Is it a battle to feed your child healthy food in a junk food culture? (bit of a rant, sorry) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 10-24-2011, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh....

 

I have been doing so much research into healthy eating.  My child has some chronic issues that doctors have not been able to address (asthma,etc).

 

Basically we want our child to eat whole, healthy food without preservatives, colors, dyes or too much sugar.  And we aren't huge on juice.

 

You would think this was the most radical, unheard of thing ever.

 

Adults in our lives are undermining us.  My MIL gives our child dairy whenever she babysits her, despite the fact we have explained to her numerous times that she is on a dairy free diet, which has reduced her night time coughs.  Today she gave her ice cream.  She even questions our choices in front of our daughter. I have told her today that I will provide a packed lunch, and that is all she will give her. I told her I am the parent and these are my wishes. If she disregards our wishes again, I think I will seek alternative care.  I haven't told her that part yet.

 

Also today, my child was given jello at Preschool.  With all the childhood allergies these days (hers is a nut free facility), you would think institutions like this would avoid feeding kids.  It is a three hour class, and kids bring their own individual snacks daily.  I think she was given candy earlier in the week.

 

Another friend offered her a cupcake today.  It's from  a mix, with butter and sugar................. but it is "organic".

 

So in one day, she ate jello, ice cream and was offered a cupcake.  She is three years old.   This is an ordinary day.   But people always say to me, "oh, it's just a treat.  Just this once. C'mon Mommy". 

 

When we explain our food decisions to others, it is always met with befuddlement, active challenging, willful ignorance, trickery (I don't think my MIL would have told us she served ice cream, our daughter told us) or sabotage.  These are decisions my husband and I have come to after copious research and reading stacks of books.   The reality is, my daughter tends to have big temper tantrums after eating junk food.  These tantrums seem to occur immediately after she is returned to me.  I am wondering if having occassional babysitters so that I can have a break is even worth it, as I pay the price for their decisions. 

 

So, I guess what I am asking is, how do you stand strong when the grownups in your child's life will not adhere to your wishes?  Also, do you go cold turkey or zero tolerance?  Because I feel by letting my daughter have occassional treats, I am badgered into making even more exceptions. 

 

Why is it an expression of love to give a child something full of carcinogens?  Like, daily?  The harmless ice cream aforementioned was full of chemicals like tartrazine, which is banned in Europe.  When I tell people this, they shrug their shoulders.  My MIL LITERALLY shrugged her shoulders.  My daughter had another tantrum right after leaving Grandma's today, the ice cream day.

 

Also, do you ever feel you need to fabricate support from the conventional medical community?  Like by saying "her doctor has her on a special diet"?  It seems many people will only accept the advice from a medical professional.  I feel like as her parent, it is my right and duty to choose how she is fed.  And if people don't like it..............

 

Perhaps it seems that I am overreacting, but the one time I recently sent her to a party without me, recently, she was returned home and minutes later started a forty minute tantrum that was really alarming.  I heard later her dinner was animal crackers, plain pasta and lots of juice.  Her lunch at the MIL's tends to be things like milk, a cupcake, crackers and celery sticks.   Really?  Is this how grownups feed children?

 

Why do grown adults have so little concept of nutrition?  

 

I am not sure how to address the jello thing with her teacher.  It is not a public school.  My husband said to tell her "we don't give our child junk food" but I think that just puts people on the defensive to justify their choices.  I really don't care how you eat, just don't feed it to my kid.  I understand that people don't want unsolicited advice, so we only discuss this when people press us and question our choices.  At Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws (sans DH, who was traveling), I was beseeched five times -- oh c'mon mama, just a little ice cream on one of the two pieces of pie you are already giving her....

 

Maybe there is a way I can carry myself differently or communicate my wishes in a way that people are more likely to accept.  People just pay me no mind.

 

Thoughts, commiseration appreciated!

 

 

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#2 of 35 Old 10-25-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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Not sure I can really offer any help but commiseration. Juice has been such a ridiculously large issue for us & it seems so simple to me. Juice is essentially sugar & is completely unnecessary in our diets but people look at me like I've got a 3rd head when I say we don't allow juice, except as a very rare treat.

 

It is strange how little most people know about decent nutrition but then again the food pyramid we all grew up with is not exactly the best way to eat so...

 

I try as much as possible to be the only one to feed my child at this point & allow the other items from others seeing that as the exceptions in his diet not the rule but it does get frustrating at times.

 

Dh & I feel like we are always discussing food & the best ways to approach it with our children. For us the concerns are less about immediate reactions to foods & more about creating good lifelong habits so that our children don't struggle with weight issues like we have.


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#3 of 35 Old 10-25-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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I never had people try to undermine my diet choices for my kids.  Actually once and it was a Daycare provider but she got hers back that day!  DD1 and sugar are a terrible mix.  She gave her a cupcake thinking that it wouldn't be that bad since she tried to make it healthy... Yeah 6 hours of a bouncing off the walls taught her a thing or two.  She followed my directions after that.  I wasn't mad though she looked terrible when I picked up DD1. 

 

The problem is that most people don't appreciate that food is fuel for our bodies.  You can either fill it with clumpy nasty fuel or pure fuel.  When you put it to them like that they start questioning their own diets.  My mother taught me to eat for necessity from the beginning.  To feed my temple what it needed.  There really isn't much wrong with trying things that are not necessarily good for you but my kids don't like the way they feel after eating something that isn't normal for them. 

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#4 of 35 Old 10-30-2011, 10:42 PM
 
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irked.gif  I don't have kids (yet), but I totally get where you're coming from!  I'm a vegetarian (not for much longer... double gulp... but that can of worms is no where near related to your problem!), am really concerned about GMOs and evils like Monsanto, and I also have allergies.  I will go somewhere, and people (hubby too, grrr) will tell me - "Just eat it this once, one little _____________ isn't going to kill you."  My response is generally something like, "Yeah, one little _________ isn't going to kill me, but I've heard that comment 4 times today, and 4 little _______s every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year is almost 1,500 little _________s, and I'm really concerned that those WILL kill me.  Please respect my decision, it's not hurting you."

 

Yes, I make people mad (hubby included).  But with that logic I have yet to need to come up with another answer.   shrug.gif

 

I did see recently, a smock someone made for their highly-allergic child (I think she has multiple big-8 allergies and other issues...).  On both sides, front and back, it says, "DO NOT FEED ME, I HAVE ALLERGIES."  The child wears the smock to child-care and other situations... seems fairly obvious - couple the "my child has many dietary restrictions, please do not give her food" with "As a reminder, she's wearing this smock over her shirt."  :/  

 

I see absolutely nothing wrong with extending the truth and telling nosy, selfish relatives that your child's doctor said she shouldn't/couldn't have certain foods... If I were in your situation, I might say that and follow it up with, "So if you can't follow our wishes, you won't be left alone with your grandchild again."

 

I wouldn't think that you're doing anything "cold-turkey," as you've been requesting this lifestyle for a while, it sounds like.  Just be firm, you're the mama, you make the rules, end of story, their kid, their rules.

I work for WIC, and really, there are lots of folks that don't give their kids anything to drink other than breastmilk, water, and the occasional home-made smoothie.  :)  The kids don't drink milk, juice, "sports drinks," or any other crap... and those kids are ALWAYS more vibrant, better behaved, and usually healthier (I say usually, because several of the families I'm thinking of choose the route of "no crap" because of illness in the family... but basically, healthy kids put on a "no crap" diet (that I see in my office) don't have the issues that other kids do - they gain weight appropriately, grow predictably, aren't very picky, and generally have a great temper.  :)  OK... sidebar... sorry...

 

Anyway, I think you are doing a fantastic job lobbying for your child's health.  Speak up, make people mad, eventually they'll understand that you were right all along.  :)

 

Best of luck!

 

Rainy

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#5 of 35 Old 10-31-2011, 04:36 AM
 
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People sure can get emotional and jerky about food. It becomes a touchy subject it seems.

 

I haven't really had an adult constantly offer my dd food we don't want her to have. Most days we limit her sugar intake because she is terrible at self limiting and limit processed foods but we don't have a long list of things she absolutely must avoid. We don't live near family and dd is homeschooled so almost all of her food is from home.

 

I would give people who care for your dd a list of foods they can offer as treats and foods that are off limits for health reasons. I would let them know that you will not leave your child alone with someone who will knowingly feed her something like dairy after being told not to. Be sure to tell your dd what she can and can not have as well. If the school is giving out food then you need to talk to them about your dd's health issues with food.

In the case of food that you know significantly causes or increases health or behavior problems for your child  I would say it makes sense to have a firm zero tolerance policy for outside food if people won't listen.


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#6 of 35 Old 10-31-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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IMO - with the preschool - you did not tell them prior what they could and could not give your child, I would either put it in writing or drop it, I really don't feel you have the right to dictate to others (regardless of their bad choices) if you did not say up front NO to this or that

 

with the MIL - if you DH feels the way you do, it's him that needs to step up here -NO means NO and if not- NO childcare--and when she does go bring your own if it goes on, NO go to grandma.

 

with school type setting- send your own as well or make it clear a head of time, people eat and feed "junk" unless you want to battle each time make it clear and stick with it

 

we give very little outside of what we bring to places for our child-if you need a "sitting" situation maybe the ones you have are not the ones you should keep using

 

good luck


 

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#7 of 35 Old 11-01-2011, 12:37 AM
 
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I totaly get what you mean!

People act like I am abusing him!!!! DS is 17 months old...NO HE DOES NOT NEED CAKE/COOKIE/SUCKER...ect everywhere we go!!!!

My family does not love what we have decided, they would like to give him "treats" but they respect it always.

Some of DH's family on the other hand do not. They live on the other side of the world, so that helps but when we visit we live with them for over 2 weeks at a time. We where there last month his sister gave DS something that he was not allowed, I took it away and reminded her he was not to have it....she then rolled her eyes at me, said "what ever" AND GAVE HIM MORE!!!!!! She is lucky her head is still attached to her body.

I ignored it, had DH speak with her but she wouldn't let it go, it pretty much ruined our whole trip, she was so mad at us over it and was a b**** the rest of our trip. They just argued the whole time.

 

Anyways, sorry for the vent, but I get it, I dont get why everyone wants to offer junk food to toddlers and act like I am an awful parent for giving him healthy dinners of whole organic foods instead of fried, processed foods!!!

All you can do is remember that you are doing what is in the best interest of your child, so forget what everyone else thinks

 

(ps. these are the same people who always compliment me on how "good" my son is compaired to others...coincidence...don't think so)

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#8 of 35 Old 11-03-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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We were in a store today and my ds was, for some odd reason, telling the sales clerk that he hadn't had soda until he was 9 y/o.  I think it was 8, but the reality is that we just don't have a lot of soda around, so it never came up as a choice.  I don't forbid it...my kids now adore root beer floats, but the reaction was sort of funny from the clerk.  My kids are old enough that I could care less what anyone thinks, and I don't think an occ. 'treat" from someone is going to harm them.  I have no problem being clear about what I prefer, although my teen makes her own choices.

 

Wondering why the doctors haven't been able to help with the asthma?  It sounds like you're trying to support your kiddo with nutrition, but what else is going on? 

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#9 of 35 Old 11-04-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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So far, it hasn't been too bad - but I've heard plenty of anecdotes from others who share your pain.

 

Both sets of grandparents are a wee bit nutritionally clueless. One set has very odd ideas about the age kids should start solids - suggested feeding DD ice cream at five months, and giving DS mango at four months (why mango? I don't know. It was a suggestion out of the blue). That's OK, as we don't leave our babies with them, and are pretty happy to say "No, she's only five months old!" if necessary. DD goes there for dinner every week, and the food isn't quite what we have at home - margarine instead of butter, etc - but it's not too bad. They give her chocolate at Easter and Christmas, but we ration it, which DD finds perfectly normal.

 

The other set eat more whole-foody stuff, but also more junk food. :p Like, they'll make a vaguely "hippie" chickpea and tomato dish, and serve it with fizzy drink. And Grandpa loves to give little kids lollies for a treat. But again, DD doesn't eat there that often. I'm pretty sure they'd respect my wishes in theory if I imposed limitations, but I suspect Grandpa would forget. So I don't bother, beyond (if we're all visiting together) the usual "DD, you've had enough cookies" thing.

 

We go to a few groups - Playcentre, gym, Bible study - but they either don't have snacks or they have more or less acceptable ones. The lady from Bible study did look for MSG-free crackers after I mentioned it (not as a complaint - it came up in another conversation and she remembered, which I thought was very thoughtful of her!).

 

But then, I'm not as strict as many parents. We don't eat perfectly at home - I like to bake, so DD gets sugar - but we eat well enough that the occasional lapse doesn't bug me too much. We don't have juice at home, but I'm happy for her to have a small glass as a treat if we're out. I'm less keen on fizzy drinks, but she can have just a wee bit and then water afterwards. And we have no allergies, thank goodness, so I don't have to be vigilant about that kind of thing. I think it helps that I hang out in fairly alternative circles - lots of homeschoolers, Christians, big families, natural health-type people - so no-one's peddling Twisties as a rule. :p


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#10 of 35 Old 11-05-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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 I can so relate!

My BIL stuffed cookies down my son's throat before he had teeth! I was mortified! I told him not to and he was shocked. He did not understand at all why "What! Cookies are not good?"    My husband's family is originally Lebanese and even though Lebanese food is actually very healthy, the older generation like my in-laws don't get it about sugar. They grew up thinking that sugar gives you energy.

  I think it is a generational thing because many older Americans also don’t get it and think they are showing their love by giving sweets and pop.

I would just be polite but consistent with your MIL. Maybe your DH can talk to her about it instead. It sounds almost like a power trip with her. By all means tell her the doctors said so! Try giving her some articles to read. You are in a tough situation. You don’t want you MIL to hate you, but your children’s health should come first.

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#11 of 35 Old 11-05-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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That happens to me ALL THE TIME it drives me crazy!


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#12 of 35 Old 11-05-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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I'm also bothered by this thought, though my DS has only been eating for 2 months! :)  

 

We just returned to the US from Europe and I warned my DH that I was nervous about the food in this country because it is so full of preservatives, sugar, and/or salt!  In England I made sure that all the food was organic and prepared by me, so the only thing I added was cinnamon or other spices.  However, now that we just arrived and aren't completely settled, I've resorted to prepared (organic) foods and hope that it doesn't have any sugar or anything that will turn him off to healthy foods that we eat.  I'm sure he'll survive, but I really hope that my family here will respect my decisions to maintain a natural diet...

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#13 of 35 Old 11-05-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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The thing about your MIL. She's already sneaking. Will she just do more of that with an ultimatum? Frankly, if I had someone, family or not, that had a history of going against my wishes, I doubt I would leave my kids unsupervised there. I want someone who supports me to be a role model to my child. I don't want someone who will show my kids how to sabotage me. She's already done it, why will the future be any different? Threats might work for awhile, but her personality is her personality.

 

I haven't had the problems you're describing. A big part of that is who I choose to be friends with and my family is either simply supportive and/or knows I won't tolerate disrespectful behavior. Also, we homeschool so we don't have to worry about many of the issues you do. We do utilize a babysitter about 4 hours a week and she is really good about respecting us.


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#14 of 35 Old 11-06-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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for the school:  get a doctor's note that says your child can only eat food sent from home.  our doc wrote us a generic note like that when ds was in school as he has multiple food intolerances (gluten, dairy, dyes, flavours, etc,,,).  his teacher was using candy/popsicles to bribe the kids.  yuck. 

 

use the word allergy.  people aren't going to argue with you if you tell them your dd has allergies.  it's not even a white lie if your child has physical symptoms from eating the foods that people are giving her.

 

at potlucks or group meals, we always bring our own food for ds and i always have backup snacks that are safe for him in my bag or in the car.  we just cant trust anything from other people's kitchens.  i cant even begin to count the number of times we've been told that it's safe for him, only to be told later that 'oh, yea, it has butter in it' or 'i sprayed the pan with pam' (ugh), or etc...

 

i stopped trying to explain 'why' we choose the foods we do for our family a long time ago.  people just want to justify their own food choices and giving an explanation for ours seems to open the door for them to do that.  if someone seems like they're truly looking for a better way for their own kids or their own wellbeing, i'll talk their ear off.  For general day to day interactions with anyone, no matter how close they are, i just tell them "ds cant eat that because of his allergies."  it's easy, it's clear, and we dont end up with people sneaking him stuff anymore.


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#15 of 35 Old 11-06-2011, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here.....

 

Well so it continues.

 

My daughter had a playdate at a friend's house yesterday .  We have told them she is on a restricted diet and sent a full lunch for her.  She was only going to be there for an hour or so.  In the space of an hour she was given a packet of fruit "chews" in crazy colors, cookies, a glass of milk and a strangley pink "bun".  They are from another culture where I thought it would be extremely rude to turn down their food.  She had two temper tantrums that day, one right after we got home.

 

First off, I am going to keep a very complete food journal for her for the next month, tallying diet and timing of meltdowns.  This way, I will know for sure if it is the junk food that is giving her problems. I have heard that some children react particularly strongly to dyes, in terms of outbursts and temper.  There is a chance that it is not diet, and this is just an awful phase.  In the meantime, with hesitation I have decided to curtail her social activities a bit.  Playdates at OUR house only for the time being, because people just don't get it. 

I really do want to control her food for the next month, especially since I am the one who is subject to her tantrums.

 

In terms of her asthma, I don't have specifics to cite, but I have read in various books that diet can be of help.  In avoiding sugar, dairy and processed food, I am mostly seeking to boost her immune system as she tends towards frequent respiratory infections.  For me, I have noticed my immune system works so much better when I eat this way.

 

I had a very serious talk with the MIL and told her I would send a lunch, and that is all she is to be given.  I actually told her that she is my child, and I want to say how she eats. I bought some extra food for MIL to keep at her house. She only goes to her house once a week, for an hour or two at most.  If she gives her other stuff, at this point, I will arrange for other childcare even though this is quite inconvenient.  I am over it.   As for her Preschool, I filled out paperwork at registration that stated she had multiple food allergies and was on a restricted diet.  I think people think if it isn't nuts (but is full of weird carcinogenic chemicals) then it is fine for everybody.  I emailed her teacher, who agreed not to give her food besides what she is sent with.  There are only eight kids in her class, so I think the teacher can remember this detail.

 

I do have a couple kindred spirit friends who have similar dietary preferences to my own.  I plan on spending much more time with these families!

 

Thanks for the advice and commisseration.

 

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#16 of 35 Old 11-07-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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Dairy is deadly for asthmatics! I would cut out all dairy including hidden personally. To boost immune system I would do fresh juices every morning with a juicer (I like apple, carrot, kale,cranberry) probiotics are a must, and vitamin D3 would be good.


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#17 of 35 Old 11-08-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I really sympathise Rosebud!  It is incredible who inconsiderate people can be :(

But a lot of it is just plain ignorance( as in my in-laws), although how people can be so ignorant, with all the information out there is unbelievable. That reminds me; a few years ago my son was invited to a birthday party where the ONLY beverage was diet coke. The mother did not even offer water!

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#18 of 35 Old 11-08-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Oh geez I hate this one.  My Grand mother fed DD1 icecream for dinner once.  However considering what she was offered for dinner I'm going with the ice cream was a better choice.  Everything was fried and soaked in pork fat and salt.  DD1 was ill after that afternoon visit and nobody could understand that it was the nasty food they tried to feed her.  They were completely freaked out about her not wanting to eat chips or candy.  Especially their juice, like whats wrong with Koolaide.  WTH!  At that point she was water only and fruit was given in it's form.  No matter how much I told them she wasn't used to it nor did she like they just didn't get it. 

 

DH's family thinks McDonalds is a good lunch choice.  And again they were astonished with the DDs didn't want to eat their food.  Poor girls,  it was a trip I wasn't on and DH didn't think leaving the girls with his sister would be an issue for a day.  Yeah bad choice.

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#19 of 35 Old 11-08-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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I have a couple of ideas to add.

 

Unfortunately, there is a lot of junk that people eat now.  Mostly junk even, and most people don't even know it's bad.  It's the culture that she is growing up in and will have to navigate through as she grows.  I think maybe if people don't feel deathly ill immediately, then it must not be bad? 

 

But maybe you can start to teach her how to make good choices herself, because in time, she will be the one chosing what she eats.  After she eats junk and has a tantrum, you can point out how you notice it seems to be hard for her to ______ after she eats __________.    Or see how you cough after you eat _________.   I don't really know school climate right now, and I'm sure it differs from place to place anyway, but even if you pack a lunch, I expect it will be hard to keep her away from all outside influences.   At 3, you do still have a lot of control, but it won't last forever.  You also don't want to set her up to have her eating be a control issue. 

 

Since she's already familiar with treats, you may want to make or buy some healthy alternatives.  You could make "ice cream" from almond milk and agave maybe.  Or some really good homemade granola bars with oats and nuts and dried fruit.  Fruit roll-ups from fruit puree.  I've heard of making chips from kale, although I've never tried it.  You could talk about reading labels even though she can't read them herself yet.   The point is that she doesn't have to miss out on eating "treats" just because she doesn't eat junk.  And if she could make the connection between eating the healthy treats and feeling good, that would be great.  I know I can feel the difference. 

 

You could include her in meal prep and gardening if you do it so she can see what real food looks like. 

 

My personal approach is that I do my best to control what comes into our house.  What's out of the house happens.  It's not perfect, but I just don't want to make an issue out of it. Mine don't show major symptoms like yours does.  (That's the reaction I get with TV).   I've also never had anyone flat out disobey my wishes.  Your MIL was being very disrespectful to go against what you said.  MIne usually tells DDs to "ask mommy first".  So if it's terrible I can at least suggest something else.   At DD's preschool each student takes turns bringing a "healthy snack from at least 2 food groups" for the rest of the class.  I saw organic milk once, and fruit is fairly frequent, but they also had cheetos and bright green drink.   I'm concerned about what the kid might eat at home.  But at this point, my issue is what she eats at home and showing her what healthy food looks like. 

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#20 of 35 Old 11-08-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Forgot to add, I do think it's fine for you to totally control her food for a month to sort out the behavior connection. 

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#21 of 35 Old 11-10-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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But maybe you can start to teach her how to make good choices herself, because in time, she will be the one chosing what she eats.  After she eats junk and has a tantrum, you can point out how you notice it seems to be hard for her to ______ after she eats __________.    Or see how you cough after you eat _________.   I don't really know school climate right now, and I'm sure it differs from place to place anyway, but even if you pack a lunch, I expect it will be hard to keep her away from all outside influences.   At 3, you do still have a lot of control, but it won't last forever.  You also don't want to set her up to have her eating be a control issue.

I haven't had any problems.

 

I think that it is mostly because I tell whoever is involved that my dd is not to eat or drink anything that doesn't come from home, and I say it with a happy positive attitude that communicates that I am certain that they will comply.  And they do.  Unless they ask why, and they usually don't, I don't volunteer the reason why because they're usually not interested.  I just say that we have this weird practice of not eating anything that does not come from home.  Everyone I've ever encountered has been very good about complying.

 

When my dd was three years old, I taught her that it was her job not to eat or drink anything that didn't come from her lunchbox, even if the daycare teacher said it was okay.  I told my dd that the only person who could okay the food was mama.  And my dd did a great job with that.  When my dd was four, I started teaching her how to read the ingredients on the label, so that I could teach her how many different types of hidden dairy were in processed foods.  At five years of age, I taught her how to look for artificial flavors and artificial coloring in the ingredients list on the label.

 

Every child is different, but I think some three year olds can learn to say no to food from other people.  I see it as the first step in teaching a child to manage his/her own allergies.

 

 

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This sounds like my life!  I am constantly being pressured by others to give my child junk.  I too have dont A LOT of research into food and the current, typical American way of life and how harmful it is.  But, no one seems to care if I try to give an explaination, so I just say NO, she cant have that.  Usually people listen when I am right there, but when I turn my back, they try to sneek it to DD, and I get furious.  Why is giving a growing child disease causing, chemical ridden food considered loving?  I have yet to figure this one out.  I guess because people these days are so ignorant and believe that if its on the stores shelf, it must be a safe and healthy food choice.

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Sigh....

 

I have been doing so much research into healthy eating.  My child has some chronic issues that doctors have not been able to address (asthma,etc).

 

Basically we want our child to eat whole, healthy food without preservatives, colors, dyes or too much sugar.  And we aren't huge on juice.

 

You would think this was the most radical, unheard of thing ever.

 

Adults in our lives are undermining us.  My MIL gives our child dairy whenever she babysits her, despite the fact we have explained to her numerous times that she is on a dairy free diet, which has reduced her night time coughs.  Today she gave her ice cream.  She even questions our choices in front of our daughter. I have told her today that I will provide a packed lunch, and that is all she will give her. I told her I am the parent and these are my wishes. If she disregards our wishes again, I think I will seek alternative care.  I haven't told her that part yet.

 

Also today, my child was given jello at Preschool.  With all the childhood allergies these days (hers is a nut free facility), you would think institutions like this would avoid feeding kids.  It is a three hour class, and kids bring their own individual snacks daily.  I think she was given candy earlier in the week.

 

Another friend offered her a cupcake today.  It's from  a mix, with butter and sugar................. but it is "organic".

 

So in one day, she ate jello, ice cream and was offered a cupcake.  She is three years old.   This is an ordinary day.   But people always say to me, "oh, it's just a treat.  Just this once. C'mon Mommy". 

 

When we explain our food decisions to others, it is always met with befuddlement, active challenging, willful ignorance, trickery (I don't think my MIL would have told us she served ice cream, our daughter told us) or sabotage.  These are decisions my husband and I have come to after copious research and reading stacks of books.   The reality is, my daughter tends to have big temper tantrums after eating junk food.  These tantrums seem to occur immediately after she is returned to me.  I am wondering if having occassional babysitters so that I can have a break is even worth it, as I pay the price for their decisions. 

 

So, I guess what I am asking is, how do you stand strong when the grownups in your child's life will not adhere to your wishes?  Also, do you go cold turkey or zero tolerance?  Because I feel by letting my daughter have occassional treats, I am badgered into making even more exceptions. 

 

Why is it an expression of love to give a child something full of carcinogens?  Like, daily?  The harmless ice cream aforementioned was full of chemicals like tartrazine, which is banned in Europe.  When I tell people this, they shrug their shoulders.  My MIL LITERALLY shrugged her shoulders.  My daughter had another tantrum right after leaving Grandma's today, the ice cream day.

 

Also, do you ever feel you need to fabricate support from the conventional medical community?  Like by saying "her doctor has her on a special diet"?  It seems many people will only accept the advice from a medical professional.  I feel like as her parent, it is my right and duty to choose how she is fed.  And if people don't like it..............

 

Perhaps it seems that I am overreacting, but the one time I recently sent her to a party without me, recently, she was returned home and minutes later started a forty minute tantrum that was really alarming.  I heard later her dinner was animal crackers, plain pasta and lots of juice.  Her lunch at the MIL's tends to be things like milk, a cupcake, crackers and celery sticks.   Really?  Is this how grownups feed children?

 

Why do grown adults have so little concept of nutrition?  

 

I am not sure how to address the jello thing with her teacher.  It is not a public school.  My husband said to tell her "we don't give our child junk food" but I think that just puts people on the defensive to justify their choices.  I really don't care how you eat, just don't feed it to my kid.  I understand that people don't want unsolicited advice, so we only discuss this when people press us and question our choices.  At Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws (sans DH, who was traveling), I was beseeched five times -- oh c'mon mama, just a little ice cream on one of the two pieces of pie you are already giving her....

 

Maybe there is a way I can carry myself differently or communicate my wishes in a way that people are more likely to accept.  People just pay me no mind.

 

Thoughts, commiseration appreciated!

 

 



 

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#23 of 35 Old 12-10-2011, 05:52 AM
 
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My father's wife just said to me the other day that her DIL was a "food snob" b/c when she is watching the kids now DIL told her no more McDonald's! I was like "OH DD is allergic to McDonald's (b/c there is dairy in EVERYTHING even the french fires!" Although these kids won't eat ANYTHING so I kind of see her point of why make a nice meal that will be thrown in the trash...Luckily my DD eats everything except pasta really!


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I have had this battle too. I have found the information at this site helps  with explaining that my dd has food dye issues. This diet has made a remarkable difference in my friends children, and it really helps with my daughters (admittedly less intense issues)  Maybe this will help Feingold diet  

 

as for dealing with disrespectful unthinking people...I'm still working on that one.

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#25 of 35 Old 12-10-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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no ideas, this is already a battle with our 11 month old... just subbing to get suggestions...

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no ideas, this is already a battle with our 11 month old... just subbing to get suggestions...



With an 11 m/o! My gosh! DD started solids at 10.5 m/o I would be livid if someone fed her junk!


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#27 of 35 Old 12-10-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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DS1's first solid food was blue jello.  My exFIL thought it'd be hilarious to slip it in.

 

One reason my current MIL has not been allowed to babysit DS2 is because we saw how they fed one of our nephews in the absence (and against the explicit instructions) of SIL and BIL.  Nephew was lactose intolerant, but MIL gave him milk "because he needed it."  Then he'd get crazy diarrhea when he went home to his parents and SIL would interrogate me about what MIL fed him.  MIL also bribed him constantly with candy and junk, but now complains that he eats so much garbage and compliments us (well, to our faces, anyhow) how we feed our kid.  I just completely don't trust that she'd do right while we were gone, though, so we've never left him there (that is definitely not the only reason, but it's one of them).  She thinks we're nuts for avoiding juice and even triumphantly pointed out that sugar was "not an ingredient" in juice.  I try to explain the "total sugars" thing, but I don't think I got too far.

 

I very frequently decline sweets and treats on his behalf from tellers, waitresses, neighbors and have learned to say that he is on a restricted diet.  He is on a restricted diet.  We put him on it. 

 

Sometimes I get p.o.'d because my decisions as a parent are being challenged or mocked--ie:  neighbor saying "Oh, you're not still doing that nutrition crap on him, are you?" or MIL saying at DS2's 1st birthday party "Tell mean Mommy you want some of Grandma's chocolate cake!" though we'd told her ahead of time that he wasn't allowed to eat chocolate and that we were going to be bringing him a sugarless blueberry "cake."  Often, I know it's just people wanted to be nice and not realizing nutrition's an important issue for us since they don't know us that well.

 

It will get a lot harder, I know, when he gets older and knows what he's missing.


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#28 of 35 Old 12-10-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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With an 11 m/o! My gosh! DD started solids at 10.5 m/o I would be livid if someone fed her junk!



yeah, at a party several months ago, a guy a barely know tried to give him gingerale and said jokingly "well there no rye in it!" and then at the same party a friend stuck a finger of chocolate icing in his mouth while my head was turned (fortunately her mother freaked out her for me). and then there's the typical 'but why wouldn't you use baby food/ cereal?" comments from the ILs and "does he like popsicles?"

 

NO, he doesn't eat popsicles. He 6 months old!

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#29 of 35 Old 12-10-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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We have the constant popsicle battle with MIL!! She brought over a huge bag of them and said "I made sure to get them dairy free, are just corn syrup and food dye!!!" I nearly died! Flat out REFUSED them.


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#30 of 35 Old 12-11-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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"I made sure to get them dairy free, are just corn syrup and food dye!!!" I nearly died! Flat out REFUSED them.


Because corn syrup and food die are so good for her!  Right?  eyesroll.gif

 

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