This question sparked a bit of a debate on Twitter yesterday! It was asked in response to a tweet in which someone said that they couldn’t understand women who eat healthily yet feed their children junk.
In true Twitter style, there were a number of heated tweets exchanged! The person asking the original question had a point I suppose – why would you feed your children junk yet eat healthily yourself? I guess that it is fairly obvious that you wouldn’t do this unless there was a good reason for it.
I have witnessed my nephew – who is two – refuse to eat all sorts of lovely healthy food that my sister has prepared. He will sit at the table for hours, pushing his food around the plate but not eating a morsel! As an outsider, my response is fairly simple – just don’t give him anything until he eats his healthy food, and persist until he eats what you give him. Yet as a parent, this must be one of the most terrible situations to be in.
However, I am not sure that the automatic response of, “Do you have kids?”, is the best response to such a question – although I can understand why you would want to defend the actions of parents. Jo Frost, Super Nanny, has no children of her own yet you would be quite happy to take advice off her, or answer questions she had, I would imagine! Also – and this is where I get controversial…just because you are biologically able to pop one out, doesn’t automatically qualify you for a parent of the year award! But it is like me saying that you can’t understand how I feel unless you have been in my shoes…you really can’t, yet you can empathise and have an idea as to what I might be going through if you have family members or friends with morbid obesity…the same goes for children I suppose.
My nephew would refuse to eat dinner, and an hour later would be given a snack to eat so that he didn’t go to bed hungry. It is easy to see how this develops into a habit and leads to mealtime tantrums. In fact, it is reminiscent of the behaviour that I used to demonstrate if my dinner wasn’t complete or exactly what I wanted…and I was in my late-twenties, not a toddler! Yet giving your child food if they are hungry and haven’t eaten a meal is an absolutely natural response…you wouldn’t think that it could cause food issues further down the line.
I look after my sisters children on a regular basis. So despite not having them myself, I can empathise how difficult food issues are with children. You want them to eat something, yet what if all they seem to enjoy eating is processed food such as chicken nuggets? My sister used to chose healthier options – chicken breast, and fish fillet fingers for example…but she still wasn’t comfortable doing that.
When I am on mealtime duties with them, it can take me nearly an hour to get the little man to eat his meal. We focus on the veggies first, and the rest later – but it is like a battle. He will climb off the chair, he will push his food around the plate, he will refuse to open his mouth if I try and feed him, he will give food to his sister, he will drop it on the floor…you name it, he does it. And it is so draining. I have to sit next to him and ensure that he eats…so I have to spend an hour, totally focused on him.
In an ideal world, we would all have the time and energy to deal with these situations. Yet after a day of having toddlers running around causing havoc, with the endless requests, the tantrums, the clearing up after them…energy levels are depleted. I only have to go through mealtimes after joining them halfway through the day and so don’t have endless hours of child stress that has worn me down. I don’t have the house to clean, the washing to do, myself to feed, etc, etc.
So the job of being a parent is incredibly bloody hard. Yet just because someone has no children, it doesn’t mean that they have no understanding or empathy. I do not know how my sister copes some days! So hats off to all parents in my opinion!
However – and there is always one of those – I read an article yesterday that made me quite angry. I have no desire to vilify parents at it is a hard job, yet the article highlighted that there were a number of primary school children – as discovered by the measurement programme – that weigh over 20st. One little girl weighs only 4st less than I do but was only ten years old. For me, this is a child abuse issue.
Yet what is the answer – at what point do people intervene? How do parents seek support if their children have food issues? Especially if they are worried about being accused of child abuse! The measurement programme in schools highlight which children are overweight. A letter gets sent home to parents telling them so. The kicker is that there is not much else in the letter – no offers of non-judgemental support, or groups that can assist – no signposting as to where parents can turn. Instead they get warned of all of the obesity-related diseases – lovely! This is shocking as far as I am concerned!
The consensus seems to be that people need to be told in a no-nonsense way that there is an issue. Whilst I agree with this, it strikes me that this is the same as someone approaching me and telling me that I am fat. Most people can see that someone is overweight, be they adult or child – yet what you need is support, rather than the obvious being stated. For some, I understand that there is a need to highlight that it isn’t just ‘puppy-fat’ and that you might not ‘grow out of it’…but give the support as well as stating the obvious. Don’t judge either, as each case will have it’s own set of issues…just each family has their own mealtime issues – cut the judgement, increase the support and guidance.
Anyway – that’s my social commentary over for the day!
I had a lovely chat with a fellow ‘loser’ this morning – a rather lovely lady that I am excited about meeting soon! I also did a little project work, contacted a few PR companies for some potential goodies for my JP event…although I am not holding out much hope for goodies – but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I then headed to see the horses, and popped to the shop, and discussed the merits of a new exercise object that deals with your bingo wings apparently…I would like to see it deal with mine! I then caught up with a friend for a chat, spoke to another lovely lady that I will be meeting soon, and finished series two of 24 – and I am officially in love with Jack Bauer. An early night beckons, with weigh in tomorrow…not sure what that will bring as I have been a lazy mare all week…watch this space!
Breakfast: Porridge and blueberries (6.5 syns).
A great food day today. More porridge, which was lovely. Lunch was some fried mushrooms, pepper, onion and smoked salmon trimmings on top of salad leaves and grated beetroot with cherry tomatoes – a new concoction which tasted delicious. Dinner was also a new concoction! Fried onion, aubergine, celery, pepper and spinach, with chilli and garlic, all mixed with chopped tomatoes and more smoked salmon trimmings; and that tasted great too. My snacks were new – or rather my HEB crispbreads were…the Ryvita ones – my consultant picked me some up when she went shopping for me to try and they were lovely! Six as a HEB so I put it with cheese spread and they were gorgeous – a definite fixture.
Exercise: I want to hide…but in the spirit of honesty, I have done no exercise today either! Argh – frustrated with myself, but my other half has told me that he will put me on the treadmill himself on Wednesday morning – I might video him trying for you all!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx