Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ignoring parents' food choices

The other day I was doing some shopping in a big construction store, Home Depot-style. By the cashier I was a witness to a very peculiar and, in my view, very telling situation. There was a couple after me with a baby in a stroller. The cashier asked them "Does your baby eat lollipops already?" After they said that no, (the baby was like 6mo old!) they went on saying how much her older brother loves lollipops, so they took one. What did in this situation rub me the wrong way? There was no question "Would you like a lollipop for your child?", no there was no will of a parent taken into consideration. It was assumed, that the children eat lollipops and only the age of a child was questioned. I am assuming if the child was a toddler the woman would pass on the candy straight into the child's hands, without asking the parents for permission. Parents who do not agree to give children candies, junk food and general sweets are weird, stuck up, full of themselves and generally ridiculous.

In a similar situation was my friend some time ago. She's a mother to a 4 yo and she tries to feed the child in a healthy way. When she was out with him one day, her adult neighbor started to share potato chips with him. My friend politely opposed and asked her neighbor to not give anything to her son. The response? "Oh, come on, don't be ridiculous".

There are many situations of that kind, where parents' food choices are trampled over and seen as overreacting. I've heard many times comments of that kind even when the parents said the child had an allergy. "Just a little bit won't harm anyone". Parents who "deny" children sweets (or snacks) are seen as over-zealous crazies, who should be made fun of. I know that often it's especially difficult when it's the grandparents who can't understand and/or respect their children' choices in raising up grandchildren.

The same friend told me also that once, when she was at a family wedding someone was feeding her son with sugar cubes. o_0. What adult in a more or less sane mind would do such a thing?
Food is a very delicate issue, I know that when I have a baby I will face it as well, as I am a believer in a palo-style of eating, so no sweets or processed foods whatsoever, not even "healthy" snacks, granola bars or juices.

I can't stand how people can't respect parents' well thought-out choices concerning their children. I wish they spend all the energy of sticking their noses where they don't belong into reacting and acting when a child is really in danger, in a toxic environment, being abused and hurt. But no... to this people are blind, but have no issue calling sweets-ban a child-abuse.

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