I was on Facebook the other day (I know, again) and this morning (the tv show) posted a status that was bound to get feathers ruffling. It was along the lines of 'parents who allow their children to become obese'.
Now I'm going to say that take the small percentage of children out who do actually have a medical condition, because there are some. We'll not include those parents and children into this. I'm talking about the parents who let their children eat crap basically. I sat and read lots of comments from parents who said that they can't get their children to eat healthy food, to parents who said they can't afford healthy food (!!) to parents who said that those who allow their children to become fat, through laziness on their own part actually are abusing their children. You know what, I kind of agree with this a little. Reverse the psychology. If you heard of a parent not feeding their child properly, this making them become unwell through malnourishment that would cause quite rightly so, a huge uproar. It is abuse. So why is it different if you turn the table? It isn't really is it. Just because that child is full and not hungry, then it doesn't mean its ok. The child's organs are being put under a huge strain, not to mention risk of diabetes etc.
I'm going to comment on the 'I can't get my child to eat healthy food' posts. Its really difficult when you've got a child who is fussy. All children go through stages. Its frustrating and irritating. The best thing in my experience? Don't make a deal of it and offer it again a few weeks later. My taste buds change, I like things now I didn't a year or two ago. I didnt eat any veg when I was a kid but ate a huge amount of fruit and veg. I love veg now. I think making issue and forcing someone to eat something they don't like is horrible. There are hundreds of other foods you can try. If you're doing veg, do a few types. I hate boiled carrots, but love raw and roasted carrot. Don't like veg? Salad. Cut it onto shapes, make it look interesting. Get the kids to help. If they help, they want to try it. Then the biggest thing? Don't be cooking chips for yourself or someone else in the house and expect the kids to not want to eat it. Clear the crap out the cupboard and there's no temptation. My kids like making pizza and more so, eating it! its a much healthier way to do it and they want to eat what they've produced. Swap white breads for brown, if you've got a child like mine who “hates” (drama queen) brown, buy 50/50 bread, or wraps.
Money. Now whilst I agree that some fruit is expensive, you can source it cheaper. Look for deals and if you have one close by go to a market. I get through a lot of fruit and veg. I have learnt over the years to buy frozen. This saves me two things – money and time. I used to throw too much unused veg out, now I buy it frozen and it lasts longer and is cheaper. I bulk out most meals with plenty of veg. For example, a pack of lean mince can make me 2 meals. A chilli com carne gets bulked out with chickpeas, frozen chopped peppers, and kidney beans. The same thing applies for a shepherd pie but with different veg. I work out my meals cost less than £1 per person per meal most days. And whilst I am happy to buy economy foods, meat I do but buy good quality. That's the other thing, meat. You don't have to eat it! Someone argued on they this morning facebook post that it was cheaper to feed her kids pizza and chips than anything healthy. That's just misguided or ignorant. How much would a couple of jacket spuds cost with a filling and some salad? Pasta is so cheap. You can buy a bag in sainsburys or waitrose for less than £1, and plain tomato sauces for 20p. Go figure. I do feel sorry for those who haven't a clue, and that's where people need guiding.
I'd also urge parents to read labels. Baby yogurts is my big bugbear. A certain brand that I sued to buy for my first claim they have lots of added calcium and this makes being stronger! What they didn't tell you on the front is that they also rot your child's teeth. Yep, added sugar. Not naturally occurring, but added. So if someone decided to wean their baby at 4 months (eek, this is another worthy blog thread) then why give their little bodies crap? I tend to get my youngest womb fruit full fat Greek yoghurt (good fats) and if I want it sweetened up then add some fruit purée. If I hadnt made my own then I'd buy 100% fruit purée. Is actually cheaper to do this too. Much better for them too as there's lots of protein in Greek yogurt and as mentioned, other goodness. I'd never recommend using fruit stars or petit filous. Yet a quick glance of packaging and you'd think you're doing the best for your wee one.
I've only found these things out by trial and error, and I'm pretty keen on clean eating these days, along with wanting a good diet for breastfeeding I have definitely become more informed. A know it all I am not, I'm just passionate about giving your kids the best, and good habits early on are a positive thing. I doth judge anyone who doesn't do the same things as me, I'm not saying my way is best for everyone – its the best for me and my family and I want them to be as happy and healthy as possible with a positive body image. We eat take away, they have sweets. But in moderation and its not the staple part of their diet, its in addition. They also are active, love sports and being out on their bikes. They also love tv and the ipad but again, moderation. The parents who don't have a clue through being misinformed, that's different. They might want to help but don't know where to start. They might now know how to cook. The parents who know full well they're setting their children up for obesity and diabetes? I think this is probable laziness.
So is letting your child become obese child abuse? What's your thoughts?