Saturday, March 26, 2011

Please, Do Not Feed the Animals!

And by the animals, I mean my kids.

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I'm probably going to come off as being one of those moms after this post, but I'll take my chances with that one.

I get so annoyed when people feed my kids something that they shouldn't be eating, or that I wouldn't normally feed them. Now don't get me wrong here, I understand that when they are visiting someone else's house, they are probably going to be eating food that I don't regularly stock. Grandma S. is sure to serve Owen five pieces of sausage, two glasses of orange juice for breakfast, and no milk. Grandma B. will always have fruit snacks and chocolate treats on hand. And it's a good possibility that Owen will have dessert instead of dinner while at his "girlfriend's" house. Which is fine. I understand that while they are out of the house, I have no control over what they eat. However, when I am in the same room, or when I have left specific instructions, then that's a different story. 

We were recently at a family member's house for lunch. Before lunch was served, chips, crackers, and cheese were set out, as is the norm at this house. We allowed the boys to have some crackers and a few chips to hold them over until lunch was served, but not too many, otherwise they would not eat their lunch. So after they had what we deemed to be an acceptable amount of snacks, we told the boys no more until lunchtime. But then along comes a family member who offers the boys more, and gives them at least a handful more of the snacks and keeps telling them that yes, they can have some more chips.

This is where most of you are probably going to think, "So? What's the big deal?"  And you may be right, I just think that it teaches the boys that they don't have to listen to what we say and encourages them to be sneaky. No? Well, here are a few more cases that you are more likely to agree with:

  • When Owen was in daycare, I dropped him off one morning while his daycare provider was baking chocolate chip cookies for a school bake sale. (He was somewhere between 1 1/2-2 years of age at the time). Of course he eye-balled the cookies with his mouth watering, but I told him, right in front of the woman, that he was NOT to have a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. That cookies are not a breakfast food etc. I made it quite clear that I did not want him to eat a cookie for breakfast, which I think that, as his mother, who is paying this woman to take care of my son, I am entitled to do. Well, when I picked him up that afternoon, guess what his daycare provider told me? (While laughing, I might add). That he had eaten chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. Seriously?! First of all, who feeds a child cookies for breakfast, and secondly, how rude of her not to respect me as his mother and my decision. (I had other issues with this registered daycare provider other than this, like leaving the children with her 14 year old daughter while she ran errands, but that's another story).
  • Owen is lactose intolerant, information that I had provided his daycare with, and consistently reminded the woman (the same one as above) that he could not eat anything with milk or cheese in it. Did she listen? No. She continuously fed him ice cream, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, cream of what-have-you soups, and other dairy foods. Her reasoning behind it? "But he likes it!" and "Well, there's such a small amount of dairy in it that I assumed it would be okay for him." Again, seriously?! What if this was a severe food allergy that he had? 
  • Similarly, when Owen started play group at the college, I filled out the forms and indicated that he was lactose intolerant and could not have any dairy foods. So imagine my horror surprise when he told me that he had been given chocolate milk at snack time! (He said that he didn't like it and did not finish it, so fortunately, that uncomfortable afternoon was avoided). I called the professor in charge of the play group to point out what had happened, and he was very apologetic about it, as were the college girls who supervise the children. As it turns out, what the kids were actually given were Yoo-Hoo drinks, which was provided by one of the parents, as the snacks are every week. Now, I don't know a whole lot about this beverage as I never drank it myself, but I'm pretty sure that it is not the best choice for a bunch of 2-4 year olds at 11 AM. I was not impressed. 

 Maybe I was overreacting over these incidences, but I don't really think that I was. What do you think?


  1. I don't have a kid yet, so I'm not really qualified to have a strong opinion on this. However, I would think that it is your kid, and you should have say over what they do or do not eat.

    And saying she gave him dairy 'because he likes it' is the most ridiculous thing ever. Kids like a lot of things that are bad for them. The adult is supposed to steer them in the right direction.

    My niece's father (my sister's ex) took my niece (who has horrible allergies) outside to play all day once when she was already congested. She ended up getting a sinus infection. When my sister demanded to know why he would have her out all day, he said "Because she likes being outside."

  2. Hm. The badges on the left-hand side of your blog are covering up part of this comment box. Just fyi.

    I can't believe that people keep giving your lactose-intolerant kid milk products! That's just incompetence, right there. Heaven forbid they get a kid with a sever peanut allergy--they're going to get sued to the hilt one day!

    I have the same kind of trouble at family gatherings. The Kid is already very picky about "real" foods, so when there are cookies and crackers and things setting out before the meal, I make sure to limit him. One holiday, I was at my grandma's house, and EVERYONE kept giving him cookies. BEFORE lunch! When I complained, they all looked at me like I was nuts and said, "It's just ONE day." It was no surprise when he didn't eat lunch and got a tummy ache later. SO frustrating!

  3. Was it 'A'? It was 'A', wasn't it? I think this is a typical case of people thinking it's funny or cute when young kids defy their parents by doing something they shouldn't do, as well as another instance of us vs. authority. Which, in my opinion, teaches kids that it's okay to do what you want because people in authority (parents, teachers...) don't know what's right. Or something like that. Of course, this doesn't apply to the play group incident, that's just a case of poor nutritional choices for kids, which could help explain why obesity is such a problem among kids. I'll step off my soap box now.

  4. In a In a paid day care setting you have every right to be mad. My son can not eat Gluten. (Wheat, Oats, Barley, rye) It's in EVERYTHING. I can sue the school if they deliberately give it to him. I have even obtained court orders that ensure that their FATHER does not give it to them on his visits.

    Food intolerances are a big deal. It's important that provider's pay attention. The woman should be reported, and her licence revoked. Harsh, yes. Appropriate, also yes.

    As for the family member, I usually just Override the situation in front of the family member no matter how uncomfortable it may make them. You're the parent, not them.

    Ok. That's all I got. Sorry to go on... but this is a bit of a button for me. :)

  5. @Amanda: Everyone is qualified to have an opinion, whether they have kids or not! Especially if it agrees with mine. :-) My son also likes the taste of medicine, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to start feeding it to him every day because "he likes it!" Some people....

  6. @TB: I fixed it! My son does have a slight allergy to walnuts, but we didn't discover that until after he left daycare. Wonder if she would have listened to me on that one. My boys are picky about "real" food too. I feel your frustration!

  7. @OBG: Why do people think it's so cute to make other people's kids disobey their parents? It's not! It sends the wrong message to the child, so I'm totally with you on this one. And yes. You are correct.

  8. @Julianna: Your poor son! How difficult it must be to shop and cook in your house! But good for you for taking steps to ensure that he doesn't receive any. I have a feeling that our FORMER daycare provider is well on her way to being shutdown as she's received her fair share of violations, more serious than this one. My son was her first charge when she started up her daycare in 2008. He was only there for a few months, but if I wasn't so desperate for daycare at the time, and if I knew half of what went on there, then I certainly would have taken more action against her at the time.


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