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Is this unethical? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
If this is such an issue, and you can't find a way around it (changing the school policies, organizing/educating the other parents, etc. -- I can't see that your DC would settle for a Lara bar when everyone else is eating Dora cake, esp since you describe him as "jynk-food loving" ) then maybe you should consider finding an alternative school or daycare. I don't think lying about allergies is the way to go, as others have cautioned. You could say that he is "sensitive" or that the dyes affect his behavior, but where do you draw the line? Is it just the red dye #40? Do you have a problem with the HFCS or the PHO that are also in all those packaged junk foods? Or the Splenda or the interesterified oils? And think of how it'll affect your DC, getting "alternate" snacks when everyone else is having the same thing. That seems like setting a kid up for just as much trouble, albeit of a different kind, as junky food.

Good luck.
post #22 of 51
Ditto Viking Mama and other posters who actually have allergies. Don't lie about it. Especially since the school already knows he's not allergic to it. You'll just make things unnecessarily difficult for your child.

Instead I'd try to change the birthday routine. In dd's preschool rather than any edible treats at all what they do is all the kids make a birthday card for the birthday child and special songs are sung at meeting time for the child and the birthday child give a book to the school library. A nameplate is put into the book so siblings and even future children of the birthday child can find the books given. The school doesn't allow edible treats framed around the amount of sugary treats that would be entering school based on the amount of kids and birthdays and the behavioral issues surrounding that. Also it's framed around allergy issues. I think those two arguments could be used in this case. The school also likes to promote the idea of giving as well as receiving. Not to mention the books and card will last a longer time than any Dora birthday cake. Unless it's not eaten I suppose. :
post #23 of 51
My DS is 'allergic' to Yellow #5, red #40, and sodium bezonate...so that takes care of most junk and prepackaged foods. What I mean by 'allergic' is that he spazes out of control, has migraines, night terrors, and is totally in trouble the moment he eats anything with those colors/preservatives. It affects his behavior to this extreme that I'd say he is allergic. It seems as if he (his body, brain, something) is in pain from the junk in his system and he acts out, out of control. His ped said to tell people he is allergic so that it would put the 'scare factor' in them so that they wouldn't give it to him thinking I was depriving him of some childhood joy of eating crap.

I don't see it as unethical at all. Some kids ARE allergic. Who's in charge anyway? Can't they have a standard for food donations from parents? Something healthy? I don't understand why the people in charge would want crazy kids high on junk food running around???:
post #24 of 51
Yeah, I wouldn't lie and say it's an allergy. Besides being a lie, it's not a harmless one.
I think you could get away with saying he's hypersensitive to it though.
post #25 of 51
I am dealing with this as well with DD's school. The amount of junk they bring in is amazing. Cookies, pudding, jello - for snack!!! Not to mention all the birthday treats. It's unbelievable.

I would have absolutely no issue at all with lying if they were trying to poison my child. The problem is that, like last week, there was no red dye in the cake but it was neon blue and green. And the cake is filled with transfats, HFCS etc....

I've tried sending my child with healthy snacks. She has a bag just for her in case she doesn't like the snack. She's very aware of healthy foods and wants to make healthy decisions but it's very hard for a 5 yo to pass on cake in favor of whole grain crackers.

You have to do what you feel is necessary to protect your child's health. I've decided not to make a huge deal about the birthday treats. But, I am very vocal about the every day snacks. I've asked and asked that the director send a gentle reminder to parents that the parent handbook says snacks should be healthy, whole grain, concentrating on fruits and veggies. But, so far, parents still think capri sun and fruit snacks fit the bill
post #26 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcal View Post
But, so far, parents still think capri sun and fruit snacks fit the bill
Well, you know, they do have vitamen C! :



(Thats what my junk food loving mom would say-she thinks fruit juice is a substitute for fruit.)
post #27 of 51
Thread Starter 
Oh and a question for those of you who let your children choose their own foods:

So when you are at the grocery store and the kids are freaking about all the candy at the front, do you buy it for them?

(Let me guess, they dont want it. ) :

Really though, do you buy them all the stuff in the store thats bad for them that they want?

I am not particularly good at regulating my own sugar intake, and controlling my diet yet, so thats obviously the first goal in getting my kids to do the same.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Oh and a question for those of you who let your children choose their own foods:

So when you are at the grocery store and the kids are freaking about all the candy at the front, do you buy it for them?

(Let me guess, they dont want it. ) :

Really though, do you buy them all the stuff in the store thats bad for them that they want?

I am not particularly good at regulating my own sugar intake, and controlling my diet yet, so thats obviously the first goal in getting my kids to do the same.
I'm a firm believer in allowing my children to have junk food in moderation.

Growing up, I knew many kids whose parents were super anal about not letting their kids have junk food. Many of those kids would gorge on junk food when they were away from their parents... at school, at their friend's houses.
Where I was generally happy with 3-4 oreos, these friends that couldn't have them at home would eat twice as much.

I buy my kids candy at the store occasionally, but not often. If they're "freaking out" about it in line, I absolutely don't buy it for them. If they're whining, begging, crying for or demanding the stuff, I'm not buying it.

I don't get bent out of shape about my kids having a Happy Meal, or a handful of Skittles, or chips. Their diets are limited enough because of food allergies (for 2 of the 4)... why should I limit it more? They don't eat junk every day, and they don't gorge on it, so I'm fine with it.
post #29 of 51
Frankly I think it is perfectly fine to tell them that your son is allergic to red dye #40. If he has any type of rxn at all than it isn't a lie. A child doesn't have to suffer anaphalaxis for a rxn to truthfully be called an allergy. I find it very self-centered of the parents who seem to suggest this. I have a friend who's daughter is allergic to wheat. She isn't ever at risk of death, but she ends up throwing up and having diarrahea for several days if she gets more than a bite of anything with wheat. It's still an allergy. Some children's food allergies cause them eczema, some have headaches or behavioral changes. Their parents all have the right to use the word "allergy" when warning teachers not to give their child this food. Frankly as a preschool teacher I was aware that not all allergies manifested in the same way. We usually asked parents what type of symptoms we should look for if the child accidentally ingested some of their allergen. We were dilligent and it never happened, but theoretically it could, so its safer to know what signs to look for. Even if he has had some of the red dye before you can tell the school that you've recently realized he is allergic to it and to no longer let him have it.
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama View Post
I'm a firm believer in allowing my children to have junk food in moderation.

Growing up, I knew many kids whose parents were super anal about not letting their kids have junk food. Many of those kids would gorge on junk food when they were away from their parents... at school, at their friend's houses.
Where I was generally happy with 3-4 oreos, these friends that couldn't have them at home would eat twice as much.

I buy my kids candy at the store occasionally, but not often. If they're "freaking out" about it in line, I absolutely don't buy it for them. If they're whining, begging, crying for or demanding the stuff, I'm not buying it.

I don't get bent out of shape about my kids having a Happy Meal, or a handful of Skittles, or chips. Their diets are limited enough because of food allergies (for 2 of the 4)... why should I limit it more? They don't eat junk every day, and they don't gorge on it, so I'm fine with it.
That is so smart.

I dont trust my ds, but I should.

My 2 yr old just chose chicken over cookies!

I am afraid I tainted my 4 yr old. With my sugar issues.

Mabye we can make a comeback together.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Oh and a question for those of you who let your children choose their own foods:

So when you are at the grocery store and the kids are freaking about all the candy at the front, do you buy it for them?

(Let me guess, they dont want it. ) :

Really though, do you buy them all the stuff in the store thats bad for them that they want?

I am not particularly good at regulating my own sugar intake, and controlling my diet yet, so thats obviously the first goal in getting my kids to do the same.
We don't keep much stuff in the house that's unhealthy. But we also don't make a big deal about it when we encounter stuff outside of the house. I'm sure I'm pretty lucky. When preschool sent home a note to all parents about limiting the amount of junk food or sweets in lunches pointing out a lot of parents probably noticed their kids were only eating the sweets and leaving the rest, dd was eating everything in her lunch but the small cookie I put in b/c she was saving the cookie for later. I think the key is to teach everything in moderation and don't project your own food issues onto your children as best you can. My own to overcome is food as an emotional salve. I try to channel that energy into just cooking well. Doesn't always work but hopefully it won't be as much of a problem for dd as it is for me. It already is less of a problem for me than for my mother and grandmother.

I do think you would have a better long term effect by attempting to change the treat policy for the school than forbidding your child from participating. If that's the only sweets he's getting while not ideal it's not that bad. The key would be to model good eating habits at home. And maybe even occasionally just make a good cake or pie at home so he learns that the Dora cakes actually don't taste that good.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Oh and a question for those of you who let your children choose their own foods:

So when you are at the grocery store and the kids are freaking about all the candy at the front, do you buy it for them?

(Let me guess, they dont want it. ) :

Really though, do you buy them all the stuff in the store thats bad for them that they want?

I am not particularly good at regulating my own sugar intake, and controlling my diet yet, so thats obviously the first goal in getting my kids to do the same.
actually, you guessed right. My DD anyway, doesn't "spaz out" over all the candy in front of the store.
She knows that if she wants something, she can have it - hey, *I* can buy myself a candy if I want to, why shouldn't she? Usually when we go into town, or into a shop, I talk about how much money I'm willing to spend. I'll give her a budget of a few dollars and she can buy whatever junk she likes. Of course, I do discuss all her choices with her, and talk a lot about colourings and preservatives and trans fats and all that junk. If she knows all that, and still wants something, I'll buy it. It's her choice.

And the reality is that she can buy a packet of "gross-out" cookies, or whatever, and eat 1 or 2, and save the rest "for later". the last packed of choc-mint cream cookies we bought was about 3 weeks ago, and half the packet is still in her food box.

But DD's friends.... well, that's a different story. Her best friend, who's mother is very controlling (allows "junk" but only after good behaviour, and only in very tiny portions and very occasionally), has no self-control whatsoever.

I'll watch my DD say no to a sweet, coz she just doesn't feel like it, while her friend will devour anything and everything 'bad' at every opportunity. the other day, the friend came over and saw DD's jar of M&Ms. Its a big jar, well, I bought a mega-jumbo pack of cheap generic M&Ms, and DD ate about 6 of them and wanted to keep the rest for later. so I put them in a jar, on a shelf in plain view and easy reach for DD. The jar had been untouched for over a week, until the friend came over. The friend spotted them, and was almost jumping out of her skin begging me for some. Of course, I just said that they belong to DD, and to ask her.

you guessed it: DD gave her friend a small handfull, and ate a few herself and put the jar back. by the end of the play date, (actually, I think by the end of an hour), friend had wheedled the whole jar out of DD and ate the lot. she then came and asked me if there's any more sweets!

okay, sorry, I'm rambling on. I guess for me, the moral is clear. I firmly believe that the only way to truly 'protect' our kids from poisoning their bodies with junk food is to educate them well, and then give them the trust, freedom and respect to make their own choices.

I suspect that in any child who hasn't been raised this way from the start, it would be difficult to begin; at the start the child really would go berko eating nothing but candy. But I believe (and I've seen from experience) that the kid would pretty quickly have their fill, and come to a place of balance.

The key is communication. If I were gonna try this, I'd be reading out some of the posts on this thread, talking openly with my child about how I feel, and my concerns. find some good information about sugars and additives and such and read them with my child. Talk about how I want to give the child his own reins. and then do it.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
That is so smart.

I dont trust my ds, but I should.

My 2 yr old just chose chicken over cookies!

I am afraid I tainted my 4 yr old. With my sugar issues.

Mabye we can make a comeback together.
yes! working on it together is a great idea!

If you dont trust your DS, he wont trust himself.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Oh and a question for those of you who let your children choose their own foods:

So when you are at the grocery store and the kids are freaking about all the candy at the front, do you buy it for them?

(Let me guess, they dont want it. ) :

Really though, do you buy them all the stuff in the store thats bad for them that they want?

I am not particularly good at regulating my own sugar intake, and controlling my diet yet, so thats obviously the first goal in getting my kids to do the same.
You're right, mine doesn't want the candy and stuff at the checkout lanes. He wants the magazines instead. So far the only "crap" that they both ask for at the store is the donuts that they bake there and if they've been good then yes, they can have one to share. They certainly don't get one every time they ask for it though, they understand it's a treat that they get once in a while. They're allowed to eat what they want to eat in moderation. My oldest does have allergies and there are foods he's not allowed to eat, I don't really feel that I need to add even more to that list, he's already sticking out as it is. Besides, at 4yo he prefers fruits and veggies over most other stuff anyway but if he wants a cookie or crackers then he can have some. My youngest probably would eat crap all day long if I let him but again, the key is moderation. I'm doing the best I can to get him to eat more fruits (pulling teeth would be easier, unless the fruit is in the form of a smoothie. Then he'll suck it down like there's no tomorrow) but I figure it'll come in time. In the meantime I do my best to find healthier versions of the carbs he loves and try to make more myself. But no, I don't forbid anything that doesn't cause some type of reaction in either of my children. But just because I don't forbid it doesn't automatically mean they eat nothing but junk all day every day. Yes, they both know their way around a french fry but they also both know their way around carrots as well (raw for one and roasted for the other). I don't see the need to load them up with pre-processed everything all the time but I also don't see the need to not allow them to have it every so often either.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
I find it very self-centered of the parents who seem to suggest this.
Ah, yes...selfish selfish us, "hogging" all the allergies for ourselves. : Of course, there are different degrees of allergies. We have no idea if dd is anaphylactic to most of her allergens (she was diagnosed before she ate most of them), although she is definitely NOT anaphylactic to some of them. But the OPs child has actually eaten the food in question at his daycare before, without evident reaction. My point was that lying about food allergies makes it more difficult for those with actual food allergies, of whatever severity, to be taken seriously (this happens in restaurants a lot, too, when people just don't like something). Honestly, I think it's hard to find a compelling reason to lie about your child having a serious medical condition.

Why not just be honest: the mom feels that the food adversely affects the child's behavior (I don't think the term "intolerance" would be uncalled for) and would like to suggest healthier alternatives for all the children.
post #36 of 51
I use the word "allergy" when talking about my kids' food sensitivities because schools don't seem to understand anything that isnt' black and white. DD2 is allergic to all artificial colors and flavors. Period. She can't eat them. When pressed, I explained that she does not need an epi-pen and her allergic reactions are behavioral in nature.
post #37 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I use the word "allergy" when talking about my kids' food sensitivities because schools don't seem to understand anything that isnt' black and white. DD2 is allergic to all artificial colors and flavors. Period. She can't eat them. When pressed, I explained that she does not need an epi-pen and her allergic reactions are behavioral in nature.
Neither do the doctors I have spoken with.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I use the word "allergy" when talking about my kids' food sensitivities because schools don't seem to understand anything that isnt' black and white. DD2 is allergic to all artificial colors and flavors. Period. She can't eat them. When pressed, I explained that she does not need an epi-pen and her allergic reactions are behavioral in nature.
Thank you. And this is my problem. My DD is "allergic" to a few things. How do I know? Because I'm the damn mom and I've been eliminating/fixing her food for 2 years now and come to my own CORRECT conclusions! Her blood doens't react, but if she even sucks on and spits out something made with an egg she breaks out in eczema. So would I think I am "undermining" someone who has a "true" allergy? NO! And I wouldn't think a second longer about telling anyone she has allergies. The only word people seem to understand is the word allergy, and as Ruthla pointed out black and white is much simpler.

I mean sure, in teh grand scheme of things anaphylaxis is more severe than eczema, but it still gives me the same right to avoid the food.

Now having said that we homeschool so it doens't matter
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Ah, yes...selfish selfish us, "hogging" all the allergies for ourselves. : Of course, there are different degrees of allergies. We have no idea if dd is anaphylactic to most of her allergens (she was diagnosed before she ate most of them), although she is definitely NOT anaphylactic to some of them. But the OPs child has actually eaten the food in question at his daycare before, without evident reaction. My point was that lying about food allergies makes it more difficult for those with actual food allergies, of whatever severity, to be taken seriously (this happens in restaurants a lot, too, when people just don't like something). Honestly, I think it's hard to find a compelling reason to lie about your child having a serious medical condition.

Why not just be honest: the mom feels that the food adversely affects the child's behavior (I don't think the term "intolerance" would be uncalled for) and would like to suggest healthier alternatives for all the children.
I'm just going to ditto you because what I really want to say just isn't nice.
post #40 of 51
Well, will they listen, care, AND follow your specifications? I did this with my sons when they started daycare/preschool (an "early learning center, but daycare all the same) and it didn't matter one bit. They were required to have a doctor's order that the kids can't have something SPECIFIC and then they had to substitute. In fact, about 8 months after they started, one teacher asked me about what I had written on their form, as my son had plenty of artificially flavored and colored cupcakes for birthdays and candy for this, that, or the other thing. At the time, I just let it slide because it was an uphill battle.

I think the problem, also, is that NO one who isn't "us," (meaning people who have come to this sort of knowledge and passion about it), understands why we make a big deal out of it. Did you grow up eating, say Tootsie rolls, Fun Dip, colored frosting on store bought B-day cakes, or anything like that? Most of us did, and somewhere along the line, we learned why it is unwise and desired to change it for our kids. But the majority never fell on the knowledge about why it's wrong and they fall for the "conventional wisdom" that it's harmless.

But if there is a chance that you can get through to them, and maybe even educate one set of responsive ears, then DO IT!!!

It is NOT unethical because we all are allergic to those things. They are unnatural and DO cause behavioral issues and most likely cancers and metabolic disorders and all the other things they are charged with. It is worth fighting IF you might get somewhere. Otherwise, reevaluate, regroup, reformulate and redirect.
Good luck! I hope you get somewhere and let one more person know about this!
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