I’ve had quite a few people tell me in the course of the adoption that I will need to change the way I eat if there is a kid in the house. While a few of them meant that they are concerned that I am going to “force” the kid to be a vegetarian (is that worse than forcing them to eat meat?), many are worried that my focus on whole and natural foods will be bad for a child.
Let that sink in. Natural and unprocessed foods are considered to be bad for kids. I don’t think that they can make the argument that they are bad nutritionally. I believe that these people mean that healthy food is bad for children psychologically.
The first instance was in the middle of a discussion about discipline styles with the SIL. She was giving an example of a kid throwing a temper tantrum because I won’t give her a Twinkie before dinner. I laughed. I can’t visualize owning a Twinkie. She modified it to, “Whatever sort of stuff that you’re going have actually have in your house for her to eat.”
When I was discussing something with my mother and referred to the visit B. had with her social worker at McDonalds I offhandedly said, “I hope she had fun because it isn’t happening here.” My mother got all mad and informed me that I have to take her to McDonalds. The tone used implied that she would turn into a serial killer if she didn’t go to McDonalds routinely. I pointed out that I don’t go there because I really can’t eat there as a vegetarian. My mother told me to eat some fries for the good of my child so she could go to McDonalds. What is the big deal? I am personally dying to go to Chuck E. Cheese. Let that be her “playing at restaurants” experience.
I’ve had all kinds of people tell me that I will no longer be able to buy healthy food with kids. Why? I don’t remember my mother kowtowing to what I wanted to eat, at least for dinner. She made a meal and if I didn’t want to go hungry I ate it. There was no making me another meal that better suited my mood.
My friend down the street growing up lived in a family that ate a salad and fairly healthy food every night. I remember feeling slightly sorry for her because she didn’t have sugary cereal at her house but to the best of my knowledge no one in her family grew up to be a serial killer.
Maybe I’ve hit on the root cause of childhood obesity. Processed, sugary foods are now considered a “right” of children. Not having those foods makes you a bad parent. I remember someone telling me that she couldn’t lose weight because her kids had all kinds of junk food in the house. I said to stop buying it. I remember she stared at me open-mouthed. End of discussion. I was talking nonsense.
So, my poor abused child will be forced to eat healthy, vegetarian meals if I’m cooking. Call children’s services. When they investigate maybe I’ll get off for extenuating circumstances. See, my mother never had soft drinks in the house when I was kid. I was deprived too.