Monday, 20 October 2008

You Are What You Eat

Which, if true, I would do a great impression of the gingerbread man from Shrek.

My diet is fairly varied, and therefore, in my head, healthy.

Which it can be at times, and if it needs to be.

I do like sweet things though, like these.

It is all about balance, isn’t it?

I’ve tried to encourage a health eating habit within my son. But also including some tat, that means he can be fed in any circumstance, and hopefully, will not gorge on the bad stuff in the future.

Even in the immediate aftermath of my wife’s death I insisted on a strict diet of healthy stuff only.

My idea being, if I established a taste for healthy wholesome foods in the first twelve months, it was a sound start, and other foods could then be added to it.

His first birthday came, and so did his first chocolate button.

And ever since I’ve given him all sorts of stuff.

The current policy is, if you eat your healthy stuff you can have what you want in-between, as long as you brush your toothy-pegs often.

This was an agreed tactic, I was the main champion of its application, but Samantha did agree with me.

And now there is no one to argue with me, well, apart from the victim himself.

In the times I’ve sought food guidance from the nation's army of health ‘professionals’ I've been saddened at the general lack of knowledge during our various updates and checks.

There was a memorable visit when I was asking about sticking with advanced formula, in lieu of cow’s milk, as I believed my son would benefit from the additional iron – he wasn’t eating a lot of meat at the time.

If I’d have asked the question in Russian I’m sure I would have got the same look, and quite probably the same waste-of-time response.

Amongst the gems of information, was the classic:

‘If that’s all they’ll eat, we say give it to them.”

And I was the only person not being paid to be in that room. Poor show.

In their defence perhaps answering technical questions from someone who has already searched the internet for the answer, probably isn’t at the top of the job specification.

Instead they are dealing with parents like this;

“No you can’t have any chocolate, you won’t eat your McDonalds.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I overheard that.

Well, I type that, but there weren’t any tears.

Now I don't want to come across as being the proud parent whose child has the best diet, he doesn't, he prefers chips to carrots and chocolate to cauliflower, but luckily he will still eat those things.

It is just frustrating when you see, or in my case, hear children being reared on an inevitable obesity laden diet.

I mean why would you want to do that to those most important to you?

Blimey, this post has turned into a bit of a rant. Share/Save/Bookmark


modernsinglemomma said...

I'm of your philosophy.
Recently (as in 2 days ago) I started a "raw to dinner" diet. Which is less of a "diet" and more of a lifestyle switch. After a couple of weeks of lots of beer and mexican food my body felt the need for a little detox and lots of fresh fruit.

My little guy is a cereal nut. He asks for it all the time. Good thing though I've trained him on the healhthy stuff, no CookieCrunch or Lucky Charms (although, that is a personal fave of mine). And I always put a spoonful of Almond Butter in their for good measure... it keeps him going longer. =)

Wish I would have known you 2 months ago when I was visiting Moseley, I would have insisted we all grab a pint together!

eb said...

i like your rants. they're refreshing and remind me that there ARE still people out there with a solid head [did i just call you dense?] on their sholders.

Ms. Single Mama said...

Don't eat the chocolate because you won't have room for McDonald's??? WTF. That's so funny and so sad at the same time.

I try my best... one things I've discovered that have saved me from the fast food or pizza nights all together - Trader Joe's (not sure if you have them over there Ian) organic stir fry frozen skillet meals. They're actually amazing... you cook them in the skillet. For me it's a matter of finding the time to feed him right and cook a meal from scratch so these are a life saver.

harassedmomsramblings said...

I agree totally with you on this!!

But we did go through stages with my rather spirited daughter where "if thats all she will eat" was a reality. So she lived in rice and gravy for a few weeks (or months maybe).

But its cool now to see them rather ask for the healthier option than gorge themselves on msg!

Penelope said...

Oh this is one of my favourite rants too! My kids both take a packed lunch to school every day with a mixture of healthy (brown bread and salad sandwiches, fruit, cereal bar) and not so healthy, (packet of crisps) food. When they tell me what some of their friends take for lunch I am gobsmacked! It's not rocket science but why can't people understand that we are killing this generation? (Yes I'm ranty too!)

Single Parent Dad said...

ModernSingleMomma - That lifestyle switch would be a tad drastic for me, although I could probably do with it.

Man you were in Moseley? What a shame, well not a shame, as I'm sure you had a great time, but would have been great to meet you and yours.

Eb - I'm glad someone does.

Ms Single Mama - I know, I was genuinely stunned, for a second, when I overheard that, but at least in prompted a blog post!

Will have to look out for those, but there are plenty of 'healthy' kids meals on the shelves here too. I don't always feed Max with the good stuff, We're no stangers at the chip shop!

Harassedmom - But that's hardly McD's and chocolate. Glad to hear you have healthy eaters.

Penelope - I know, it is amazing that for everyone trying to be (reasonably) healthy there are two others sending their kids to school with Red Bull to get them through the day!

Roads said...

Well, I think it's possible to overdo the healthy eating thing. Or at least for parents to do so.

Some of my kids' friends are (allegedly) allergic to food colourants. And dairy products. And they're not allowed sweets.

Yet, the funny thing is that they eat all of those things in abundance whenever they come over to our house.

And if their parents are there and having a peaceful a glass of wine at the time, they're pretty relaxed about it. Strangely.

Mama Nabi said...

I am a donut.

I am responsible for at least 17-19 meals a week so I have a pretty good handle on what goes inside her tummy. I used to fret over the empty-calorie-non-nutritional meals that her dad would feed her but now, I'm going with zen. If she eats crap at his house, I take away the candy she would have gotten at mine and replace it with something with a bit more nutrition... like tofu that she loves or extra spinach (yep, she snacks on spinach but only if it's prepared in a certain way) or yoghurt.

As long as she's gotten all the vitamin letters (or if I don't think she will quite make it during the day, I sneak in vitamins), I allow a bit of chocolate every now and then... and even candy during the weekends.

As you can see, I do obsess a bit much on what does go in that tummy of hers.

For myself? Hah, bring on the donuts.

Kori said...

Moderation is the key; and so far it has worked well for all four of mine. They eat their veggies with no complaints, love hot cereal with a passion, and eggs...all of them like to play outdoors, we don't do the tv thing, so I am not really too worried. I think you are approaching it just right.

Violet said...

Ever since our daughter first tasted ice cream, she went completely off yoghurt. I so regret the latter, but on the other hand can still recall with great clarity the expression on her face when that gourmet ice cream touched her tongue...

Elle Charlie said...

I'm impressed by your commitment - it is so important to teach healthy habits early! You are giving your son a wonderful gift - keep it up!

Single Parent Dad said...

Roads - I agree, it's about the balance. I would worry if starved or forbidden fruit they would gorge on it later in life, or when out of your care.

Mama Nabi - Wow. A right little Popeye!

Kori - Thank you, and I too think moderation is key.

Violet - Gourmet ice cream, yum yum.

Elle Charlie - Thank you, and I'll do my best.

mumof4 said...

Is that MacDonalds/chocolate comment for real?
I have a friend who is 200% obsessed with what her little ones go. Their gran confided in me that as soon as they have their freedom they are going to want to experiment on all the food stuff mum had banned.....I think BALANCE is the key word here...

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