how do you deal with all the junk food?!?!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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why do parents give their kids SO much junk food? it drives me crazy! we eat very well and like to have ice cream or a nice dessert sometimes that we share with ds (almost 3). he also gets to eat junk when he goes to b-day parties, halloween, etc. i am proud of him because he really does seem to understand what treats are & that they are for special times. he STILL talks about the one time he's ever had a lollipop, when he went to see santa for the first time. i find this touching. dh & i were both made to feel like outsiders by our parents when it came to food and we decided early on that we did not want to have it be like this for ds. there's got to be a happy medium though!! there's a playground in front on our house and it seems like there's constantly some kid out there with capri-sun, cookies, candy that i'm having to say "no, thank-you" to for ds (which ds honestly doesn't seem to care either way). the other day his little pal brought a capri-sun out for him and he already had it in his hand, so i let him have it because i just couldn't be a total meanie. if this happened once in a while i really wouldn't mind, but when you add it all up it's just too much! i realize that as he gets older i won't be able to control everything he eats outside the house which is why we are trying to give him healthy habits now. i just wish i didn't even have to deal with it at all. ds rarely even wants to eat when he's outside, he's too busy playing!!!
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#2 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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I don't know what a capri-sun is, so I can't comment whether it's junk food or not.

It sounds iike you are careful about what your ds eats and he is learning healthy eating habits from you. That's great. It doesn't sound like he has a problem. Unless he develops junk food issues, then I'm not sure what the problem is. You don't know whether those other children are eating well all the other times when you aren't with them.

Keep giving your ds strategies to say "no, thank you" when someone offers him junk, and keep giving him tasty, healthy snacks so he doesn't feel deprived. It sounds like you are doing a good job already.
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#3 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Some capri suns are 100% juice - its just a glorified juice box. And I do buy them for when we go out as a treat, so I personaly don't see them as all bad. As for the cookies/candy, unless its the same kid there w/ that stuff everyday, you don't really know that its not a special treat for them too. DS1 gets juiceboxes/capris suns once or twice a week at playgroup and theres sometimes a cookie there too.

I honestly suspect its just because you live beside the playgruond that you see it all the time. Chances are those kids are getting them as a treat too. Only you see different kids w/ treats every day so it seems constant, yk??
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#4 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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It's all the time for us too and I can't stand it.

Examples:

1) The other day all the neighborhood kids were out and they had Chiclets and Starburst. DD already knew what Starburst were (see below) but now we can add Chiclets to the list of items she begs for now that she knows it exists.

2) Starburst - shared with her last summer by a parent at the playground.

3) We live 3 minutes from a lake with a playground and beach area. There is a lady who I call the Hall Monitor, her job is to monitor the grounds. (She's very hall-monitor-y, she's always in everyone's business). Anyway, she took a shine to DD (sigh) and always gives her marshmallows. If she sees DD and she doesn't have her marshmallows, she will go all the way back to her office (like a 1/3 mile trek) to get them.

And so on and so forth. DD is often with DH, and while DH agrees with me that sugar is very bad for us, he does not feel comfortable interfering - both from the point of view of being rude to the person giving the junk (which I personally have no problem with - "no thank you, she's had enough treats for today" is fine) but also from the point of view of saying no to DD, who has a serious sweet tooth. It's even worse when ALL the kids running around are clutching candy - I myself would have trouble telling DD, who wanted the candy, no.

But it drives me crazy - the reason DD wants the candy is because everyone else introduced it to her (starting with my mother, who made it her PERSONAL MISSION to get DD hooked on sugar by age 2). My plan was to have a sugar-free house, and when DD was 5 or so and naturally starting to explore the world, not have limitations if she got dessert at a friend's or anything. But I had hoped that by then, it would be a non-habit and she could simply appreciate a little treat in moderation. While most parents consider that child abuse (certainly my mother thinks so), I think the general campaign to get as much sugar in our kids as possible is the real problem.

Some kids seem to RUN on sugar - I almost never see my neighbor's kids without some treat (though their mom is also into healthy cooking, go figure). One of DD's friends, I worry about her, it looks like she almost never eats non-sugar foods. I think their idea of health food is a Yoo-Hoo, you know?

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#5 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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I feel you.... it drives me crazy! It becomes a lot harder as my child gets older- I have a almost 3 year old and she is always very interested in what other kids eat. I'm pretty shocked at what most kids eat everyday.... I try not to judge because I honestly dont believe parents mean harm but kids these days eat a LOT of sugar.. even if it is "natural" sugar. I've been letting DD have so delicious coconut milk ice cream most nights (a lot less sugar than reg. ice cream) and she loves it. We still do treats.
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#6 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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The prevalance of stuff drives me nuts, too. I let dd1 and ds2 play outside in our complex a lot. They're constantly coming home and announcing that they had a freezie or a "juice" at a friend's house. The latest thing is "juicy drop pops". Ugh. One of the other moms recently commented that they're stopped buying freezies, because of "all the complaints", and she's completely mystified. Her little boy hands freezies out all day - sometimes more than one to the same child. I think she was really offended that people are upset with her and her husband, because she feels that she's being generous. I totally understand why she feels that way, but I don't know why she has so much trouble understanding what other parents are upset about. Whether she feels that way or not, surely she's at least aware that sugar isn't good for kids (never mind the chemical dyes/flavours)?

I would never complain to her, but I do get awfully tired of the amount of nutrition-free "food" that's floating around out there.

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#7 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I think this is why it is best for us to find each other IRL. Then we will be having homemade muffins, nuts and raisins to share instead of white sugar and HFCS and food colorings.
dd1 did not know what candy was for a very long time. Then we got her some natural candy at the organic store. dd2 seemed to know what it was from birth. dd1 is 7 in a few days and knows she is not to eat food colorings and things like that. When she is offered a sucker at a bank window I say, "no thank you we don't eat food colorings (or HFCS)" Her father is not so assertive, and he got her one recently at a bank. We were dealing with the effects for days.
If we go anywhere, we take food she is allowed to have. Fruit, raisins, a big bottle of water, if I have any homemade cookies we bring those... I taught her long ago that she was not to accept anything from anyone else because we eat organic anyway (and I am paranoid mom). She has always been really smart and understood things so when I told her other people are eating stuff that was grown with pesticides, she seems to get it. We really don't go that many places though I guess. dd1 goes to the park 3 times a week or so in the summer. dd2 is just now old enough to go too. I have no qualms about saying no and making sure they don't get any of it(even if I look kookie about it). Just because the rest of the world is living under an illusion (IMO)(the illusion being that it is okay to ingest food colorings and HFCS and white sugar...) we don't have to. Remember the adage "If everyone were jumping off a bridge, would you?" Funny enough it is fitting in this situation. With people in power coming to the same conclusions (the Jamie Oliver show was a good start), our way of health and eating will be the norm by the time our children are grown I think. Or I live in my own dreamworld...

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#8 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Whether she feels that way or not, surely she's at least aware that sugar isn't good for kids (never mind the chemical dyes/flavours)?
And if not that, then at least aware that some people THINK it's not good for kids!

I know some people mystified by that too. I remember when DD was maybe 15 months old we went to a liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine for some guests (this being an extremely rare event, but anyway). We had DD along, and the clerk saw her and pulled out a lollipop. We actually accepted and said thanks but never planned to give it to DD (she was too young to know or care). When we said thanks, he launched into a TIRADE about parents who decline lollipops for their kids - saying stuff like "you would never BELIEVE some parents out there actually don't want to give their kids this stuff!! These kids aren't even having a childhood anymore!!" and so on and so forth, and DH and I are just sorta staring at him and vaguely nodding.

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#9 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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The prevalance of stuff drives me nuts, too. I let dd1 and ds2 play outside in our complex a lot. They're constantly coming home and announcing that they had a freezie or a "juice" at a friend's house. The latest thing is "juicy drop pops". Ugh. One of the other moms recently commented that they're stopped buying freezies, because of "all the complaints", and she's completely mystified. Her little boy hands freezies out all day - sometimes more than one to the same child. I think she was really offended that people are upset with her and her husband, because she feels that she's being generous. I totally understand why she feels that way, but I don't know why she has so much trouble understanding what other parents are upset about. Whether she feels that way or not, surely she's at least aware that sugar isn't good for kids (never mind the chemical dyes/flavours)?

I would never complain to her, but I do get awfully tired of the amount of nutrition-free "food" that's floating around out there.
I wonder if some of the mom's issue could be wrestling with what we had as kids and how times have changed, new information available etc. I remember as a kid having a summer filled with freezie pops, juice pops, lollipops and etc. But I also had a lot of fruit, and veggies too, and we ran all over the place too.

Our motto is everything in moderation - including sugar and etc, also if we are handing out treats/snacks we tell the kids to go & ask their moms if they can have xyz treat or not to get the buy-in. It doesn't always work cus lets face what kid is going back to their parents to ask if they know the answer will be NO, but we try.

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#10 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Among junk foods, freezy pops are pretty innocuous. No fat, not many calories, hydrating and cooling. I really think the happy medium could be that you don't purchase those foods regularly or eat them every day, but he is welcome to enjoy them when shared by friends. They are sometimes-foods. A cookie or juice every few days is not a health concern. You could bring some fruits or cheese or whatever suits you to share, too.
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#11 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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I'm really into healthy cooking too and still sometimes give my kids candy, potato chips, capri sun and popsicles. We even served the kids push-ups for my 4 year's bday party. With cupcakes.

I think it's totally up to the parent how the child eats. Mine ask me first about eating something someone gives them and they know alot about good foods and bad foods. I'm all about having junky stuff in moderation. So we don't do alot of junk, but I don't usually mind when they have something.
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#12 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Among junk foods, freezy pops are pretty innocuous. No fat, not many calories, hydrating and cooling. I really think the happy medium could be that you don't purchase those foods regularly or eat them every day, but he is welcome to enjoy them when shared by friends. They are sometimes-foods. A cookie or juice every few days is not a health concern. You could bring some fruits or cheese or whatever suits you to share, too.
Keep in mind that what you think is innocuous is not necessarily another mama's opinion. Personally I think freezy pops are about the worst thing a kid could have, partly for some of the reasons you listed. At least, say, my homemade peanut butter cookies DO have some fat, as well as protein (peanuts, eggs) and general nutrition. Freezy pops are completely devoid of food, spike the blood sugar, cause reactions due to food coloring, etc.

Yes, I can bring fruit and cheese to share but that doesn't excuse everyone else pushing sugar on my kid, especially in situations when I don't at all expect it to happen. (Like the liquor store).

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#13 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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Keep in mind that what you think is innocuous is not necessarily another mama's opinion.
I agree, and suggest the same to you. That's why I suggest being gracious and flexible with others and not letting food-correctness get in the way of relationships.
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#14 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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I have to disagree that freezer pops as sold on the market are harmless. Most contain preservatives, High Fructose corn syrup, and artificial colorings. There is a large contingency of scientists asking that food colorings be removed altogether from the food supply. there is ample evidence to support that they cause ADHD type behaviors, and they can easily be replaced with natural colorings. Here is the first link I got when googling it, more info in the articles (some are studies) listed on left.
http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/
All HFCS in foods on the market in the US is from genetically modified corn. I have been following GMO studies for years and I know this is not the intent of the thread, but the latest study proves that by the third generation, GMO soy causes sterility. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffre..._b_544575.html

Chickens given GMO corn would not eat it. http://current.com/news/90598094_afr...ified-corn.htm
This means to me that it is not food. Please protect yourselves and your children from it.

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#15 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I agree, and suggest the same to you. That's why I suggest being gracious and flexible with others and not letting food-correctness get in the way of relationships.
No-one said anything about being ungracious.

However, I do not value my relationship with the liquor store clerk or the hall monitor lady at the park more than I do my daughter's health.

And there is a critical difference between me doing things the way I want and letting you do things the way you want - versus you pushing your food choices onto my kid and creating a potential relationship rift where there need not be one.

It's the junkfood peddlers that make the issue. If they didn't need to push their junk on other families, there would not be any issue. They can eat all the junk they want, no problem.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#16 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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I have to disagree that freezer pops as sold on the market are harmless. Most contain preservatives, High Fructose corn syrup, and artificial colorings. There is a large contingency of scientists asking that food colorings be removed altogether from the food supply. there is ample evidence to support that they cause ADHD type behaviors, and they can easily be replaced with natural colorings. Here is the first link I got when googling it, more info in the articles (some are studies) listed on left.
http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/
All HFCS in foods on the market in the US is from genetically modified corn. I have been following GMO studies for years and I know this is not the intent of the thread, but the latest study proves that by the third generation, GMO soy causes sterility. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffre..._b_544575.html

Chickens given GMO corn would not eat it. http://current.com/news/90598094_afr...ified-corn.htm
This means to me that it is not food. Please protect yourselves and your children from it.
I think we would disagree about what constitutes "ample evidence." I think GMOs are pretty amazing and I am in favor of their responsible use. I don't think HFCS is substantially different from plain old sugar. Tons of sugar is obviously not ideal, but we're not talking about tons. Foods that you receive as gifts to be shared from friends are not going to constitute a large enough percentage of your diet to throw off your nutrition in any significant way.
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#17 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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I wonder if some of the mom's issue could be wrestling with what we had as kids and how times have changed, new information available etc. I remember as a kid having a summer filled with freezie pops, juice pops, lollipops and etc. But I also had a lot of fruit, and veggies too, and we ran all over the place too.
That honestly never crossed my mind. She's the same age I am (42), and we never had all that stuff around. My mom made popsicles at home, and they were in high demand in the neighbourhood. There was also the occasional treat from the ice cream man. That was about it. I can remember some parents serving cut-up oranges or apple slices or something along those lines, if they thought the kids in the back yard were hungry...

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#18 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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I think we would disagree about what constitutes "ample evidence." I think GMOs are pretty amazing and I am in favor of their responsible use. I don't think HFCS is substantially different from plain old sugar. Tons of sugar is obviously not ideal, but we're not talking about tons. Foods that you receive as gifts to be shared from friends are not going to constitute a large enough percentage of your diet to throw off your nutrition in any significant way.
Kids in this complex were being offered (and sometimes getting) 3-4-5 freezie pops a day from one kid. Add in the "juice" (no juice involved) drink from another friend, and some other treat (maybe yet another freezie pop) from another friend, and...yeah - it's enough to throw off nutrition. My child does not need 3+ freezies every day. If they're going to be snacking, I want them to snack on something with some real food value...and if they need hydration, they can have water.

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#19 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I do discuss it with dd about how some things fuel our bodies and help us grow, other things are just for fun and that those things are often bad for us. To me it is about moderation and helping her learn to make good choices.

We do eat healthy but dd has some occasional junkfood. We just got back from my mom's and she was so excited to have poptarts for breakfast.

I would object if my neighbor's were giving my child freezie pop things everyday.


GMOs are great for third world countries that might struggle with adequate water, increase certain vitamins or other things but in the US they are not used responsibly.

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#20 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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No-one said anything about being ungracious.

However, I do not value my relationship with the liquor store clerk or the hall monitor lady at the park more than I do my daughter's health.

And there is a critical difference between me doing things the way I want and letting you do things the way you want - versus you pushing your food choices onto my kid and creating a potential relationship rift where there need not be one.

It's the junkfood peddlers that make the issue. If they didn't need to push their junk on other families, there would not be any issue. They can eat all the junk they want, no problem.
Well, considering other well-intentioned people as "junk peddlers," rather than people who wanted to give something they considered good to your kid, is pretty ungracious by itself. Whether you graciously accept or graciously decline is up to you. It does seem odd at a liquor store since children are not allowed inside liquor stores in my area.

In any case, if you can think of three examples and one of them is from a year ago, it doesn't sound like this is an everyday, seriously health-threatening issue.
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#21 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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Ya know I really disagree.

How many of us grew up with great grandparents or grandparents who lived through the depression?

We were raised to be grateful for anything we were given. Our parents still say "you were fed junk and you are fine" and things like that.

Our kids generation is proof that we are not fine. There were three peanut, wheat, eggs and all sorts of allergies in my daughter's class. What have we done to ourselves?

We aren't fine and people need to wake up. Junkfood all the time is not good for us, we did not turn out fine.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/story?id=1355795

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27319364/

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm

http://www.childrensmemorial.org/dep...rgy/study.aspx

The rate of food allergies is increasing and fast

It isn't the "grateful for every little thing" times anymore. We are the "do not give my kid anything without asking" generation. I might be more lax with grandparents but I would be mad if another parent was giving my kid tons of junk.

I do see myself as pretty relaxed on the issue but I am sure some parents see me as extremely strict. I know what it is like to have issues with not being able to eat certain foods or reactions from certain foods and I don't want my kids to have those same problems. I was raised on tons of processed foods and now they make me sick. I don't avoid buying Zatarains because it has cooties, I don't buy it because it is full of MSG and makes me sick. I don't like being doubled over in pain.

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#22 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some capri suns are 100% juice - its just a glorified juice box. And I do buy them for when we go out as a treat, so I personaly don't see them as all bad. As for the cookies/candy, unless its the same kid there w/ that stuff everyday, you don't really know that its not a special treat for them too. DS1 gets juiceboxes/capris suns once or twice a week at playgroup and theres sometimes a cookie there too.

I honestly suspect its just because you live beside the playgruond that you see it all the time. Chances are those kids are getting them as a treat too. Only you see different kids w/ treats every day so it seems constant, yk??
actually, these are kids that live in our court that ds plays with 2-4 times a week, goes to their house on occasion and i'm friendly with the moms so i know for a fact that they eat junk all the time.
secondly, i guess i should've been more clear in the fact that if people were bringing out homemade cookies or 100% juice frozen pops i wouldn't mind nearly as much. we NEVER buy cookies, ice cream, juice, etc. to keep in our house. if we want a treat ds helps me make cookies or we have a nice homemade dessert from a restaurant we trust not to put crap.
everyone is entitled to their own opinion and IMO having capri-sun/juice boxes and processed cookies 2-3 times a week is way too much especially when you add that to maybe going to a b-day party or getting a treat as a family. i would call that getting into a habit at that point which is exactly what i'm trying to avoid.
i completely appreciate that people are just trying to be friendly, generous, etc. when they offer stuff, i just wish they'd ask me first before it gets stuck in ds' face, THAT i feel is common courtesy.
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#23 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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So, they should do what? Go hide behind a tree while they eat their food so's your kid doesn't see it? Honestly, I was *that kid* who only ate healthy and wasn't allowed to eat "junk food", and I have *zero* interest in making my kids be 'those kids'. Because it sucked. It really did. We weren't allowed pop or chips or juice boxes or anything of the sort growing up, and it sucked, and I know it did and I, as a result, have zero interest in making my kids be 'those kids'. So, when its offered, we accept. When we're at storytime or playgroup or friends' and theres a special snack or a juice box or whatever, they get it. Because its not everyday, and its not going to hurt. But whatever.
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#24 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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I agree, and suggest the same to you. That's why I suggest being gracious and flexible with others and not letting food-correctness get in the way of relationships.
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Well, considering other well-intentioned people as "junk peddlers," rather than people who wanted to give something they considered good to your kid, is pretty ungracious by itself. Whether you graciously accept or graciously decline is up to you. It does seem odd at a liquor store since children are not allowed inside liquor stores in my area.

In any case, if you can think of three examples and one of them is from a year ago, it doesn't sound like this is an everyday, seriously health-threatening issue.


I completely agree.
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#25 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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OP- I would be very frustrated if this is each and every day. If I sound like a meanie to other parents, so be it. Is there a way you could offer some healthier alternatives that would be fun for the kids? Not that it should be your responsibility, but maybe it would catch on? Homemade freeze pops can be inexpensive and very healthy. We just made some a couple weeks ago. We put a mix of berries, and a splash of juice in a blender and poured them into the molds. How about veggies, cheese, pitas cut into fun shapes with hummus for dippers?

I don't know. I feel you are in a tough position. It shouldn't be up to you to do anything, offer healthier versions, etc., but if you don't like it maybe you could change it. Are there any other parents that feel the same? Maybe band together and write a letter to all of the parents? Try not to sound accusatory or rude in any way. How about hosting a community health fair, focused on children's eating habits? Maybe some of these other parents really DON'T KNOW what is in the food they are feeding their children (if it is all the time.). It is baffling what some parents don't know out there. If it was my neighborhood, and if I had some extra time, I would seriously consider it.

Thankfully, in my town everyone is very healthy in all aspects. Organics, locally grown food, general wellness ideals are very easy to come by here. We def. do have treats though. An occasional one at home, but most of the time we reserve the treats for family parties (which are NOT health oriented!).

I grew up on freezie pops and huggie 'juice' drinks in the summer. IMO, (now) I think they are disgusting. I cringe even thinking of DS ingesting the artificial food coloring and HFCS. That is one thing I just do not want to budge on. If he is going to have a treat, I would much rather it be a good piece of dark chocolate with his Mama...

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#26 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 04:31 PM
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I agree that you shouldn't be rude, but you have every right to refuse (graciously). But I don't see how it's any better to be a health food pusher than a junk food pusher.

I'm only 25, and when I was a kid running around the neighborhood, no one ate anyone's food. Maybe my area was an anomoly, but I don't remember kids bringing out tons of snacks ever 20 min when we were outside. But that seems to be the norm.

And yeah, my kids play outside every day. For hours. The neighborhood kids usually make 4-5 trips inside to get candy, Pringles, bright red fruit punch, etc. That is way more than "every once in a while", and it makes me feel like I can't give them the homemade stuff that I enjoy making.
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#27 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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why do parents give their kids SO much junk food? it drives me crazy! we eat very well and like to have ice cream or a nice dessert sometimes that we share with ds (almost 3). he also gets to eat junk when he goes to b-day parties, halloween, etc. i am proud of him because he really does seem to understand what treats are & that they are for special times. he STILL talks about the one time he's ever had a lollipop, when he went to see santa for the first time. i find this touching. dh & i were both made to feel like outsiders by our parents when it came to food and we decided early on that we did not want to have it be like this for ds. there's got to be a happy medium though!! there's a playground in front on our house and it seems like there's constantly some kid out there with capri-sun, cookies, candy that i'm having to say "no, thank-you" to for ds (which ds honestly doesn't seem to care either way). the other day his little pal brought a capri-sun out for him and he already had it in his hand, so i let him have it because i just couldn't be a total meanie. if this happened once in a while i really wouldn't mind, but when you add it all up it's just too much! i realize that as he gets older i won't be able to control everything he eats outside the house which is why we are trying to give him healthy habits now. i just wish i didn't even have to deal with it at all. ds rarely even wants to eat when he's outside, he's too busy playing!!!
Quoting the OP since there seems to be confusion.

She didn't say she denied treats or junk. She said it needs to be in moderation. She also said she didn't want her kids to feel like outsiders in regard to food

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#28 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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My DD is 9 now. We dealt with it differently at each age/stage. Our main focus has always been within our house and within our choices, we eat healthy foods most of the time and have treats once in awhile.

Up until preschool, DD was mostly with me and she always had healthy food. About the only "treats" up until then were the first few birthday parties within our various social circles at that time. She didn't care for any of those treats, so we kept on feeding her as usual and introducing more and more healthy foods, building up her taste buds for these types of foods. She did go to daycare part-time and I just made sure she had a healthy breakfast and dinner and didn't worry about the rest on those days (2-3 days a week). The bulk of her food was coming from us.

In preschool, they fed all the kids a hot lunch as part of the curriculum (social skills) and it was pretty healthy considering the state laws of serving food, etc. She went three days a week and again, I made sure she was fed a healthy breakfast and dinner those days and didn't worry about the rest.

In school, she takes her lunch nearly every day by choice. She much prefers our food to school lunch. She buys lunch roughly once a month and it is totally up to her. When packing her lunch/snacks for school, she chooses one item (or more) from each of our categories. When choosing a snack after school, she makes choices based on what she ate already that day. Our dinners almost always consist of a little bit of meat protein and plenty of vegetables (raw and cooked), so we keep that in mind in our daily choices.

I am all about teaching her to handle these things herself. I'm not with her at school and she is offered all kinds of junk. In Kindergarten, the kids used to swap snacks and lunches, etc. She quickly learned she didn't care for too much junk food (made her feel icky) and she learned who else ate healthy like her (supported her tastes and traded new foods she liked). It was a good learning tool for all of us. I learned new foods to get for her lunches and she learned who to hang out with and share food with. She's in third grade now and I don't hear any more swapping food stories, but I do know who she sits with at lunch and I've been on field trips and see who brings what for lunch/snacks. Our area has a large percentage of "healthy eaters", so she isn't "that kid" around here.

At home, we've loosened up over time. I felt it was most important to develop the tastes for healthy food early on and then gradually introduce "treats". We mostly prepare our treats from scratch anyway, which still fits into my health goals. This calendar year (since Christmas), I loosened up a lot and let her learn for herself how much junk food effects her body and mood. I made mental notes first on when she ate a lot of sugary foods what her behavior was. Then, on vacation in April, DH & I purposely talked about how food made us feel and what we could eat to feel better in a place we didn't know well, etc. She got into the concept. When we got home, she wanted more junk food snacks than usual and I went ahead and bought them. Then, I helped her make the connection between her moods/behavior/choices and the food she was eating. I encouraged her to keep a food journal for over a month and to add her feelings to it. She didn't want to and then she did. She figured it out on her own at that point. Her choices have been reflecting this newfound understanding and she has been expressing her new understanding in the grocery store, which is avoiding bringing the junk home in the first place (like it used to be).

I wanted to give her this experience much, much younger than I got it. I was in my twenties before I figured it out and that made it really, really hard to retrain my taste buds. I grew up on junk food and fast food and soda. Changing my tastes has been a long, hard road. I felt she needed some of the lessons, but also felt guidance would benefit her greatly and the earlier the better....ONCE we had established her baseline tastes. For me (based on reading and intuition), I felt the first five years were important to keep her food intake as healthy as possible while teaching when we have more control and when we don't. After that, it was time.

DD accepts some treats offered, but also knows how to politely say, "no thanks". She judges for herself each day what will make her feel good and what will potentially make her feel bad. This goes beyond "healthy foods" and "junk foods". At age 8, she ended up getting food poisoning three times from "healthy foods". That is when I realized she needed more autonomy in her choices. Only part of the lesson had sunk in over time. I point blank told her she didn't have to eat ANYTHING (even healthy food) she felt was not good for her. We've been working on distinguishing "off" smells and looks from "odd" smells and looks of foods.

Everyone is doing the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#29 of 31 Old 06-15-2010, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, they should do what? Go hide behind a tree while they eat their food so's your kid doesn't see it? Honestly, I was *that kid* who only ate healthy and wasn't allowed to eat "junk food", and I have *zero* interest in making my kids be 'those kids'. Because it sucked. It really did. We weren't allowed pop or chips or juice boxes or anything of the sort growing up, and it sucked, and I know it did and I, as a result, have zero interest in making my kids be 'those kids'. So, when its offered, we accept. When we're at storytime or playgroup or friends' and theres a special snack or a juice box or whatever, they get it. Because its not everyday, and its not going to hurt. But whatever.
the whole point of my post was that of course they shouldn't go hide behind a tree with their treats and how to deal with it in another more civilized manner. if you refer back to my OP you'll see that i clearly stated the same thing you wrote - dh and i were both one of "those kids" growing up and trying to find a happy medium now for ds. i guess it kinda sucked being one of "those kids" growing up, but i feel now that i have healthy eating habits that were formed from the very beginning. if you think it's "not going to hurt" that's your opinion that i disagree with. it seems that you feel strongly about your opinion in not wanting your kids to be one of "those kids", so why not offer me the same respect of my opinion.
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#30 of 31 Old 06-16-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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we are an organic/whole foods/no refined sugar family. My DD is two years old and has never had junk food or any kind of juice drink. we are actually harassed and taunted for our beliefs irl and it is hard to stand up for what we believe in, but we do. I will not let my dd have a cookie at gramma's house. She cannot have her share of the easter candy at church. No cake at parties, no juicy juice. It irks me to no end that it the same people who would never criticize a vegetarian for not permitting their kid to eat a hamburger think that our food choices for our family are fair game for their 2 cents.

We make cookies and ice cream and other yummy treats, but feel very strongly about not eating food created by the industrial food complex. that includes food that contains refined sugar (which is overly subsidized by our government).

we have ongoing discussions about our food choices and as she gets older she will be more involved in our family's food choices. For now, however, dh and i are her voice on this subject.

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