Monkeys don't eat crisps!
What is it with humans that urges them to stuff unhealthy food in everything that moves?
We went to the Woburn Safari Park last weekend and I spotted this sign below. As obvious as it may seem, it must have been a serious problem for the animal keepers that a sign had to be put up for all visitors to see and take notice. Monkeys don't need crisps, they clearly get fed food that is good for them, so why give them junk?
We also went out to the shopping centre that weekend with one of our family members, who insisted on buying something I would consider unhealthy, to my daughter at every opportunity. A burger, juice, cake, candy floss! I mean, just stop it! Got her a packet of strawberries at the end and she was the happiest child ever. She was not asking for any of it, it was suggested to her at every step, that this is what she should want as a child, that this was normal. But why? Maybe kids should come with similar warnings.
I do give my daughter treats
Just to clear things up, she does get her share of snacks. But what she gets is thought through and limited to reasonable amounts. I don't deprive her of ice cream in the summer and she gets to try everything what we eat, and if it is unhealthy, it is our fault, but she gets to try everything.
Since our family has been around for holidays, everything is going downhill! There is not a meal, or a time of day really, when there is no chocolate, gummy bears, juices or ice cream around. I am slowly loosing it. I feel so unhealthy myself since my mother in law has been in charge of the kitchen! I make an effort to make salads to go with any food she prepares but its just rice and meat and a lot of oil otherwise. I know that she is helping, and my husband loves her food, it really is tasty, but we cannot take it for much longer, none of us, we miss vegetables!
Respect my wishes, I'm a mother
One more thing, that same weekend, safari trip, grandmother is chatting to some ladies from Saudi, because she just can't stop herself, we come to say hello and there it is, a bowl full of chocolate bars. They immediately proceed to offer a Snickers bar to my daughter. I say, no thank you. The woman doesn't stop, and no longer looks at me, but at my daughter, I continue to say, no thank you, really, she can't eat that much chocolate, but the woman at that point just put it in her hand. That's not generosity, that's just rude! How dare you? She could have been allergic to peanuts, but even though she is not, why would you not listen to a responsible adult in charge of her care? What is this urge to feed children with as many calories as possible, even when we know (or should know) that this is not healthy.
I know this is not an isolated incident and that I am not the only one with such problems. Family members, friends, or even your other half may do that. So how should you react? What to say and do to stop this behaviour? You may think it is obvious, that you should tell them to stop, that you decide what your child eats. And yes, this may be a possibility, and it is easier to do when your little one is just a baby starting out with solid foods, and if the person is a stranger, that would be understandable. As your child gets older, it becomes socially acceptable for them to eat anything they want and anything that is advertised and packaged for kids, because it must be safe for them, is surely tasty, as it is designed for kids. In most cases, they would love to eat it given a chance, but just because a bar of chocolate has a full glass of milk in it, it does not make it a good source of calcium! You can't avoid it, it will happen to you, sooner or later.
I will write a little longer post about how to deal with especially family members who don't seem to understand healthy eating, your choices, baby led weaning, or anything else that is your deision and is good for your baby, as telling them to f*ck off is not really an option, not if you want to keep friends and not get divorced.
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