity --- and we have no food rules whatsoever (except where it breaks federal law, like with alcohol or something) ---- now if she were obese, or lacked energy, or had behavioral issues related to certain foods at 17 monthsold I may think, "sheesh, something isn't working" and modify. I trust her ability to seek out foods (if provided to her and are enjoyable to the palate) which will make her body feel healthy and she has showed me so far that she willingly does that. Why change it?
Actually, I was talking about two things at once. I am NAK, so I get muddled up in writing, sorry. I meant to bring up this study I had read about food choices and genes. Something about whether or not you like meat, and there were a few other corresponding things. It was in July, I belive. Still NAK, so I will look later. But so much about what we eat has to do with genes for a lot of people.

And according to all of the biology I have read, we are programmed to want "junk". Biologically we are made to eat as much as we can to build food stores for times of starvation and famine. And we are designed to like sweet things, etc. because...well, biology. They are "Pregastric Factors". Things like appearance, taste, psychology, odor, and learned aversions and preferences.

Ok. DD down. Interesting links:

http://www.biologynews.net/archives/...aste_gene.html
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-wwa020403.php

http://www.bioedonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?tk=11

Oh yeah, and everything Pandora said.
post #54 of 81
Yes, I actually do know about biology pandora, thanks for the refresher --anyway --- how can we be programmed to eat things which were not even invented though??? Odd to me how that conclusion has been reached --- I get the whole "we may starve, let's bulk up" reasoning -- but you mean to tell me that intelligent human beings who have information, knowledge, experience, and a means to continue eating and not starve, are a slave to food because they *just can't help it*. -- Sounds like the good 'ol excuse for cheating by men for thousands of years "it's biology baby, I couldn't keep it in my pants, gotta spread that seed ya know..." Yes, there may be a biological predisposition to certain behaviors, but I am not going to let that rule my world, or use it as an excuse to control other people and what they put in their mouths.


I guess I reject the mentality that we have no control over what we eat, or how much, so we have to control our children so they don't fall into the same terrible fate of being addicted victims to twinkies. Yes, refined sugar can be addictive -- as well as alcohol, or anything else -- and even though addicts get all the press.. there actually are WAY more responsible, social drinkers out there than addicts. Research shows that there is far less instance of addiction in homes where (other variables being similar) alcohol was presented in a responsible manner, without being seen as taboo or evil -- or on the flip side, presented as a reward for being "good".

I reject the idea that just because some of us may have a predisposition from thousands of years ago to crave certain foods and certain times (depending on time of month, hormonal changes, pregnancy, stress etc) that we are just doomed and there is nothing we can do about it.

With regard to children, this is just another subject where people (imo) insult their children's intelligence, body cues, and instincts (however unintentionally) so they can control their environment for the "greater good".

To a certain extent we all control certain aspects of our children's environment, in that my daughter is too young to drive to the grocery store, throw stuff in the cart, pay for it, bring it home etc.... so I acknowledge that I am helping to form her tastes and preferences for certain foods based on my presentation of it, my attitude when eating and enjoying healthy foods, our discussions (and future discussions) on certain foods, their healing (or hurting) properties, how they make us feel physically (good or bad) and on and on..

I guess I don't see why it would be neccessary to control anything else -- forcing one more bite, or nothing sweet until veggies or eaten etc... or even making her try new things seems so controlling and out there to me -- either she wants to try it or not, whatever. I trust her ability to fuel her body, and it has been working wonderfully so far --- why start controlling her? One day our children are going to get to an age where no one can "control" them --- I'd rather begin building the foundation now of critical thinking, following hunger cues, recognizing when certain foods make us tired, or cranky, of feel bad, recognizing what foods make our bodies feel good and energetic etc --- rather than control her every step of the way then wonder why she is sneaking McD's in at night and hiding the wrappers under her bed when she is a teenager (or throwing it up in her closet or something)... not suggesting your children will do that, but it isn't unheard of....
post #55 of 81
Ok. I see that you don't believe in it. But we haven't evolved to be past following biology for our eating habits. Some people are slaves to food and junk and can not control it. Everyone is different. Just because *your* children aren't doesn't mean nobody is. All of the scientific research agrees that there is a lot more biology behind it than you believe in. We *are* animals. We can not go around biology for a lot of things.

I do not find it to be insulting my children's intelligence to tell my 2 yo that she can not eat ice cream all day. She would. She would get sick. My job as parent is to guide her. I am going against her intinct to hoarde and to eat sweets. If that's insulting, then I will gladly give up my membership to MDC.

Not everyone is perfect and eats healthy because they are following their intelligence. If that were the case, then can you explain the huge rates of obesity and nutrition linked illnesses?
post #56 of 81
I agree with Capt. Crunchy.

Given the climate of eating disorders in the country, I'd say the conventional wisdom might need some re-tooling.

In a few weeks the unschooling lists will be full of accounts of uneaten, disregarded buckets of Halloween Candy. Seems like that group of uncontrolled, unrestricted kids do behave uniformly in this regard--small sample that it is.
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
I guess I reject the mentality that we have no control over what we eat, or how much, so we have to control our children so they don't fall into the same terrible fate of being addicted victims to twinkies. Yes, refined sugar can be addictive -- as well as alcohol, or anything else -- and even though addicts get all the press.. there actually are WAY more responsible, social drinkers out there than addicts. Research shows that there is far less instance of addiction in homes where (other variables being similar) alcohol was presented in a responsible manner, without being seen as taboo or evil -- or on the flip side, presented as a reward for being "good".

I reject the idea that just because some of us may have a predisposition from thousands of years ago to crave certain foods and certain times (depending on time of month, hormonal changes, pregnancy, stress etc) that we are just doomed and there is nothing we can do about it.
Okay, but alcohol addiction takes a really long time to build. It's not immediate, at all, and first you have to build up quite a resistance. How about nicotine? Do you think all those smokers out there should be able to just smoke in moderation? If they didn't associate it with being a rebel, they wouldn't want to smoke? Or how about heroin? I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure most of the human race were not using heroin as we were evolving from hunter/gatherers, yet I wouldn't deign to dismiss someone's heroin addiction.

I think people crave refined sugar because it triggers a response in our body. All animals respond this way. No, it doesn't have to dictate our behavior, but we shouldn't ignore it's power. Especially with children.

And, I know you hate to hear this CaptainCrunchy, but I have to say that it was a hell of a lot easier to keep my dd's diet healthy when she was 17 months old. She hadn't been to other people's houses, she didn't notice as much when other people were eating other stuff, she didn't know to associate bright colors and cartoons on packaging with tasty junk food. She couldn't trick or treat, and people didn't give her candy as presents. So, I feel that it's important to exert some control over these things. And I think that to say that a toddler has never asked for junk food and eats very healthy because you don't have junk food is a great start, but is a totally different situation. And I can't imagine what we're going to have to deal with when she gets to school!:

With regard to children, this is just another subject where people (imo) insult their children's intelligence, body cues, and instincts (however unintentionally) so they can control their environment for the "greater good".

To a certain extent we all control certain aspects of our children's environment, in that my daughter is too young to drive to the grocery store, throw stuff in the cart, pay for it, bring it home etc.... so I acknowledge that I am helping to form her tastes and preferences for certain foods based on my presentation of it, my attitude when eating and enjoying healthy foods, our discussions (and future discussions) on certain foods, their healing (or hurting) properties, how they make us feel physically (good or bad) and on and on..

I guess I don't see why it would be neccessary to control anything else -- forcing one more bite, or nothing sweet until veggies or eaten etc... or even making her try new things seems so controlling and out there to me -- either she wants to try it or not, whatever. I trust her ability to fuel her body, and it has been working wonderfully so far --- why start controlling her? One day our children are going to get to an age where no one can "control" them --- I'd rather begin building the foundation now of critical thinking, following hunger cues, recognizing when certain foods make us tired, or cranky, of feel bad, recognizing what foods make our bodies feel good and energetic etc --- rather than control her every step of the way then wonder why she is sneaking McD's in at night and hiding the wrappers under her bed when she is a teenager (or throwing it up in her closet or something)... not suggesting your children will do that, but it isn't unheard of....[/QUOTE]
post #58 of 81
But when kids are older then they can UNDERSTAND nutrition better.

I have been through 0 to 19yo with my DS. Which "hard" age did I miss? I understand the argument about "not all kids are the same", but I also believe that concious realization of what is happening in our body plays a very significant role.

Just like you pointed out - addictions do not (usually) happen overnight. So why would a human with his/her OWN understanding (and not because mommy forbids) get themselves to the point of addiction?

DD is 6 now. She also had more or less "free rein" as far as food is concerned. I say "more or less" because: no, we don't have mountains of candy of the table every day that is there INSTEAD of other foods. Because she sees US eat other foods. We ALL have occasional candy now and then.

I guess the point of this discussion has been that one is way more likely to develop food addiction, unability to control food intake, etc., IF there are force fed.

I guess there is ALWAYS a possibility to develop food addiction (just like any other addiction). I just believe that this possibility is much greater IF people have never been given a chance to listen to their body.
post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
IIn a few weeks the unschooling lists will be full of accounts of uneaten, disregarded buckets of Halloween Candy. .
Two years ago, I'd have been writing posts like that. DS1 could take it or leave it. He'd love his Easter basket and his Halloween loot...and most of it would end up going stale and getting thrown out, or being eaten by me. : DS1 liked healthy foods - would happily snack on veggies and fruits, and didn't much care about junk. And, now he's 13.5. He could get a full pillowcase on Halloween and eat it all in about two weeks. He'll eat an Easter basket worth of chocolate in three days, if allowed. He always wants junk. Same kid - same mom....just add hormones...

DD's a whole different story right out the chute. She'd happily live on cookies and candy if we had it in the house on a regular basis. Kids are all different.

My sister's twins are the funniest I've ever seen in some ways. If she gave them a classic balanced meal, all the potatoes/pasta/rice/whatever ended up on the boy's plate, and the girl ate all his meat. He ate more veggies, but his sister would eat some of them. They've always been that way, and it hasn't changed. The boy will also eat about five times the candy that his sister will, if they have equal access to it.

I do my best, but I have an unhealthy relationship with food, myself. (It's not he result of force feeding or "you must clear your plate" - I know where it comes from and it's not that innocent, unfortunately). I fight with food every day of my life, and sometimes, the struggle spills over on my kids. They do end up with slightly more junk in the house than I'm 100% okay with...but it's still not an all the time thing..
post #60 of 81
Thread Starter 
I agree with letting a child listen to his/her own body in regards to food. Someone pointed out the fact we wouldn't expect our children (hopefully) to pee or poop on command. Why should food be any different? Captain Crunchy I'm with you.

The only time I really give this much thought is when we have these playdates. I don't agree with the way my friend does things and am not sure how to bring up the topic without making her feel defensive. Maybe it's just none of my business but I see her dd looking at my two little people who do not have to clean their plates and are allowed to 'graze' and her little eyes look sad and confused. She will ask me if she "can be done" of course I defer to her Mommy. I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Hmm, maybe we should do our playdates not around dinner...that would solve my issue anyway.
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