anybody else turned off by 'force feeding' - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 03:39 PM
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Okay, we are whipping out the "you just wait" arguement again. *sheesh*

Again, I do accept biological predispositioning, I am just saying that it will not be my scapegoat, my explanation and excuse when I choose to overeat, or my justification for controlling what my daughter chooses or not chooses to put in her body.

These discussions always seem to (unfortunately) sink down to the "what about heroin" lines and what if's -- and while I can somewhat see the very loose analogy and comparison between a food which isn't the healthiest for our body and which we may crave -- and an injected, federally illegal chemical substance, I don't buy it. My daughter will know how I feel about massive amounts of "unhealthy" foods the same way she will know where I stand on heroin --- but at the end of the day, I can't control it if she chooses heroin either beyond a certain age -- and I HOPE I will have relayed the reasoning behind wanting to be healthy for one's own sake and wellbeing and listening to one's own body cues and instincts and honoring one's goals for the future effectively enough so that she will make the active choice not to be unhealthy... or shoot heroin (sheesh)... rather than just the "we don't do heroin, it's bad" ... or the "we can't eat a piece of chocolate before broccolli, that's bad" or whatever.

I mean, if it helps to think I just have a wonderful, extraordinary, brilliant daughter who is so in tune to her instincts I don't have to control her food intake... go for it... I think she is pretty great myself ... more realistic though, is just that I am allowing her to do what her body is already designed to do with the factors she has accepted and knows (confidence she will always have food available etc) and providing her with information, guidance, and healthy nutritious foods which meet the "biological" need for some "sweets" (fruit and the like). A function I believe most people are born with.
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#62 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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Okay, we are whipping out the "you just wait" arguement again. *sheesh*

Again, I do accept biological predispositioning, I am just saying that it will not be my scapegoat, my explanation and excuse when I choose to overeat, or my justification for controlling what my daughter chooses or not chooses to put in her body.

These discussions always seem to (unfortunately) sink down to the "what about heroin" lines and what if's -- and while I can somewhat see the very loose analogy and comparison between a food which isn't the healthiest for our body and which we may crave -- and an injected, federally illegal chemical substance, I don't buy it. My daughter will know how I feel about massive amounts of "unhealthy" foods the same way she will know where I stand on heroin --- but at the end of the day, I can't control it if she chooses heroin either beyond a certain age -- and I HOPE I will have relayed the reasoning behind wanting to be healthy for one's own sake and wellbeing and listening to one's own body cues and instincts and honoring one's goals for the future effectively enough so that she will make the active choice not to be unhealthy... or shoot heroin (sheesh)... rather than just the "we don't do heroin, it's bad" ... or the "we can't eat a piece of chocolate before broccolli, that's bad" or whatever.

I mean, if it helps to think I just have a wonderful, extraordinary, brilliant daughter who is so in tune to her instincts I don't have to control her food intake... go for it... I think she is pretty great myself ... more realistic though, is just that I am allowing her to do what her body is already designed to do with the factors she has accepted and knows (confidence she will always have food available etc) and providing her with information, guidance, and healthy nutritious foods which meet the "biological" need for some "sweets" (fruit and the like). A function I believe most people are born with.
I'm sorry, I guess I didn't make the heroin analogy very clear. I was just trying to defend our biological urges to overeat against your argument that we should not have those urges because refined sugar wasn't available until recently. I guess I didn't make much sense.

I think we're mostly on the same page, here. I don't agree with making a veggie a requirement for a sweet treat. I trust my children to choose from a range of healthy choices, and I try to make every food group readily available. If they only choose to eat fruit, so be it. I trust their bodies know what they need, to an extent. I also totally believe in moderation, and in indulging in occasional treats. I love to make white flour, buttercream frosted cakes for birthdays, and we usually buy a small thing of chocolate when we go to the store.

But I am totally unwilling to buy as much junk as my dd wants me to. I think that makes it an unfair fight, and I won't put that much responsibility on her good judgement at this age. Plus, it's too expensive.

Irinam, you mentioned that your children occasionally eat dessert all day. What do you mean by "dessert"? Are you talking whole wheat peanut butter cookies, or Twinkies? I would probably be okay with the former, and abhorred by the latter.

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#63 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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Hey Candy! I agree with you 100%! I don't believe in making kids eat everything on their plate. DD is 4 and very picky. But I have her sit with us at meals and eat until she's full. If I feel like she hasn't eaten at all, I'll say, "ok, but I'll leave your plate here, and you can't have any snacks later until you eat more bites of dinner." 9 times out of 10, she'll come back and eat more.

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#64 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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Irinam, you mentioned that your children occasionally eat dessert all day. What do you mean by "dessert"? Are you talking whole wheat peanut butter cookies, or Twinkies? I would probably be okay with the former, and abhorred by the latter.
Now I am confused and have to go re-read my posts... I said that?

ETA - can not find that. None of us are "into" dessert much. What I did say is that they may start their dinner with dessert (that is if we have sweets around the house, or if the icecream truck went by).
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#65 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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ETA - can not find that. None of us are "into" dessert much. What I did say is that they may start their dinner with dessert (that is if we have sweets around the house, or if the icecream truck went by).
Sorry! I guess I misread it, I thought you said that some days they just eat dessert all day.

So does your six year old ever ask you to buy things you'd prefer not to, or that you know are unhealthy? How do you handle that?

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#66 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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So does your six year old ever ask you to buy things you'd prefer not to, or that you know are unhealthy? How do you handle that?
Yes, she does now and then (like the icercream from the icecream truck can not be healthy ) I do and we go on our merry way. She actually never finishes it, sometimes we have 2 or 3 somewhat eaten icecreams in the freezer. But that's besides the point.

I don't concentrate on NOT healthy. I concentrate on healthy. I (and her, because she wants to be like me ) read the labels in the store. She knows "artificial colors", "artificial flavors" "high fructose corn syrup" and such. She even knows that Tylenol and other OTC medicines are not "curing" the body and will judge her fever herself (she was recently sick) and sometimes when I offer, she will say "no, I still can handle it"

We grow some of our own veggies (it's rather new for us, but we are having fun with it!)

We talk about our body - "bad germs" / "good germs" (my term for probiotics, LOL), importance of fever, importance of water, importance of natural foods, importance of sleep, teeth brushing, excersice, fresh air - you name it.

But she also says "A little bit is not going to hurt my strong body, right mama?" And... I agree with her

It's a fun thing for us to do - almost like "our health vs. mainstream food industry"
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#67 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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Hi, just wanted to jump back in because no one commented and I really need some feedback...what to do when a 2.5 year old still wants to be fed much of the time...asks for me to give him his bites...asks for me to play food games. Totally benign? Sign of something unhealthy? Something else? Would just love some feedback...
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#68 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 07:46 PM
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Ok, the reason why processed sugar and HFCS is craved now a days once one acctually gets a taste of it is, the biological urge for sweet easily stored things.

Processed refined sugar and HFCS, once introduced to the diet, triggers that "Oh wow this is easily stored! It digests so quick and stores so efficiently, I have to keep eating this so I can keep my winter stores up" instinct. Back in the day when we NEEDED this instinct, we didn't have HFCS and refined sugar, we had fruits, berries, and the like...but now, with the advent of that, it takes advantage of that in built hoarding gorging instinct that many people have, mostly those of European descent, or those who are closer to the hunter gatherer lifestyle, like First Nations (Note: Type 2 diabetes is INSANE in the first nation population...) Your nutritional hording tendencies are related to where your ancestors lived.
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#69 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, just wanted to jump back in because no one commented and I really need some feedback...what to do when a 2.5 year old still wants to be fed much of the time...asks for me to give him his bites...asks for me to play food games. Totally benign? Sign of something unhealthy? Something else? Would just love some feedback...
I am curious to hear what others say as well. My two little people are grazers and do well with finger foods but as I mentioned before they are both less than adept with utensils. They also often prefer that Mommy or Daddy "feed me" and we oblige. I must confess that when each of them started eating solids, I would mostly finger feed them. Sometimes that is the still the only way they want to eat. Again, I expect by the time they go off to college or into the world they will be eating on their own with utensils and have mastered most social graces. I don't worry too much about it.

Your food games are not in order to coerce him to eat so I don't see it being a problem. Other more experienced Mammas may disagree so I will watch and see. Again, by the time your ds enters the world I highly doubt he'll come home emaciated because he just couldn't eat without you doing the helicopter thing. I can't see how having fun at meal times could be damaging but what do I know. I just see this baby/toddler time flying by so quickly (most days....) and before you know it they won't want or need to be fed or have us make mokeys out of ourselves with silly impersonations. Just my opinion.

BTW we use bananas for 'telephones' at our house!!
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#70 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 08:10 PM
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Natensarah -- I actually think we are on the same page-- remember, in a consensual approach to family living, I have my own boundaries as well. I couldn't buy our daughter all the *junk* she wanted, even if I were willing to because we are on a pretty tight budget and it is literally not possible if the rest of the family (me and dh) actually wanted to eat real food --- I can't speak to the future but I don't see that as being an issue -- as irina touched on, our children want to be like us, they emulate us, look up to us -- and while I certainly do not exploit that in our daughter, I can say that I utilize that trait when modeling behaviors that I would participate in whether I had a child or not (trying to eat healthy, be kind to others etc) -- to be clear, I never say things like "look mama is eating her veggies...don't you want some" or anything like that. I consider that manipulative and wrong for our family -- rather, it is a way more subtle thing -- it is just how we do things -- hard to articulate.

Yes, there have been times she has expressed interest in things I would never otherwise have exposed her to (processed cheese slices at my mom's house for instance), but I let her have it, without a show, or lecture, or fanfare or making any deal of it -- I did offer alternatives which she was free to take or leave -- blah she had a couple bites and was on to other things. I guess I am just saying the more power we give to things, the more allure they have in many cases. Food (among many other things) is not something I want to make any deal over unless I saw a serious health concern approaching.
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#71 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 08:18 PM
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Posting again just to touch on the feeding of children issue --- I am really a big advocate of self feeding and believe that feeding babies can and often does lead to children who don't know their hunger cues -- and to parents who are force feeding without intending to ---

That having been said though, our daughter likes me to feed her sometimes, and I don't know if it is a novelty thing, or if she is pretending to be a little birdie, or whether it is just easier for her at this point because she is not the greatest at utensils yet or what it is -- as we never really *fed* her as an infant and she would make a royal mess feeding herself happily which we were fine with --

I mean on one hand I am not entirely comfortable with it, as I can see where it may cause potential problems in some instances (with overeating and the like) but on the other hand, I think when we do feed her we do so responsibly --- I don't hold the spoon up to her mouth, or say "one more bite" or anything of the sort, I usually just sit there and she signs or says *more* then I will give her a bite --- she seems to have no problem stopping when she is done, even if that means she has only had 2 bites -- and we are fine with that.
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#72 of 81 Old 10-23-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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Yep, my DD also wanted to be "fed like a baby" (her words) some times. She would tell me when she was full.

She knows how to use her utensils now

Come to think of it, even now she would sometimes ask for it. I do not mind and do not see it as detrimental to anything, rather as cute and nostalgic (already )
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#73 of 81 Old 10-24-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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Another one who doesn't think it's necessarily a bad thing to feed them. My dd went through a stage like that where we played airplane and flew all over. The spoon had to go visit all kinds of various people, go to the grocery store, etc. I don't think she ended up taking very many bites. It probably would have been just as fun with an empty spoon, actually. Seemed like no big deal to me.

CaptainCrunchy, ITA about giving power to food. I really don't want to do that, so I've tried to keep a similar attitude as you. I have really had to bite my tongue when my friend brings my dd Capri Sun and "fruit snacks", which are really just gummy bears, but I figure it falls into the realm of occasional treat. A little more occasional than I would prefer, but still...

I wanted to also share an interesting story from our house this afternoon. My dd is transitioning out of her nap, which has been hard for her, but some days she's too tired and wants to go to sleep, but then has a really hard time getting going again. Today was one of those days. She woke up around 4:00 and was just having a really hard time, I could tell she felt awful. Well, I found her in the kitchen on the counter rifling through the cupboard looking for some stale old marshmallows we had from camping.

I've noticed her tendency to do this a lot -- when she's tired or doesn't feel good she starts looking for refined sugar. And today, she had looked past prunes, dried blueberries, nectarines, and muffins sweetened with applesauce to get to the real stuff. I'm not surprised by this, as dh and I both have struggled with various addictions to various substances that pep you up, but I'm glad to be aware of it so early.

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#74 of 81 Old 10-24-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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Yes, she does now and then (like the icercream from the icecream truck can not be healthy ) I do and we go on our merry way. She actually never finishes it, sometimes we have 2 or 3 somewhat eaten icecreams in the freezer. But that's besides the point.

I don't concentrate on NOT healthy. I concentrate on healthy. I (and her, because she wants to be like me ) read the labels in the store. She knows "artificial colors", "artificial flavors" "high fructose corn syrup" and such. She even knows that Tylenol and other OTC medicines are not "curing" the body and will judge her fever herself (she was recently sick) and sometimes when I offer, she will say "no, I still can handle it"

We grow some of our own veggies (it's rather new for us, but we are having fun with it!)

We talk about our body - "bad germs" / "good germs" (my term for probiotics, LOL), importance of fever, importance of water, importance of natural foods, importance of sleep, teeth brushing, excersice, fresh air - you name it.

But she also says "A little bit is not going to hurt my strong body, right mama?" And... I agree with her

It's a fun thing for us to do - almost like "our health vs. mainstream food industry"
Just wanted to say that I think this is awesome, and this is what I hope to do with my kids. I really want them to be informed eaters, I think that's invaluable.

I also love the saying about "my strong body"!

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#75 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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Okay, we are whipping out the "you just wait" arguement again. *sheesh*
I wasn't really trying to whip out the "just you wait" argument. It just strikes me as funny that "the unschooling lists will be full of posts about uneaten Halloween candy" seemed to be trying to make some kind of point. I try very hard not to make food a battleground or any kind of issue at all...but it is difficult, because I do have food issues of my own. DD is an out and out sugar junkie. She'd happily eat candy and cookies all day long. She's been like this since she tasted her first sweets. I'm dealing with totally uncharted territory here, because ds1 wasn't like this until puberty.

And, for the record, the only time I do the "you have to eat this before you can have that" is when dd asks for things, and takes a bite out of them, then wants something else. I'm not going to throw away most of an apple, then most of a banana, then most of a chunk of cheese, then most of a cup of yogurt, etc., etc., just because dd changes her mind every 20 seconds.

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#76 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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i like my kids to sit with us if we're having a sit-down meal. if i've cooked, and esp. if someone's cooked for us, i ask them to take a taste-bite of everything and to be polite about it even if it's nasty-tasting to them.

I don't go out of my way to make them ninetymillion meals if they don't eat, I figure another appetite of theirs will just show up later, and they can have leftovers or whatever's avaliable then

it blows my mind when parents don't pay attn to their kid unless it's about nagging them to clean their plates, then wonder why they "never eat". of course they don't eat when mom and dad are around, they'd rather get bad attn then no attn from their parents!

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#77 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Lisa - I'm with you on the way that different kids seem to form different habits. I've been staying out of this conversation, until now, because if I had posted about my older son several years ago, I'd have been bragging about what healthy choices he makes! But my younger son is around now too, he is six now, and we approached things basically the same way (except that he nursed a lot longer) and he craves sweets and junk constantly! Its horrible, and wears me down. He turns his nose up at the foods that we eat, and begs us to go buy junk. His latest question is, "Isn't there anything healthy that tastes like candy????"

Oddly, the little one picky kid is skinny, and the big one who eats beans and rice, very few desserts, etc.. is on the heavy side. So I don't know what to do with that!

Anyway, its not so much a "just you wait argument," as much as a "Gosh, I'm getting less sure of myself as we go!" kind of comment.
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#78 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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Anyway, its not so much a "just you wait argument," as much as a "Gosh, I'm getting less sure of myself as we go!" kind of comment.
That's it, exactly. I figured I had it nailed when ds1 was little, and I was occasionally even a little smug about my kindergartner happily walking off to school with his chopped green peppers for a snack. However, this same kid will barely touch a vegetable now, and about the only fruits he still seems to like are mangoes, peaches and berries of all kinds.

And, I frankly don't feel like I have a clue what to do where dd's eating habits are concerned. *sigh*

My mom also handled all three of us the same way with respect to food, and I'm the only one who really has issues with sweets and such. As I said, I do know where that came from, and it wasn't mom, but my sister had almost the exact same experiences that I had, and isn't hooked on sweets. My brother has almost no sweet tooth at all, much like my mom. (Interestingly enough, with respect to this discussion, my mom was raised very much with the "clean your plate" attitude, and she has no trouble with food at all...she eats what feels right for her, and always has.)

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#79 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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Well, I try not to create food issues/struggles. But my 6 yo. is really testing my resolve lately, and I'm starting to get an inkling of compassion for families who do things differently!

Its hard when he decides he'd rather play than eat, and then he melts down because he is weak and hungry. Its hard when he decides to eat 6 pieces of cornbread and no protein, and is then hungry in the middle of the night.

But basically, yeah -- the whole "clean your plate" thing gets to me.

I'm with you on that one. Also, when the kiddo nurses constantly and is crabby all day because he's hungry, but won't eat food because nursing is much more fun, and also the increased nightwakings because he is hungry. I've actually instituted a policy of "you must eat breakfast before nursing". If I suspect that he wants to nurse because he's hungry, I expect him to eat something first.
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#80 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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The idea of force feeding really bothers me, too. I think children should be able to choose what they want or don't want to eat from what's being served at each meal. Of course, I would never keep sugary or processed junk food in the house, so all food choices would be healthy ones.

I don't think food should ever become a power struggle or control issue, but I think parents have to exert a little control over what foods are made available because we have to fight the junk food powers that be (the processed food manufacturers, the advertisers, and the Standard American Diet that most people eat) who are constantly pushing unhealthy food at children.

On the topic of picky eaters, I found an interesting article:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...52C0A96F948260
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#81 of 81 Old 10-25-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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Okay, I read some of the replies to this but not all, hopefully I didn't miss the ones that speak of this...

I feed our 2 yo daughter whatever we're eating for dinner. She loves to use forks/spoons, she actually asks for them. I often have to encourage her to just pick it up and eat it with her hands like mommy is because she likes to stab her food. If it gets on her finger she thinks its funny... We eat healthy and I cook almost all of our meals from real food that requires cooking. She does get fun food for lunch and snacks all throughout the day.

I guess my point is, I don't want to become a short order cook and have my dd used to having something that she "wants." I don't force her to eat any food and alot of times I plan something for dinner that I know we all like so that liking food isn't an issue. I do get the "don't like" from her recently but that's it. That's the food we have...why should I cater to an attitude that I may not be able to be consistent with...like when we're at someone elses house visiting, a restaurant, on a tight budget, etc?
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