The pressure of food..

I saw a boy called Kayden (about 3) on the bus last week. I know his name is Kayden because of the following interchange:

Kayden: “Muuuum, I’m bored”
Kayden’s mum: “Kayden, shut up”
Kayden is silent for about 40 seconds
Kayden: “Muu-”
Kayden’s mum: -to Kayden’s dad (although I’m not making any promises) “Give him some starbursts?”

Kayden’s ‘dad’ obliges, both parents resume interaction on their smartphones and Kayden falls happily silent.

Now I dont buy organic, I’m not allergy obsessed, and I try hard not to measure how much or little R is eating. But I would say I’m careful what goes into his food, and what snacks he eats. I dont use stock powder or salt when I’m cooking for him, and when he snacks (or perhaps grazes is the correct term for his constant nibbling) I always offer fruit or some form of ‘healthy’ choice.

I wonder at what point I’ll just say “screw it” and throw him a snickers..?

I mean we cant do this forever. Is there a sudden age where they start asking for things and you cant come up with enough good reasons why grapes are tastier than kettle chips? Or is it that they just start helping themselves and there’s just nothing you can do about it?

I recently saw a (brilliant) BBC documentary called ‘Fast Food Baby,’ about three parenting teams who basically fed their children take aways every night of the week. At one point, the father of an 18 month old anaemic baby said “Oh, I have no control over what he eats.” Interesting. So your baby dials the chinese place himself and asks for the usual? Pops into KFC on his way home from work and comes home with the backseat literally drowning in buckets of oil?

At another point during the show, a three year old in the trolley at the supermarket asks his mum:

“Can I have a pear?”

To which she replied…

“Oh dont be stupid-you dont even know what a pear tastes like”

I’ve know I’ve said this before, but I always enjoy reinforcing it, Look- folks, -points- I’m not the worst parent in the world!

But I’ve already eased up on the supermum feeding. Try to restrain yourself from calling social services, but I no longer make him seperate meatballs without sugar and ketchup in.. and if he wont finish his bottle, where once I would have tried every 5 minutes for an hour and carried him round and round the house distracting him, I now er.. kind of just give up straight away cause it annoys me? And I even admit to carrying round a bag of cheerios to shut him up keep him entertained..

What’s next? Choc buttons for breakfast? Burgers and chips for dinner each day? Five a day in the form of skittles fruits?

it’s a slippery slope people.. Just promise to remind me of this one day when you see me giving Rapha that snickers we discussed. I’d be interested to see how I got there. Now please excuse me while I check on that delicious steamed broccoli. For him of course. I’m having pasta and cheese. And maybe some cake.


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1 Comment

  1. Yaeli

     /  August 11, 2011

    Ha! So true. And I’m at that stage where my boys definitely know the difference between heathy snacks and not healthy snacks (although i pride myself on the fact that they know that there ARE healthy snacks too!). There are times for both. It’s all a matter of putting rules in place and sticking to them. I do believe depriving children and only giving them the ‘healthy’ stuff will make them go to the other extreme as soon as they have any freedom. So, Gavriel knows he can choose a not so healthy snack (aka veggie chips/crisps, animal crackers, pretzels, (no snickers!) and once he’s had that if he’s still hungry he gets cereal or a fruit or yogurt. It’s just the way it is. And yes, he does argue it on a regular basis, but I do my best to not give in (unless it’s 9 Av). Especially when a curious and too smart 3 year old is watching in the wings and learning…


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