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Old 01-20-2013, 07:15 AM   #131
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
Actually, I would've jumped for joy if DS had a bite of a McDonalds hamburger. I'm not exaggerating when I say that DS would not eat for days at a time, or only eat a handful of Cheerios and a piece of fruit. This was beyond normal pickiness, and even led to arguments between DH and I.

Like I said, he is getting better, but after two years of making (and throwing away) nutritious food, I fully admit that I burnt out and just gave him boxed mac n cheese. Even then, he often didn't eat it.
It sounds like we have the same kid - ours is a girl though. At least mine eats fruit and drinks milk daily, so it is a bit better. But I tell you, it drives me nuts!

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Old 01-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #132
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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I used to think like this for many years but it's so hard in this country for people to really learn nutrition when majority of the people just follow what the government tells them through basic information and nutrition. And it's not so much that people don't know, they just don't know how to or changing that habit is so difficult.

FDA/USDA's guideline including how nutrition is taught in the country is beyond a fail system. But I won't even get into that.

Comparing country like France maybe extreme but they love to eat but also cook over there. They appreciate fine ingredients and could be very snobby about it but we don't have that kind of mentality here other than cook things that are simple. Cooking everyday at home isn't a cultural thing here either and that picture is drastically changing today.

And we're overworked to begin with if not simple/fast food is a getaway to most peoples' emotional needs.

I don't think people are dumb in that sense, they KNOW healthy foods exist and need to eat healthy but lack of such habit and information growing up only goes back to comfort. I think that's why all these extreme diets start to become popular for people in their late 20's and above because suddenly they are gaining weight really fast as their metabolism slow down.
Nothing you said takes the blame away from parents. And nothing the government publishes encourages junk food, eating out nightly at a fast food place or sitting all the time.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:49 AM   #133
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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I truly used to feel this way, but then DS turned 1 and suddenly became the pickiest eater ever. He used to eat anything and everything without complaint (and we did BLW). It's only been recently that he has eaten meat without being coerced to. Vegetables are still lacking.

He would literally not eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner some days. It's awful. After a while I got tired of cooking and throwing everything out.

So, no I don't think you can make a child eat broccoli without forcing it down their throat, and I'm just not willing to take that step.
My daughter is the same way. Before 14-15 months or so, she would eat whatever was in front of her. But as she got older, she has preferences and doesn't care to try the new food or the stuff that wasn't necessarily her favorite. That's okay. I still put it on her plate. She still gets food offered at regular intervals, even if she decides she's not going to eat anything but cheese for the week (which I still only offer every other day or so, so that's as often as she eats sometimes). I think the point the other posters are trying to make is that there's no need to give them pudding and cheetos and mcdonalds just because that's all they will eat. There are frequently days where my DD eats nothing at all. It seems like that's just classic toddler behavior...just curious why you think it's "awful?"

I agree that in the early ages you can't "make" a child eat anything. My DD is 21 months now and there's not a chance I'd be able to make her eat a piece of broccoli if she doesn't want it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Teexie

My daughter is the same way. Before 14-15 months or so, she would eat whatever was in front of her. But as she got older, she has preferences and doesn't care to try the new food or the stuff that wasn't necessarily her favorite. That's okay. I still put it on her plate. She still gets food offered at regular intervals, even if she decides she's not going to eat anything but cheese for the week (which I still only offer every other day or so, so that's as often as she eats sometimes). I think the point the other posters are trying to make is that there's no need to give them pudding and cheetos and mcdonalds just because that's all they will eat. There are frequently days where my DD eats nothing at all. It seems like that's just classic toddler behavior...just curious why you think it's "awful?"

I agree that in the early ages you can't "make" a child eat anything. My DD is 21 months now and there's not a chance I'd be able to make her eat a piece of broccoli if she doesn't want it.
It's awful because he was quite obviously hungry, but refused to eat for whatever reason. If he liked spaghetti one week (just the noodles of course), he wouldn't eat it the next week. I found it very stressful to provide him a healthy variety of food when he wouldn't even touch it. I always put food on his plate, and I always ended up throwing it out.

DD on the other hand eats everything and anything. I actually think that seeing her eat is what prompted him to start eating. That or his body was shutting down.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:03 AM   #135
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Nothing you said takes the blame away from parents. And nothing the government publishes encourages junk food, eating out nightly at a fast food place or sitting all the time.
It's not what they publish that encourages junk food. It's what they DO.

A huge number of lower income children in this country eat TWO of their three meals a day at school. The quality of those free breakfasts and lunches, especially in the poorest schools, is abysmal. The government lunch regulations offer subsidies for the worst kinds of foods, so that those children--the children that are already most at risk for obesity and malnutrition--might be getting most of their calories a day from things like microwavable cinnamon buns, microwaved hot dogs on white bread, chicken nuggets, oily pizza (counts as a vegetable, according to USDA standards!) and fries (also counts as a vegetable!). I don't see how parents are to blame when government-run schools are filling their kids up with crap, crap, and more crap. And when kids are used to eating nothing but pizza and sugar at school, it's that much harder to get them to eat broccoli and whole grain bread at home.

The USDA subsidizes factory-farmed meat and corn sugar to such an extent that it is vastly cheaper for manufacturers to produce products full of those foods and then cheaper and more convenient for people to buy them. It's simply not a level playing field.

Has no one here heard of "food deserts"? Those are areas, particular in low-income urban areas, where there are virtually no regular supermarkets, only bodegas, fast food restaurants, etc. I used to live in one. I lived in a medium-sized city that had a SINGLE regular supermarket, which was, of course, located in the nicest part of town. If you lived in a poorer areas, it might take you several bus transfers to get there. Shortly after I moved, that supermarket closed. I was a college student, so it was no big deal for me to travel pretty far to get quality food. But if I had been a single parent, with three kids at home, two jobs, and no car? How on earth would I have found the time or resources to travel many miles to get fresh broccoli and carrots--particularly when, thanks to government subsidies, cola and potato chips provide me with more calories per dollar?

I think we need to acknowledge the role of personal responsibility in the obesity crisis, but I think it's a vast oversimplification to say, "Fat people are just ignorant and lazy." There are a whole host of regulatory, social, and economic factors that affect each individual's access to food and resources, to say nothing of the highly addictive nature of the crap food that surrounds us.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #136
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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No kid is ever going to starve themselves to death. Kids survived the picky phases long before McCrap and goldfish crackers.
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I don't believe kids will starve themselves though. My kids will sometimes turn their noses up at dinner and I tell them they don't have to eat it, but they aren't getting anything else. They've only completely skipped dinner once or twice. No kid is going to starve missing a meal here or there.
This is slightly off-topic, but I disagree with these. And that is because I have a kid who WOULD starve himself, and has - three times he's had a feeding tube placed because he literally wouldn't eat. So please be careful making these sort of statements because while yes, these kids aren't the norm - these kids DO exist and I can tell you first-hand it is a frustration you will never understand until you live it.

I absolutely cringe that I can buy four boxes of fruit snacks, which would last for a couple weeks, for the same cost of 1/2 a pint of blueberries, which would last a couple days. But, as a parent, it is still my job to make blueberries (and other healthy stuff) the go-to snacks and to keep putting those veggies on that plate. We can place blame in a lot of places but at the end of the day, it's the parent's job to not only offer and explain healthy choices, but to model healthy choices for themselves. (Which is precisely why I only eat my junk food after the kids go to bed. )
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #137
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The bigger point that I was trying to make is that we don't have to start out on rice cereals and then carefully add one fruit or vegetable at a time. (unless you have reason to suspect allergies, which is different) Parents have become dependent on Gerber. We don't have to feed our babies the commercially prepared "baby foods" like that's our only option. Lots of people are surprised I make my own baby food. It tastes more like "real" food we're eating. It's got a thicker texture to it. And while prechewing a baby's food is altering it for the baby's needs, it's likely to be whatever the rest of the family is eating anyway. In our society babies start out on baby food and get duped into this idea that babies have to eat something different from the rest of our family. Then we think our toddlers need toddler food. And our kids need kid-friendly food. And it's not true. It's what baby food companies want you to believe, but it's not true.

Also, about the organic vs regular-- I have heard that in general our vegetables don't have the same nutrient levels from years ago because our soil has been depleted of it's nutrients.
Agreed. I never purchased 1 jar of baby food with my last two kids and neither of them had mush. When they were ready to eat, they ate. We did BLW'ing and only gave them the food in its normal form. No grinding, mushing, etc.

Gerber isn't doing what is best for babies, they are using babies to make money.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:32 AM   #138
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I absolutely cringe that I can buy four boxes of fruit snacks, which would last for a couple weeks, for the same cost of 1/2 a pint of blueberries, which would last a couple days.
This is the problem (and I know you know the difference) that parents can actually think fruit snacks are fruit. Really? How?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #139
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
It's awful because he was quite obviously hungry, but refused to eat for whatever reason. If he liked spaghetti one week (just the noodles of course), he wouldn't eat it the next week. I found it very stressful to provide him a healthy variety of food when he wouldn't even touch it. I always put food on his plate, and I always ended up throwing it out.

DD on the other hand eats everything and anything. I actually think that seeing her eat is what prompted him to start eating. That or his body was shutting down.
I wonder if eating for children is a very social thing.

Three observations that make me think that:
1) My daughter, who behaves like your son, always eats the snacks at pre-school.
2) She eats better on the weekends when her older brother and sister are here.
3) A woman at my dd's pre-school has 7 children. 4 of them adopted. The latest adopted dd is the same age as mine with the same eating habits. She tells me that this girl would not eat this and that until after the 2nd meal in their house. She would refuse food and the other kids would jump in with "can I have her brocoli". The next time she said she didn't like food, the other kids called dibs on it and she said: "It's okay, I'll eat it." That was the end of the picky eating. We joke that I should leave my dd at her house for a week!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #140
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Re: Let's talk childhood obesity....

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Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
It's not what they publish that encourages junk food. It's what they DO.

A huge number of lower income children in this country eat TWO of their three meals a day at school. The quality of those free breakfasts and lunches, especially in the poorest schools, is abysmal. The government lunch regulations offer subsidies for the worst kinds of foods, so that those children--the children that are already most at risk for obesity and malnutrition--might be getting most of their calories a day from things like microwavable cinnamon buns, microwaved hot dogs on white bread, chicken nuggets, oily pizza (counts as a vegetable, according to USDA standards!) and fries (also counts as a vegetable!). I don't see how parents are to blame when government-run schools are filling their kids up with crap, crap, and more crap. And when kids are used to eating nothing but pizza and sugar at school, it's that much harder to get them to eat broccoli and whole grain bread at home.

The USDA subsidizes factory-farmed meat and corn sugar to such an extent that it is vastly cheaper for manufacturers to produce products full of those foods and then cheaper and more convenient for people to buy them. It's simply not a level playing field.

Has no one here heard of "food deserts"? Those are areas, particular in low-income urban areas, where there are virtually no regular supermarkets, only bodegas, fast food restaurants, etc. I used to live in one. I lived in a medium-sized city that had a SINGLE regular supermarket, which was, of course, located in the nicest part of town. If you lived in a poorer areas, it might take you several bus transfers to get there. Shortly after I moved, that supermarket closed. I was a college student, so it was no big deal for me to travel pretty far to get quality food. But if I had been a single parent, with three kids at home, two jobs, and no car? How on earth would I have found the time or resources to travel many miles to get fresh broccoli and carrots--particularly when, thanks to government subsidies, cola and potato chips provide me with more calories per dollar?

I think we need to acknowledge the role of personal responsibility in the obesity crisis, but I think it's a vast oversimplification to say, "Fat people are just ignorant and lazy." There are a whole host of regulatory, social, and economic factors that affect each individual's access to food and resources, to say nothing of the highly addictive nature of the crap food that surrounds us.
Those things are all true, but it still doesn't absolve the parents of being solely responsible for the welfare of their children. And if circumstances are so dire that produce is not attainable, then why would any reasonable person have children and put them in the same pathetic circumstances? You can't bring children into a dire situation and then blame the government that your kids are in a dire situation.

ETA: Personal responsibility also comes into play when deciding to have kids, and I believe that some people selfishly decide to procreate even when they cannot care for the kids they produce. It is something I wish more people thought about. Parenting is not a right.

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Originally Posted by seeinstarrz View Post
This is slightly off-topic, but I disagree with these. And that is because I have a kid who WOULD starve himself, and has - three times he's had a feeding tube placed because he literally wouldn't eat. So please be careful making these sort of statements because while yes, these kids aren't the norm - these kids DO exist and I can tell you first-hand it is a frustration you will never understand until you live it.

I absolutely cringe that I can buy four boxes of fruit snacks, which would last for a couple weeks, for the same cost of 1/2 a pint of blueberries, which would last a couple days. But, as a parent, it is still my job to make blueberries (and other healthy stuff) the go-to snacks and to keep putting those veggies on that plate. We can place blame in a lot of places but at the end of the day, it's the parent's job to not only offer and explain healthy choices, but to model healthy choices for themselves. (Which is precisely why I only eat my junk food after the kids go to bed. )
To the bolded, you are right, and my statement was an absolute when I said "No kid would." However, it is an extremely rare circumstance decidedly NOT the norm for most parents (or probably even most of those who insist their kids would starve themselves).

I totally agree with your second paragraph.
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