I firmly believe in signs or rather, what’s meant to be will be – however you want to look at it! Often, I’ll be torn between two options and something will happen that for me will make it clear that the one option is the right one. A sort of intuition, God paving out the right path, you get me right? So this post isn’t meant to be “deep”, in fact, what I want to tell you about is quite humorous. But I can’t help but think that the signs are all there and I need to follow them 🙂

On Saturday, we went to my cousin’s house for her son’s 6th birthday party. Now parties for me are just that…time for the kids to be kids…play and eat!! And boy was this party awesome. A jumping castle (we arrived first so I tried to get Ethan on while it was still empty in an attempt to get him to overcome his fear of jumping on a jumping castle…it didn’t quite work but with all the bigger kids having so much fun, he eventually joined in and by the end of the day, I couldn’t get him off!), baby pool for Ethan as he can’t swim unaided in the big pool, sack race, egg and spoon race, a piñata and a sweet station. I’m talking fizzers, gum balls, chips and so much more!!! Ethan was in his element. And I did watch him…he doesn’t just get to go buck wild at the sweet table…but my eating limits at parties are quite slack. He pretty much gets to eat whatever he likes because like I’ve said, for me, that’s what parties are about.

Now, one of the mums who was at the party is very strict with her children’s eating. Not only at parties but at home as well. She watches exactly what they eat, there are very strict rules around portions and menus and I quite admire that about her and the children. I mean, each to their own right?! It got me thinking though. When her child asked my cousin on her own for a glass of water and there I was offering my child black or green fizzy drinks (we call them fizzy lizzies in our house and always have carbonated drinks in the fridge!) to quench his thirst without him even asking, I did think that perhaps I should rather be offering Ethan water instead. Afterall, it’s not like he doesn’t drink water. He does drink water at home and asks for it of his own accord especially as a thirst quencher, but that moment got me thinking about how I’m feeding my child and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since then. The humorous thing is that the “signs” have jumped at me twice this week already;-

1. The theme at Ethan’s school this week is…healthy eating. On my way to fetch Ethan yesterday in the car with a candy cane in hand (he gets a sweet every day when I fetch him from school…it started off as a “reward” for being so brave at school and has now become a habit!!), I was just thinking about his eating, and as I walked into the front entrance at school, there were pictures of fruits and veggies with a big sign saying “healthy eating” above them on the display table.

2. This morning, while Ethan was watching a bit of tv in my room before school, I walked into the room just in time to hear the narrator saying something to the tune of “we should eat our fruit and vegetables every day instead of eating sweets”…

If those are not signs right there…

Now I come from a family of eaters and I’m not only talking about food (although we have a serious love for good food) but luxuries as well. My gran loved her chocolates and sweets and would happily dish them out to all her grandkids and great grandkids at every visit. With the bulk of us having a sweet tooth, you can imagine that we are constantly having a “battle of the bulge” and weight is one of those subjects that constantly rears it’s ugly head along with that which shall not be done until the next Monday…exercise and diet!

Anyway, I digress…my post is really more about Ethan’s eating. So from when he started on solids, we couldn’t wait till he could taste chocolates. I can’t quite figure out why – maybe because of my gran’s “legacy”, but thereafter, every opportunity to give him sweets or chocolates as a treat was taken especially by his nana, my mum…because of course, all nanas should have sweets in their bags to provide to their grandies on demand! But my feeding of luxuries is not much better especially with me being at home with Ethan in the afternoons. On pickup from school, he gets sweets. When he wakes up from his nap, he generally has some fruit followed by… sweets – sometimes we skip the fruit altogether but he generally has fruit after dinner and he loves his fruit so that’s a tick at least 🙂 Most afternoons when he’s out playing with his friends, he asks for sweets, juice or chips. This is more due to the fact that 9 times out of 10, their parents have given them luxuries and so he feels for something too. Generally I give it to him provided that it’s not too close to dinner , but there are also times that I say no or draw the line and say only water till dinner if he’s been snacking too much. Let’s not talk about weekends and luxuries though where I’ve started using luxuries more often than I’d like as a bribing tool…yikes!! Don’t wanna listen – no sweets…of course that means that if he does listen, sweets??!!! If you finish your food, you can get a chocolate. If you close your eyes and sleep now, you can get an easter egg. It works for me right now especially trying to manage both kids and really, can it do that much harm??

The one area Ethan’s definitely lacking in are his veggies though. He’s not a big meat eater so one would think veggies aren’t a problem and generally, they’re not with him. He doesn’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes but I didn’t eat either until I was well into my teens if memory serves. I don’t need to disguise vegetables – if they’re on his plate, he generally eats it otherwise…no sweets, hahaha, just kidding! I’m not pedantic when it comes to how much vegetables he eats on his plate or even in a week as a matter of fact and he can probably go a whole week without vegetables.  Come to think about it, so can we actually unless you count potatoes as a veg which technically I wouldn’t say is a good veg especially if it’s fried in oil for chips!!!

I guess he’s still young but I really don’t want him to be that adult who doesn’t eat fruit and vegetables…I know a lady well over 50 who doesn’t eat a single fruit and only eats potatoes and mushrooms…I kid you not! Perhaps I should start making a more concerted effort to get Ethan’s diet more balanced or perhaps I should just let him be a kid! Afterall, I don’t think that we grew up with serious rations on luxuries and strict diets. Like the saying goes I guess…everything in moderation 🙂

Are you strict with what your children eat? Do you set boundaries on portions? Do you ensure that they get the right proportions of every food type every week? I’d love to hear your feedback!!

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4 responses »

  1. MamaCat says:

    I am not strict about eating but i do not like to offer too many sweets. I offer rewards but tiny sweets when i really need it. The general rule is no sweets during the week and he can eat whatever he wants at a party.
    I try to do veggies too because i like them. I do not fight about food anymore. I just keep snacks i think are acceptable and let him eat whatever he wants.
    No fizzy drinks are bought so they are not there. Chips are also a reward in our house and we do not buy it often.

  2. Robyn says:

    After 2 fillings for Liam in the beginning of the year we removed ALL fizzy drinks and juice when the dentist said that fizzy drinks amount for the largest number of cavities.So they only drink water in the week (although Hannah does get juice during the school day I think). Water with their after school snack, water with supper. On the weekend I do let them have diluted juice once in the day (Oros). And they do have ice blocks and that sort of thing. I’ve also moved over to Coke Zero / Light or a diet option when we go to restaurants and they request a fizzy drink = less sugar. And they don’t even care, they happily accept water. I too was very much into the snack in the car after school..and it used to be a sweet almost everyday.. but now I do healthier less sugary stuff only.. fruit/ dried fruit / a biscuit. I am by no means a food nazi (they can eat whatever they like most times) but I do think that half my issues with food NOW is because my parents just let me eat everything and anything and now I actually don’t know my limits.. i.e eating a slab in one sitting!! So I am trying to be more aware of what I feed them. Everything in moderation is great, but I’ve realised that some things we actually force upon them… like not giving them the option of a fizzy drink has actually not been an issue.. I should have done it ages ago!

  3. Katie says:

    I’m clearly behind on catching up on blogs lately, but finally got round to reading yours today 🙂 I usually give Mikey something to eat in the car on the way home from school (it’s about a 45 minute trip in traffic, and by the time we are home he is starving). I used to quite often bring him some biscuits, but then realised just how often he is actually having treats. I now try to pack what he calls a “snack pack” (aka lunchbox) for the car for him. Usually something like a couple of grapes, some cheese and if he’s really really lucky, a muffin. Some days it’s just a banana and fruit juice. He now asks for his snack pack when I arrive to fetch him. If I have forgotten he now asks me to stop at the shop and get something (I usually tell him I left it at home, and then make him a snack when we get there rather). Last night, I asked him what he wanted to do, and he asked to go home and have a picnic with me and build puzzles (awwwwww, right?). When I asked what he wanted in his picnic, he said “apples, cheese and a muffin”. Basically, what I’m getting to (in a really long winded way) is that I just started arriving with fruit/healthier options for him and he never actually asked for the sweets/biscuits. And now he still LOVES chocolates, but I do try to limit them to sometimes. If he asks for chocolates or chips and we don’t have, or he’s had enough, I explain to him that sweets/chocs/etc are “sometimes” foods that are really nice, but not for everyday. I’m not too fussy about how much he eats (except of sweets/chocs, and even there, some days he eats LOTS) and he usually lets me know when he’s hungry and when he’s not. We default to fruit/cheese as an inbetween snack though.

  4. Jozi says:

    Good job for beginning to consider healthy eating for him. I’m not a total stickler but I don’t allow fizzy drinks, and have tried to discourage others from giving him. He has always been a big water drinker. I watch his portions in terms of ensuring he does get veggies even if it’s frozen ones. My worst transgression is 2 minute noodles but he loves them. School allows their own snacks only on Fridays and I pack raisins or grapes, cheese, yoghurt, chips, juice, sometimes biscuits or crackers. Birthdays and special occasions I’m more relaxed but I don’t allow sweets every day. I had black stumps for teeth as a kid and i don’t want that for him.

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