Parents who do things differently (no "sigh") - Page 8 - Mothering Forums

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#211 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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I guess this whole thread just upsets me.. Im not any less caring of a parent because my kids eat white bread, american cheese, juice, fruit snacks, and canned foods.
I don't think you're any less caring of a parent.

A relative of mine is very, "oh my god, that mother sent cookies to school for snacktime!" and yet, when her son won't eat all his spinach, she tells him he'll never grow up to be big and strong...I don't get it, make him eat the healthiest of healthy, but warp his identity? Of course *I* would never poke that bear as ironic as I think it is.

We're all mothers with opinions to spout off and my toddler just doesn't seem very interested in mine. So here I am.

P.S. I dread the day my daughter is old enough to realize that my bowl is full of ice cream and hers is full of peas. She has already learned that crackers are not actually cookies. But wait, I guess I am warping her in my own special way.
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#212 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:14 PM
 
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Sigh. Can you just tell your friend that you don't approve of your own children eating sugar and artificial sweeteners and so her kids please stop offering them?
I think it's already been fairly hashed out that friends are different than strangers and that you can absolutely say all kinds of things to a friend that would be inappropriate and rude to say to someone that you didn't have a personal relationship with.

I guess it comes down to how well do you know the person you are thinking of commenting to? If you don't know them well enough to be fairly sure that the child doesn't have BLANK (some issue that would make the actions understandable) then you really should MYOB.

A tactful person doesn't make assumptions about other people based on her own personal point of view. She don't assume that just because she wants to know something that any other reasonable and intelligent mama must want to know the same thing.

Some things I think are safe assumptions. "That person doesn't want to be run over by a car" is a pretty safe assumption so you should feel free to shout "LOOK OUT!"

"That mama wants to be told she is giving her child too much sugar" is not a given, and unless you know the person fairly well, you run the risk of offending someone by making the assumption that they want your opinion, information or advice.
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#213 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post

Also, to all you mamas of toddlers and infants....if MDC is still around in 12 or 15 years, pop in and tell us what your kids are eating. I don't know one teenager who gives a rat's butt about what's healthy. You can feed 'em all the organic fruit and homemade yogurt you want, but when they're at school, out with their friends, or visiting somewhere, they're going to eat what tastes good, even if it's full of corn syrup and Red 40. Because they believe they're invincible.
I never understood this argument. I harbor no illusions that my children will eat junk when they are older and I have less influence in their lives. I still feel a responsibility to feed them the best foods I can while I can, while their nervous and reproductive systems are forming. You can also breastfeed your children all you want and someday they'll eat junk, but it's still a good idea to breastfeed them if you are able. And a lot of mamas care about what they eat while they are pregnant, and care about their diets when they are trying to become pregnant. So what's the big deal with continuing through the early post-weaning years, if you can afford it and there aren't developmental issues?

And I do know teenagers who care about what's healthy. What can I say?

EAT: Not to mention that later indiscretions may be handled better by people who built strong bones and teeth, for example, earlier in life.
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#214 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Maybe it's just a cultural difference or something but I really don't get why westerners/Americans take these type of comments between friends/acquaintences/whoever so seriously. Maybe I'm just used to the Asian style of everyone getting in your business so that it doesn't bother me.
We can probably do without the ethnic stereotypes.
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#215 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:28 PM
 
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I don't know one teenager who gives a rat's butt about what's healthy.
Early teens was when both my girls became interested in eating healthy and willing to eat things they never would consider before. They've kept it up right into their twenties.
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#216 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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P.S. I dread the day my daughter is old enough to realize that my bowl is full of ice cream and hers is full of peas. She has already learned that crackers are not actually cookies. But wait, I guess I am warping her in my own special way.


I have the worst sugar jones.

But I hate it when people drink soda all day. I don't like to drink a lot of sugar, but I'll sure eat it.

I limit my dcs sugar intake because I don't want them to grow up with bad eating habits. Nearly all the adults in my family are obese and have been for as long as I can remember. The only ones who aren't either smoke like fiends or are compulsive exercisers, or both. At various times in my life I have worked out for around 3 to 4 hours a day, or smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, or smoked and worked out. And I didn't see this as abnormal. ( I know) My weight goes up and down with my health problems. I hope my children don't have to deal with this their whole lives, but it really doesn't look good for them since grandparents and doting relatives think they need candy, soda, dessert, and pretty much whatever other cr@p they see.

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#217 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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I find food policies for school/daycare acceptable. I worked at a center that stated "healthy" lunches were to be sent, no chips, cookies, candy or pop. (this was for the school age group) There wasn't a definition for healthy but most parents sent in what is a healthy lunch. (meat/meat alternative, fruit, veggie)

Yes, the bright blue applesauce isn't my idea of healthy but it isn't for me to decide.

Mil bougtht the girls lunchables. Personally, I don't think they are healthy but for MIl they were a simple way to pack a picnic lunch. If mil wanted to buy them for home, I would tell her no but for when they are at her house, I let it go.

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#218 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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My kids will eat anything. They love all kinds of food, from all around the world, and are not picky at all. They don't eat at fast food resturants, and that's a fact. My 18 yr old won't touch the stuff, and my 13 yr old is a vegetarian. My kids can go anywhere- the fanciest Manahttan restaurant, the most funky dive in the deep south (which we love, so no dis on the deep south!) We are foodies. One of my greatest fears is to raise a kid who rolls their eyes at food kindly offered-- no matter what it is. I know I am raising a few altruistic Peace Corps types, so that is a respectful attribute that should serve them well.

However, they have eaten 'junk' and I will serve traditional teen foods when they have parties and their friends are over. It's so not a big deal. You offer the good stuff and you make allowances for the 'other' stuff.

I think we create a lot of problems when we try to micromanage what kids eat. It *will* backfire if you are freaking out over kids trying soda or whatnot at parties etc. A little balance is a good thing. There is plenty of junk food that is Kosher, Halal etc etc Most cultures have their own version of food crappy.

It's probably good that parents of tiny children can get that happy /I rock feeling because their children haven't tasted ice cream or what. Lets take our bows where we can. :

PS. To those with adults/older teens who did micromanage food when they were small and who have no food issues, and you will post to tell me, let me just say in advance-- That's great! And I really mean that. No snark.
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#219 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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Funny, most teens I know are opting for vegetarian diets to some degree. They may crave some junk (yeah, so do I) but are much more conscious of their overall diet. I know I was that way, too, as a teen so maybe I notice/applaud it more.
Takes all kinds
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#220 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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Funny, most teens I know are opting for vegetarian diets to some degree. They may crave some junk (yeah, so do I) but are much more conscious of their overall diet. I know I was that way, too, as a teen so maybe I notice/applaud it more.
Takes all kinds

Ok. But not eating meat leaves plenty of room for non meat junkola. Believe me. I have seen many young vegetarians ( and older ones as well) inhale french fries, pizza,, soda, frakensoy, etc. Many people, in general , are veg for the animals, not for their own health.

Oh no, we don't want to go there.
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#221 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 09:03 PM
 
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I posted about my adult kids not to do any kind of HAHA GOOD MAMA Me! thing ... but to point out that teens aren't this monolithic group of people that all do BLANK.

Some teens eat crap, some teens don't. That was the only point I was making.

I certainly got the sense that many teens today are lot more aware of the issues around healthy eating than my age group ever were.
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#222 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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then there is the entire antithesis of some of the ideas and philosophies in this thread. the art of japanese bento...the small handpacked lunches that mothers create for their children. they have an entirely different food aesthetic in japan, that the taste, nutritional value as well as presentation of the food is part and parcel of packing a meal for children. it is actually an integral part of the socialization of mothers and young children, it is seen as a skill and an art and there are a plethora of books and magazines available with recipes, ideas etc to create nutritious and very cute meals.
the cons are that i do believe that there is a bit of a competitive subculture regarding bento (see? it's universal!)

one of the philosophies is that the meal brought to school is a bridge between school and home, and as an attachment parent, i can really wrap my head around that idea. my mother is japanese, and i can still remember opening my lunchbox, excited to see what she had lovingly packed for me. she wasn't hardcore or traditional about it either. sometimes it was a slice of apple shaped as a rabbit, ears and all, that accompanied my rice cake filled with last night's leftover salmon. other times when she was busier, there would be a little yummy morsel (hersheys kiss, some japanese candy) hidden beside my tuna sandwich and carrot slices shaped like flowers. whatever it was, i could always count on my lunch conveying my mother's care and respect for my growing body. i see now how fortunate i was, and i hope and aspire to do the same for dd.

a shift is needed in our country, to take a bit more time in our hurried and harried lives to appreciate our bodies and try our best to sustain it with nutritious and nurturing foods. in an age where obesity and the concomitant diseases are rampant, and childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, is it no wonder that processed, convenient, "easy", artificial foods are contributing to the demise of our society's health?
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#223 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 09:51 PM
 
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Also, to all you mamas of toddlers and infants....if MDC is still around in 12 or 15 years, pop in and tell us what your kids are eating. I don't know one teenager who gives a rat's butt about what's healthy. You can feed 'em all the organic fruit and homemade yogurt you want, but when they're at school, out with their friends, or visiting somewhere, they're going to eat what tastes good, even if it's full of corn syrup and Red 40. Because they believe they're invincible.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't give our kids healthful foods. Just that they will, at some point, make their own choices. Especially when they start to carry their own money. And when people are so concerned with someone else's preschooler eating blue applesauce, I can only imagine the heart attack that will ensue when their own darling child is chomping on Doritos and Dr. Pepper.
I have a 15 year old son soon to be 16 and this is true. Though in my case he got "junk" when he was little and now he eats no junk food aside from chinese food.

Tip toeing out of this thread now.

Shay

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#224 of 235 Old 07-23-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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#225 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 03:18 AM
 
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then there is the entire antithesis of some of the ideas and philosophies in this thread. the art of japanese bento...the small handpacked lunches that mothers create for their children.
Can you please explain what you mean by this? I have not read anyone mentioning any personal idea or philosophy in this thread that is anti-bento. Or anti-parent-lovinging-providing-food-for-their-child.

Or are you talking about the lone con of bento, oneupsmanship? Though I suppose in that case it'd be a similarity, not an antithesis?

Being of Japanese ancestry, myself, I'm actually planning to do something similar for DD as she goes off to school next year. It's because I love her, and she loves a wider variety of foods than what's served in school lunch, and because it's less expensive. And I have fun cutting food into fun shapes and arranging it, and we already have bento boxes ready to go and all my kids love them.

But honestly, it's about thoughtful consideration and love. Which can take a myriad of forms. Even with the people who've disagreed with you, I don't see the love missing from it. I don't even see the thoughtfulness missing from it, especially in the case with kids who have special needs.

I'm genuinely curious as to how you think this thread is the antithesis of providing attractive food for your loved one out of love for them.
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#226 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 04:41 AM
 
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i just reread my own post and i realized that i had started writing one point and got sidetracked with dd and it ended up being a non-sequitur. sorry about that...busy afternoon...

i guess i was trying to point out that our attitudes and choices about food are very culturally driven, and that there are other cultures where it is the norm to provide children with healthy, nourishing and fun food choices that don't require overly processed and/or artificial food.

for example...the phenomenon of the "lunchable". it's sorta kinda a play on the whole bento concept, especially now that there's a lot of 'cute' cross marketing with licensed characters etc.

the concept is brilliant...but the execution is poor at best. those things are so laden with fats, artificial flavors and colors, sodium etc. i don't think anyone would argue that they aren't very good for kids or anyone, for that matter (and the environmental aspect of the packaging is a whole other OT beast). but i used to work in the school system and saw so many kids eat these for lunch. can we discuss the prevalence of lunchables and other uber-processed convenience foods (which as you mentioned are also extremely expensive in comparison to making food at home). what if any are the redeeming qualities of these kinds of foods besides the convenience factor and the fact that kids like them that make them so popular, because they sure aint cheap? what is the upside of giving blue applesauce, purple yogurt that comes in plastic tubes, and little chewy balls of HFCS and artificial coloring that come in the guise of fruit snacks?

i'm honestly curious...is it that most people just don't have any concept of nutrition and the impact of junk/processed/artificial foods on growing bodies and brains? i know i'm very fortunate at this point in my evolving mama-hood that the mamas that i roll with are all really into nutrition/whole foods so i know my own personal sample is skewed.

if the answer is yes...then doesn't it stand to reason that we (collective we) need to get the information out there in some way, whether it's gently, tactfully and socially gracefully approach other parents, or to encourage schools and other organizations to sponsor talks by local health care professionals regarding nutritious food choices?

if the answer is no...then it is : that people are knowingly, willingly (albeit lovingly) pumping their kids full of chemicals that are not only suboptimal, but very possibly harmful to their little bodies and growing brains.

and as many pp's have mentioned...the case of children with special needs is an entirely different topic...i have worked with and known many children with sensory/feeding issues so it goes without saying that this is totally different in light of that.
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#227 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 07:43 AM
 
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Regarding teenagers eating junk food: sure this is true but then they grow up and revert back to the eating habits that their parents taught them. I wouldn't dream of buying white bread on a regular basis or keeping soda in the house or feeding my daughter gummy bears. Probably because my mother was the same way. And I wouldn't feed my daughter junk food just because "she will eat it later on anyway" any more than I would give her cigarettes because "she will eventually try it out herself anyway".:

And to the poster who mentioned people who are so gung ho on breastfeeding/child-led weaning but then offer their two year olds gummy bears: you have just summarized what I understand to be the greatest mystery surrounding the majority of posters at MDC. Why on earth would one go on and on about the evils of formula and then say they don't care that their child is eating food with artificial colour and corn syrop in it? I don't get it.

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#228 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 10:05 AM
 
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i'm honestly curious...is it that most people just don't have any concept of nutrition and the impact of junk/processed/artificial foods on growing bodies and brains? i know i'm very fortunate at this point in my evolving mama-hood that the mamas that i roll with are all really into nutrition/whole foods so i know my own personal sample is skewed.

if the answer is yes...then doesn't it stand to reason that we (collective we) need to get the information out there in some way, whether it's gently, tactfully and socially gracefully approach other parents, or to encourage schools and other organizations to sponsor talks by local health care professionals regarding nutritious food choices?

if the answer is no...then it is : that people are knowingly, willingly (albeit lovingly) pumping their kids full of chemicals that are not only suboptimal, but very possibly harmful to their little bodies and growing brains.
I honestly think there are a lot of people who don't have a clue when it comes to nutrition, hell I used to be one of those people. So I can relate to people not knowing what's healthy and what's not. Marketers have done such a great job of marketing unhealthy food and giving it a healthy spin that even many college educated people don't have a clue.

Yeah, I agree that we do need to get the message out about what's healthy and not but I think you also have to be sensitive around why people eat what they do. Some people have resources and its just ignorance but for some people they buy what they can afford plain and simple. As a woman of color who grew up working class, I see food as cultural and at times classist.

I used to live in a area where the only locally accesible store carried very little fresh food and I do mean little, I'm talking a limp head of iceberg, some nasty bananas and maybe a tomato. In that case, its hard to say eat healthy when you don't have access to healthy stuff.

Sadly that type of environment is not that uncommon particularly in low income high density areas...

So yes education is a good thing but one needs to be mindful in their approach.

Shay

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#229 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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#230 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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Not necessarily. What I choose to eat now bears little resemblance to what I was fed growing up - relatively healthy food that I didn't particularly like. Dessert and other sweets were rare, so were most of the other snack foods that I considered tasty. Now, I choose to have more soda, dessert, chips, etc. in my home than my parents did, and 99% of the meals I make would never have shown up on the dinner table of my childhood home. So I don't think it's universally true that all (or even most) people will naturally revert back to eating the same sort of foods offered by their parents.
And just to add to that - I am the poster child for poor eating as a child - formula fed, Kraft Dinner and Alphaghetti and M&Ms and Kool-Aid for a long time, and then a series of rather bizarre "binge diets" one of which included just eating brown rice three meals a day for a week or whatever. Almost never had fruit or vegetables that were not from a can either, except apples and the odd banana, green beans, and squash.

And starting as a teen and into becoming a young adult I renegotiated my relationship with food, became vegetarian, and generally I feel I have found a good balance and we eat loads of healthy, whole foods and take advantage of the wide variety of produce - local and organic and both - as well as occasionally indulging in the odd M&M although KD, Alphaghetti, and Kool-Aid are not on the menu.

Sometimes I think it was nice to be rebelling against the "bad stuff"

So - yes, as parents we only control so much. I'm actually quite glad to model what I've learned for my son but I know in the end, he will go his own way. Plus there will be different options available for him - whether they're more limited due to fossil fuel costs, or more varied as we reclaim farmland, or just bizarre like the new "plutots" (plum-apricots) I see coming out now.

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#231 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 12:52 PM
 
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I never understood this argument. I harbor no illusions that my children will eat junk when they are older and I have less influence in their lives. I still feel a responsibility to feed them the best foods I can while I can, while their nervous and reproductive systems are forming.
My post continued on to read.....

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I'm not saying that we shouldn't give our kids healthful foods. Just that they will, at some point, make their own choices. Especially when they start to carry their own money. And when people are so concerned with someone else's preschooler eating blue applesauce, I can only imagine the heart attack that will ensue when their own darling child is chomping on Doritos and Dr. Pepper.
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Funny, most teens I know are opting for vegetarian diets to some degree.
I don't personally know any vegetarian teens, but I do know or have known vegetarian adults. Some of them have awful diets that consist of mostly refined starches and cheese. Vegetarian isn't healthy when it's done half-*ssed.

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... but to point out that teens aren't this monolithic group of people that all do BLANK.

Some teens eat crap, some teens don't. That was the only point I was making.
::sigh::

All I said was that I don't know any teens who care about eating healthy. That's not to say they never eat healthful foods, or that teens who do care about eating healthy don't exist.

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I certainly got the sense that many teens today are lot more aware of the issues around healthy eating than my age group ever were.
Awareness doesn't mean willingness to change. My kids have seen Supersize Me. They still want fast food occasionally. They know all about high fructose corn syrup and what it can do to your body. They still drink soda and enjoy Sour Patch Kids at the movies.

Most smokers realize that smoking is bad for them, but they do it anyway. Same mentality.

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Regarding teenagers eating junk food: sure this is true but then they grow up and revert back to the eating habits that their parents taught them.
What my family eats bears little resemblance to what I was fed as a kid. Corn is not a vegetable in my house. We don't eat fast food or take-out pizza 3-4 times a week. Diet soda isn't a staple here.

I'm also far more adventuresome with food than my parents were.

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And I wouldn't feed my daughter junk food just because "she will eat it later on anyway" any more than I would give her cigarettes because "she will eventually try it out herself anyway".:
Well, it's a good thing nobody has suggested doing that, then.

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Why on earth would one go on and on about the evils of formula and then say they don't care that their child is eating food with artificial colour and corn syrop in it? I don't get it.
Probably because formula or breastmilk is a primary food source.

If someone was giving their child nothing but gummy bears and soda at each meal, I doubt anyone here would be tolerant of that.
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#232 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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several things have been brought up.

kids will eat whatever they want when they grow up. true. but the effects of nutrition (or poor nutrition) are cumulative. every meal counts. if they choose to stray in adulthood at least in their formative years they were fed well and grew healthy and strong and well nourished.

people know jack crap about nutrition. This is true. when i t comes right down to it if kids are bring neon sugar loaded apple snacks to school every day you can guess the rest of their diet is similar. perhaps strike up a conversation with them mom. Ask her how she gets her child to eat _____. Tell your kid has been asking for _______ (insert fad food of the day here) and if she thinks it has any nutritional merit. Tell her about something you read or heard or saw (like the above mentioned bento sight. freaking cute!) gush about ow informative/new/cute/appalling the information was and ask her if she would like to see it. If more people talk about what is nutrition like it was a common as the weather people would get a better idea of what good nutrition is.

vegetarian does not equal healthy. true that. I am a checker at a grocery store. I try not to comment on peoples purchases but we got the crabby mom and the refusing to eat meat teen. Of course it was all pre-packaged, soy this and soy that with very little real food of any sort. the bill came to well over $300. I wanted to give them some tips one how to eat real food and do this meat free thing more economically. or at least add some variety to your diet. it doesn't matter what kind of artificial flavors are sprinkled on the soy. it still just soy. My point is. . .I don't know. . . regardless of what you choose to include in your diet there is a healthy and non-healthy way to do it.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#233 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
people know jack crap about nutrition. This is true.
Someone with this sort of attitude isn't someone I'd be open to receiving advice from. I prefer an interchange of ideas between equals, over advice from someone who thinks I know "jack crap."

Even if that person thinks of very indirect ways to strike up a conversation -- i.e. pretending to be seeking advice from me when really they're looking for an "in" to give me advice -- I just think this whole attitude is very patronizing and most people will pick up on it.

I don't believe in asking someone's advice if I think they know "jack crap" -- and I think it's dishonest to ask when I have no intention of following their advice.

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when i t comes right down to it if kids are bring neon sugar loaded apple snacks to school every day you can guess the rest of their diet is similar.
That's an unfair assumption. My girls love crunching on raw carrots, but that doesn't meant their whole diet is equally healthy. I find it offensive that anyone would look at what my children are snacking on in public, and try to guess at our diet in the home. It just seems so intrusive.

lilyka, I'm not saying you come across as patronizing to your friends, or that you are patronizing, because I don't know you and I don't think reading one post really gives me a picture of you as a person. But the ideas you're sharing come across to me as very patronizing.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#234 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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I think we create a lot of problems when we try to micromanage what kids eat. It *will* backfire if you are freaking out over kids trying soda or whatnot at parties etc.
Yes, I think so, too.

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It's probably good that parents of tiny children can get that happy /I rock feeling because their children haven't tasted ice cream or what. Lets take our bows where we can. :


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PS. To those with adults/older teens who did micromanage food when they were small and who have no food issues, and you will post to tell me, let me just say in advance-- That's great! And I really mean that. No snark.
I'd be interested to hear about that, too, since the kids I know irl who are getting micromanaged now, seem to snarf down really large quantities of junk whenever they get the opportunity. My mom didn't provide any (or provided hardly any) junk when we were kids, and I still catch myself inhaling each bag of chips like it's my last. My dd's, who get to choose their own foods, are generally the opposite.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#235 of 235 Old 07-24-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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i guess i was trying to point out that our attitudes and choices about food are very culturally driven, and that there are other cultures where it is the norm to provide children with healthy, nourishing and fun food choices that don't require overly processed and/or artificial food.
ITA with your entire post. Thanks for saying what I was doing a lousy job of saying when I was earlier in this thread.
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