Is anyone else ok with their kids eating MOSTLY healthy, MOSTof the time? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two friends who eat extremely selectively- as in, no processed anything, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, etc. They cook everything from scratch, never go out to eat, and have to bring food with them wherever they go. They NEVER make exceptions either. They eat very healthy, and sometimes I leave feeling like the worst mom on the planet for having goldfish crackers in my purse...

But, honestly, the more I think about it, I am OK with my kids eating mostly well the majority of the time. Maybe I have the luxury because my kids will eat any fruit or vegetable, nut or seed, grain, or meat/fish that is put in front of them and they have no allergies. Even though they rarely will sit down and eat a plate at an official "meal time" they snack on berries, nuts, tuna, carrots, etc all throughout the day.

When they do get the occasional happy meal (which they really just pick at and don't really eat) or a hot dog at a bbq or juice, or candy at Grandpa's I don't sweat it, because sometimes I think that those memories, or experiences, or the simple stress relief of hitting the drive through outweigh the nutrition factor.

My friends who i mentioned above have to think about food constantly, and I know if I were them my life wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable because I LIKE going to dinner, and indulging in McDonald's, and eating two SKOR bars in a row when pregnant

I do draw the line with certain things like Soda and stuff with aspartame, etc, and we usually buy healthy versions of unhealthy things like hot dogs, etc.

Anyone with me?

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#2 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I am.

We do eat really well most of the time, almost everything made at home is made from scratch, is usually organic or locally grown (mostly by me). But yeah, sometimes we stop at McDonald's or have hot dogs for dinner. I know they eat really well the majority of the time, so I don't mind a few unhealthy things sometimes.

I don't give my kids dairy but that's because of allergy/intolerance issues. Otherwise I would.
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#3 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I cook a lot from scratch. I love cooking, I have the time to do it and the kitchen and gadgetry to do so. My older one is fussy, but I can get most manner of raw fruits and vegetables into him. DS2 will eat everything.

That said, one of DS1's favourite things to do is to go to our local Science Centre with his best buddy and afterward, he knows there is a happymeal with his name on it. They eat and play while the moms drop. This is once every few months. Most of my mom friends get McDonalds or something similar once a week. Which I can't do, but they also work and are pooped so I won't even begin to judge.

I figure if I can get 6 healthy dinners and breakfasts and snacks into them a week (school handles healthy lunches), a pizza or BBQ is fine.

We don't do pop (for the kids, mom likes pop *G*), chips are a treat, as is candy and chocolates. My oldest won't touch french fries and isn't too fond of chocolate. My youngest is more prone to eating junk, which is another reason why I try to limit it. We're not totally abstaining because I think the minute the kids get on their own, they'll have a junk food orgy, but trying to set limits and giving them a taste for it as a treat, but home cooking is the best.

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#4 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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You are in the majority.

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#5 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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Yes. The majority of what we eat is whole foods, prepared from scratch. But I think so far as 95% of what we eat is very healthy, the other 5% or so doesn't matter.
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#6 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I am fine with my dd eating mostly healthy. I understand what you mean by feeling badly about yourself when you are around friends who go to extremes. It is hard to always feel great about what you do as a parent 100% of the time.
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#7 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Majority? Really? That is interesting, because I know that where I live, the vast majority of moms really feed their kids junk pretty much all the time. Kraft mac and cheese, hot dogs, pb&J, and pizza make up 90% of the food kids eat around here. The only fruits and veggies kids know about are bananas, apples, and oranges. Maybe carrots. I am usually the outcast for bringing healthy snacks for preschool. Maybe it is just my area?

We do lots of gardens, farmers markets, and eat 75% organic. I AM trying to cut back the juice consumption though- my kids looove juice. My goal is to get them to love water and tea more

And for the record, I definitely need to eat better. My kids eat waaaayy better than I do, lol.

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#8 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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Yeup...we eat healthy.

And sometimes my kids have NERDS, for fun. And we go out for ice cream a lot in the summer.

We also usually pick the healthy version of junk food, and I severely limit chemicals of any kind, but...

We are all going to die sometime of something, and I refuse to be a slave to food to add a year onto my life...

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#9 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Yeah, and most people find ME extreme. Even as I shop with a toddler holding a fast food fry box...

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#10 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I'm with you. I'm not fanatical about many things.
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#11 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Majority? Really? That is interesting, because I know that where I live, the vast majority of moms really feed their kids junk pretty much all the time. Kraft mac and cheese, hot dogs, pb&J, and pizza make up 90% of the food kids eat around here. The only fruits and veggies kids know about are bananas, apples, and oranges. Maybe carrots. I am usually the outcast for bringing healthy snacks for preschool. Maybe it is just my area?

We do lots of gardens, farmers markets, and eat 75% organic. I AM trying to cut back the juice consumption though- my kids looove juice. My goal is to get them to love water and tea more

And for the record, I definitely need to eat better. My kids eat waaaayy better than I do, lol.
That's what you SEE them eating when at preschool or out and about, just as they probably see your kids having a happy meal or a hotdog at a BBQ. You have no idea what they eat the majority of the time, just as they have no way of knowing what your kids eat the majority of the time.
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#12 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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I'm with you. I just roll my eyes at the threads that go "OMG! My kid is going to like, die
! Grandma/grandpa/friend/stranger let my kid have choc milk/soda/ice cream/whatever" I don't have the time or energy to stress over 100% organic, 100% from-scratch 100% non-proccessed foods. I just don't. And besides, I have zero interest in being "that" family thats just so. freaking.wierd.about.food. I really don't. *I* was that kid/family in school, and I just have zero interest in subjecting my kids (or myself) to that.
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#13 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I'm with you, but I think we're fortunate to have kids without allergies/food sensitivities.

I don't really know anyone who subsists on a constant diet of junk food like you mentioned -- our schools have rules about not sending junky snacks/lunches to school, and even ask that parents donate a book to the school library in their child's name instead of bringing cupcakes on their birthday. And when neighbors have put out snacks for the kids there might be popsicles once in a while, but there's also a lot of veggies and dip, fruit and cheese, etc.

So around here, among the people I know anyway, it's normal to be aware of healthy-ish eating. Hopefully that awareness will become more widespread with campaigns such as the First Lady's childhood obesity initiative. IMO, at least in my area, the pendulum seems to have reached the extreme and now is starting to swing back towards center. Perhaps the families you know who are more extreme in their healthy eating just feel the need to provide a counterpoint to the general sway of the population in your area?

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#14 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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I'm with you. We eat healthy most of the time, but if we are out somewhere running errands I don't have a problem with stopping somewhere and getting a burger.

I am extremely uptight about people giving food to my kids as babes, though. They were all sensitive to dairy and soy (and I'm sensitive to MSG, DS sensitive to red food dye) so having someone give one of them a cookie could have been a big deal.

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#15 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Before a year I'm fanatical about food. But once that first piece of birthday cake touches their lips I'm much more relaxed. We eat healthy 80% of the time and while I wish we could get to 90-95% I'm pretty ok with it. Compared to the majority of people I know we eat very healthy. I try to limit junk to homemade things, but processed stuff is in there. We had chocolate covered marshmallow eggs with lunch yesterday and fruit by the foot for snack this afternoon. But with that D also had 1.5 lbs of strawberries, a tomato and a ton of wheat bread with natural pb.

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#16 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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Yes! My kids eat healthy, whole foods the majority of the time, so I am okay with an occasional bag of chips, candy, hot dog, and even soda. To me, banning all junk food and "poison" aka sugar from your kids diet is extreme and likely to back-fire on you someday.

All things in moderation.

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#17 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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Everything in moderation. Even moderation.

I buy the healthy version of junk food, the organic/allergen free, etc. DS has a dairy allergy. It's better for my thighs too We don't keep soda in the house. Otherwise I don't fret over the occasional fast food or whatever. We've eaten it more than I'd like since my DH left, but I remind myself that it isn't permanent and we'll revert back to majority of meals being eaten at home once he's home again. I don't make everything from scratch all the time, but I do like to occasionally when I have the time and energy. I do avoid things with HFCS, artificial dyes, sweeteners, etc. Otherwise I'm not super strict about food.

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#18 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Count me in. I love cooking, we love the farmer's market and I don't use processed food at home. But we definitely eat fast food when its the convenient answer to "Place A from 4 to 5, Place B from 5 to 6 and Place C at 7". The kids get pretzels and ham sandwiches in their lunches, just not twinkies and lunchables. I do not sweat the occasional candy treat and I let them have the Ding Dongs that someone brought for little league snack. I figure they eat mostly healthy, most of the time. They like fruits and veggies and water at home so why stress when they get a cookie and juice when we are out? Or even a soda with dinner when we are out at a restaurant? After all, that's probably a healthy option compared to my marguarita!

I was more careful when they were younger, but now that they are 7 and 10, I know that its not always up to me anymore and I don't have total control over what or where they eat. So why stress?
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#19 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Sure, I don't stress over it. We eat healthy most of the time, and it's perfectly fine with me if ds has a chicken nugget meal or subway sandwich on occasion. When he has field trips at school, I'll often let him have a lunchable since he thinks they are so cool.

I don't think the occasional total junk is going to hurt him, the kid eats so well MOST of the time. I feel the same way about my eating habbits, btw. Everything in moderation!

I also think I'm lucky that he does not have any food allergies - that would change my outlook on things I'm sure.

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#20 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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That's us. We make most of what we eat, but DS gets cold cereal with milk, crackers out of a box, the occasional *GASP* potato chips or french fries (on the occasion DH and I have them), and even a cookie now and then (though usually the cookies are baked by DH, who really likes to bake ).

I figure he eats well enough most of the time, and I'd rather he grow up thinking of "junk" food not as something forbidden and naughty (because there comes and age where forbidden and naughty is so very cool ), but something we occasionally indulge in because... we can.

Now I have my limits. No HFCS (though it's snuck by me a few times and I didn't flip out, or even really care... just made a mental note not to get that brand again), no Kool-Aid and the like, RARELY do we have straight-up candy (we're more of a baked sweets kind of family ), and I try to keep "healthier" versions of stuff around the house (Triscuit crackers are a good snack choice, V-8 Fusion or Vruit if you've got a juice aficionado, etc), but need to accept that good enough really is good enough.

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#21 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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My son had a four egg breakfast. My free range hens provided the eggs so they are organic and tasty.

For lunch at school he took a whole wheat bagel with four slices nitrate free organic lunch meat. And a out of the box granola bar.

Dinner, I'm making meatloaf from grass fed beef. I'll be serving rolls from a package at the store and a lovely side salad with as much organic produce as I can get my hands on.

For me, I do my best but I honestly don't have the time or money to eat organic everything or prepare everything from scratch. I figure my kids are eating better than a lot of their peers.
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#22 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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I totally am like this OP, I do believe that good nutrition is necessary and we do pretty well. Are we perfect? Oh lord no, but those who are obsessed with never having anything processed, well that's their own trip.

I personally live in an area where it is locavores to the max, in fact to the point it annoys me beyond belief. I remember when a local mother had her second child and was asking for people to make her food, but it could only be organic, grass-fed beef and a huge list of no-nos. Not due to allergies, but just because they choose to eat like that. The best part was that their 3 year old was not allowed sugar and treats, but the adults could. It's been years since I got that e-mail and it still annoys me beyond belief, beggars can't be choosers.

Now we had our fair share of "junk", but honestly compared to any of my ILs with one exception we are doing awesome. My ILs are the worst or the worst, kids with sodas, candy and just TONS of crap. We are known as the "sugar free"(which is not true) family. We have to limit DDs sugar intake so she doesn't get hyper and out of control, they all seem to think that is a normal thing or something. We have to have balance, and for us that is just fine.

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#23 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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I have water kefir and kombucha brewing in my pantry while there is a stack of bargain basement pizzas in the freezer. My grass-fed beef may be leaning against a tub of Breyer's. My Highlander Grog coffee is enhanced with raw fresh cream and stevia. You get the idea!
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#24 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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Me.

They even get HFCS sometimes. Since what it's in they eat in moderation, I'm not worried about it.

We eat mostly from scratch. They eat a lot of good stuff. What I'd really like to just avoid completely is *candy*, and around here it's all over the place from November through the end of the Easter season.
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#25 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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Yep, this is me.

We eat pretty well most of the time (easy to do when you've got 3 CSA farms almost within walking distance, as well as a ton of nearby dairies and poultry/meat operations!) but that's because it's easy and I'm lazy and cheap.

I don't care what other people eat, as long as we're not about to go for a long drive in a small car and it's going to give them major reeking farts.

I'm no Sustainable Saint, though I do try to do my best most of the time, don't expect anyone else to be either.
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#26 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Yep. I have no desire to be 100% perfect. I work full time and split shifts with dad and don't use childcare for the vast majority of the time, so we are busy busy busy and spending time with my son is my biggest priority. A bigger priority than worrying about the fact that he had his first piece of pizza by 10 months.

I cook, we eat healthy, shop the farmers markets, etc. but I just don't have the inclination to be fanatical. My 12 month old is the BEST eater or I really don't worry.

Today he had:

Steel cut oats with dates
Almond butter on whole grain bread
banana pieces
crab cake
a few french fries (handmade)
homemade bread dipped in olive oil
sweet potato
cherries

and a LOT of breastmilk. This kid can eat!
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#27 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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To be honest, I think trying to be super-strict with food is often a way of trying to control the uncontrollable. It can have a kind of puritan aspect to it almost. Our parenting culture has a lot of messages that say "you must do this or you will ruin your kids, but if you toe the line you will avert disaster". And of course it isn't true.

I saw a couple on a documentary once who ate a special low calorie diet that had been shown to lengthen life somewhat - by about a year or so I think. But they had to spend a lot of time meal planning, and were constantly hungry. I thought they must spend more time thinking about food than they gained, assuming they weren't killed in an accident or something.

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#28 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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I stay pretty relaxed and look at the whole picture. I absolutely draw the line at fast food though. But I wouldn't eat that even before I was a Mom.
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#29 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Majority? Really? That is interesting, because I know that where I live, the vast majority of moms really feed their kids junk pretty much all the time. Kraft mac and cheese, hot dogs, pb&J, and pizza make up 90% of the food kids eat around here. The only fruits and veggies kids know about are bananas, apples, and oranges. Maybe carrots. I am usually the outcast for bringing healthy snacks for preschool. Maybe it is just my area?
.
I don't see pb&j and pizza as junk food. Just sayin'. (Although we usually go for almond butter and j).
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#30 of 132 Old 04-06-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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I am not only okay with MOSTLY healthy MOST of the time, I think rigid and strict diets with many forbidden foods is harmful in the long run as it relates to teaching children about food and eating.

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