Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I don't get it

It is widely known that junk food, processed food, white flours and sugars, colours and preservatives and all the weird genetically modified or hydrolyzed foods are bad for you right? I mean there is a lot of evidence that it is bad for your health to consume these things. There is plenty of well regarded data that says in no uncertain terms that putting this crap in your body leads to disease and should not be eaten.

You've all heard this stuff right? I'm not the only person on the planet who is aware of these facts?

Why is it then, I wonder, that when I say my kids cannot eat this type of food I am often treated as someone who is depriving my kids? I would think that avoiding this type of "food" would be a good thing and being very interested in the health of my children would be encouraged. The eye rolls and looks of pity at my poor deprived kids(note sarcasm) confuse me.

The message seems to be that because something tastes nice-even if it is toxic crap- I should feed it to my kids. Not "treating" them with sugary crap is mean. It is also weird that they enjoy healthy, real food. And it is definitely not acceptable to deny them something just because someone else is eating it.

I do feed my kids this type of crap food from time to time. I do it because it is everywhere and because they like it (of course). I'm not implying that I am a saint Mama who children have never had a Mcburger in their mouth. What I am questioning is the culture behind it.

All this type of "food" has become so much a part of our culture and what we eat that NOT eating it often has become the sometimes part of our diet. Look at the groceries we buy. Even a lot of products that claim to be healthy are modified, filled with artificial colours and flavors and very highly processed. Trying to avoid highly processed food all the time is pretty impossible unless you make and take your own food all the time, who has the time for that?

I was at the petrol station last night and while waiting to pay I looked at all the sugar laden crap they had all over the counter. Chocolate, lollies, energy shots, bright orange chips, chewing gum. It was all there in it's bright and exciting packages, in it's sugar free low carb fat free two for one deal glory. And it made me sad.

No one bats an eyelid at kid walking around with a lollipop in their mouth but when my kids bring out their lunch box with their biscuits made from real flour and raw sugar (which taste awesome by the way!) we often get looks (depending on where we are). If I say yes to a happy meal I'm normal, if I say no to my kids eating that sort of rubbish I'm mean or paranoid. And I find it hard to say no, I really don't like to be difficult in that way.

The thing that shits me the most is probably the perception that my kids are missing out. Missing out on what? I get that junk food has become a part of our culture. Does that not disturb anyone else? That one of the ways of looking after the health of my children can be seen as an inconvenience by some. That I should not be so worried about what goes into their mouth. That I should ignore that our culture which supports all this consumption of fake food is in an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cancer (to name a few)-is that a coincidence? I don't think it is-and I'm not alone.

It's the same with breastfeeding. See a 2 week old baby having artificial milk in a bottle and (most) people don't even give it a second thought. In fact some people want to have a turn! But see a toddler over one year old having a breastfeed and you are more than likely to "offend" someone. Even though it is widely known fact that it is normal and healthy-in fact optimal- for that child to be doing that. I just don't understand.

Sorry if I'm sounding a little ticked off but sometimes I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

Now off to bake some snacks!


Stitch Sista said...

Oh I hear you! So true...nodding away. What I hate is the last day of kinder always involving effing fairy bread...on the whitest crappest bread of course...and no matter how many times I offer to bake something for the whole kinder I am turned down...(we bring our own wheat free bread of course)

katepickle said...


If you are not a mean mother for depriving your children of this stuff then you must be a good mother... and that makes those that do it all the time, without thinking or caring... that makes them feel guilty.

shu said...

oh i agree also. i mean im sick of people wanting feed my kids crap. infact my MOTHER bought felix a freddo over last night. not only was it 5:30 and just about tea time but he has never had a fricken freddo in his life.. poor little thing.
anyway she layed a guilt trip on..
saying sorry felix mummy says no. you cant have mummy said no.
anyway 20 mins later she opened it and started eating it infront of him!!! grrrrrr so he is screaming because he wants choc. i cave him say give him a little tiny bit. half of a ear and he loved it ate it. was supppper crazy for the night but even worse then that his skin broke out in rashes by bath time
my poor baby :(

Nic said...

I agree, its guilt guilt guilt.

Well I do think your fantastic for keeping on top of your kids health.

Nalin said...

Hey, get this: I left my mum at a cafe in a shopping centre with Indi while I went into Myer to buy some Schleich figurines for her, I come back to find her dipping chips into sugar and feeding them to Indi one by one! Fucking freaked me out! Is that not insane? She thought she was doing a good thing by filling Indi's tummy! I give Indi the odd treat, but I scan all ingredients lists of anything I buy and spent a lot of time making sure that 95% of our diet is healthy whole food. I was walking down the supermarket aisle the other night and thought it seriously bizarre that so many people gain the bulk of their nutrition from things that come from little packets and boxes. Where is the life in the food? The nature? The buzz, the zing?
Good on you Shae, it sounds like you've got it perfectly right to me.

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