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October 26, 2007

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Firstly, I can't sew so no comment on that, other then you're crazy! Next thing, sneaking foods is fine by me if that means my kid grows healthy...I am sure there will be bigger things in her life to deal with other than the time I put some spinach leaves in her dinner....my daughter is 27 months and is on a junk food craze, she wants pop - and no I don't drink pop, no pop in my house- I bought sparkling water and add a bit to her 2 veggie and fruit serving juice thingy and TADA she thinks it's pop. I am a healthy eater, I lead by example, she mimics me when she sees veggies, holds it up to her mouth says mmmm but never actually eats it...so no I don't agree that it's all deception, it's called being a mother...nourishing. I think if you are an attentive, loving mom, then d on't get hung up on silly stuff like that, or have someone tell you it's awful cos you're decieving your child...we should support each other. I know all about neglect, deception etc, I am a Social Worker and I did work for numerous years, believe me sneaking food ain't nothing....andshame on th ose who say it's bad parenting..

Yeah. My Halloween sewing projects usually involve a lot of hot glue.

Jaelithe - Briefly glanced at your blog and you do have a legitimate reason for trying to get your son to eat in which ever way you can. My points about eating (and most probably comments from other people as well) were more directed at parents that have kids that are just plain stubborn and can actually go without a meal every now and then.

Interestingly enough, my kids are really small for their age as well. My 3 year old just started wearing size 2 clothes. My 5 year old can now fit into 4s. Our pediatrician said not to worry. Some kids are just small. As long as their healthy, that's what matters.

By the way, the picture of your son is adorable. And you mentioned earlier about Trader Joes. I sure wish there was one around where I lived. I hear they're great. My mother-in-law always visits one when she goes to visit my sister-in-law out in NM.

Okay, I am not going to hijack Kristen's blog, so this will be my last comment on this. Visit my blog if you want to know why I am so passionate on this subject.

Suffice to say: the "Eat what I serve you or don't eat" tactic does not work with every child. It did not work with mine. Of course I tried the "My way or the highway" method, because that is what the experts tell you to try. While I stuck to my guns, my son refused to eat sometimes for DAYS at a time, starved himself right off the pediatric weight chart, and seriously stunted his own growth. Later I discovered that his picky eating was being caused by a medical issue, not a behavioral issue.

I am not trying to advocate lying to kids about food, but I don't see anything wrong with not giving them an ingredient list for each meal. My three-year-old doesn't have to know that I put teeny slivers of green pepper in his quesadilla, or that I baked pumpkin into a slice of bread, before he takes a bite.

Parents of normal eaters, or even normal "picky" eaters, have no way of fathoming what it is like to watch a child actually physically waste away despite constant offers of good, healthy food. I tried desperately to make my child eat normally. I would have cut off both of my arms if I'd known that would make him eat enough to gain weight, and I am not exaggerating. Sneaking Pediasure or a banana into his chocolate milkshake? Mixing carrot chips in with potato chips? Pshaw, I say. Write me again when size 2T pants stop falling off of my three-year-old.

Nothing sums up the eating philosophy in my house better than just eat it. Making dinner is work, and if I go to the trouble of making something – anything – it must be eaten. Simple. If my children were meant to be picky eaters they picked the wrong womb to inhabit. At our happy abode dinner is on the table every night (except Thursday soccer night) at 5:30 p.m. If a child dares to say, “Ooooo…What is that? I don’t like that. That makes me sick” that child is asked to leave the table and go to his or her room. Each of my children have chosen to test this experience just one time and apparently eating whatever is served them is better than being exiled and sleeping with an empty stomach.

Jaelithe - Believe me, I wasn't trying to be judgmental. I said in my post that my kids and their veggie eating habits were unusual. I realize that some people do whatever they can to get their kids to eat healthy meals. I just wish that parents didn't feel the need to trick them into eating them by sneaking fruits or veggies into meals. I have a hypersensitive husband that would probably be able to tell if I've put spinach in my blueberry muffins and he would be horrified if I did it. I just think that it's better if your kids know what's going into their food. That they know how much effort you put into making sure they're healthy, etc. Oh sure, it's not as if they're going to appreciate it now. But eventually they will.

Another idea other than sneaking healthy stuff in is trying to get them to help make the meal. Realizing of course, that's really hard to do if they're very young. Sometimes, if they help to make a meal, they'll be more inclined to eat it.

My 4 year old is going through a phase right now where she just picks at her dinner and would rather go off and play. She'll either sit at the table and make everyone miserable with whining that she wants to get down, or she'll scream in time-out because we put her there because of her whining, or if we give in, she'll play with her toys happily. All of the above results in her not eating dinner. You just can't force a kid to eat if they don't want to. And of course what happens is that she complains that she's hungry after everyone ELSE has eaten and everything has been put away. I absolutely hate the idea of making a kid go to bed hungry but what else can you do? If you give in to their little self-devised schedule, then they've successfully trained you. So she goes to bed hungry on occasion and she learns that if she doesn't eat dinner, then she's just going to be hungry.

My whole point is being consistent. With kids, you have to. Put healthy stuff in front of them and tell them you expect them to eat it. Or give them a choice of eating 2 out of three veggies. Or maybe 3 bites each out of each thing you put down. If they don't eat it, they'll be hungry. You shouldn't have to give in or sneak something in.

Whatever it is that you do - even if you absolutely HAVE to sneak stuff in (even though I really do dislike that idea for the reasons I've already stated), just realize that this is a phase. Childhood is one big phase. What they like one moment, they hate the next. What they don't like now, they'll most likely develop a taste for later. It's all one big experiment for a parent's sanity, in my opinion.

I'm not judging anyone. And I do know that parents do what they have to do. And they SHOULD do what works best for them and the family in general. I guess i just wish that it were a perfect world and parents didn't actually have to go through even MORE effort than they already have to on a daily basis to prepare meals that have extra components in them just to accommodate picky eaters. Parents have enough on their plate already (no pun intended. okay maybe just a little one).

Oh, Jenine. If only you knew what some of us go through.

I'm a vegetarian health nut who never met a vegetable she didn't love. I read nutrition journals for fun. I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's-- except when I'm buying fresh produce, which I do at a local farm in the off season, and grow myself in the summertime in my own organic garden. In short, as healthy eaters go, I am HARD CORE.

Before I had a child, I thought the same way you do. Parents with kids who don't like healthy food? Pshaw. They're just not trying hard enough!

Well, now I have an uber-picky eater for a son, and I know differently. And by all that is holy, if "sneaking" veggies into my son's diet is what it takes to get him proper nutrition, I will do it and I will do it with a smile.

Please don't judge other parents on issues like this until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

A dwarf? Ha! I got you on that. My son...he wants to be a Naked Sole. tehehe.

Be sure to post pictures of it...please!

I like your writing and I'm not old. At least I don't think I am. Any woman calling herself "VDog" should not be old.

Heheheheheh.

My mom sewed and always used to try and pull my sister and me over to show us. Ugh! We could not be bothered - so uncool. She laughs now, babe!

Ok, maybe I'm confused over the whole sneaking healthy foods into your kids' meals thing.

From my personal experience, I'd say the one thing that keeps kids from eating and trying healthy foods is the attitude surrounding them when the food is presented to them. Meaning - if your kid is given broccoli for lunch and is surrounded by other kids who have cheese doodles - then duh... of COURSE they're going to refuse to eat their healthy greens. Same thing goes around the dinner table with a sibling who says something's gross or even a parent that just refuses to put a veggie on their plate.

My kids eat veggies. Usually before I can even pop them into a pan and cook them. I have to cut up twice as much because 1/2 whatever I'm cutting up is gone before I can add it to the meal. They beg for carrots, broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, mushrooms - you name it. Now do I consider them a little freakish? Definitely! I admit that most kids just DO NOT DO THIS. But I also think it's in part because my husband and I are nibbling at the greens while I'm preparing them too. (mmmmm snow peas....) They see that mom and dad eat it, like it, try it, whatever. They eat what we eat. Sure they go into the phase of the week where they'll refuse something they gobbled down a week prior but hey! they're kids.

As far as sneaking good foods into meals and not telling them. See, I just don't think you should do that. First off, it's deception. I know that every parents wants only the best for their kids and wants them to be healthy but it should start with an attitude. Yes, your kids should eat healthy foods. Wait until their hungry and offer then nothing but carrot sticks or celery sticks. If they're hungry they'll usually eat it. Especially if there's no other alternative. If they're stubborn and don't want to eat it then they'll just be hungrier for the next healthy meal you put out for them.

Mainly my objection to sneaking healthy stuff in is that you shouldn't have to. Sure - if they love junk food to the extent that you have to sneak good food in, well then you've done something wrong in the first place by letting them get used to the junk. Just say no people.

Now I'm not advocating ONLY healthy foods, ONLY green stuff, ONLY fish (God NOOOOO!). Cookies and treats are great every now and then. *I* couldn't live without them and my husband wouldn't be able to function without chocolate at least once a day. But you have to balance it and let them know that they're expected to eat a healthy diet and YOU have to set an example.

And before anyone thinks that I'm getting up on my high horse and preaching nutrition, I SAID that my kids are freaks of nature when it comes to their eating veggies. That just ain't natural! You shouldn't expect your kids to eat veggies only and not want potato chips. It would be nice, yeah. But is it a normal scenario in today's society. No way.

Years ago, I was freaking out that my oldest daughter was eating nothing but Cheerios or Kix cereal, and wouldn't touch a vegetable if her life depended on it. My pediatrician told me that cereals were fortified with so many vitamins and nutrients that I shouldn't worry. Eventually she'd eat something else. But for the time, I shouldn't freak out over it. There are a lot of other things to worry about without becoming obsessed over three green beans or a sprig of asparagus.

Those e-cards are toting a pretty nasty virus. Check out Snopes for the details.

Can we see the Dwarf costume when you're done? I did the survey. :)

I just heard those Bumbo seat things are being recalled. I guess people didn't realize that their baby could fall out and injure themselves, say if left on a kitchen counter.

I can sew. I make quilts and repair clothing & sometimes create costumes. I made DH & the boys kilts for our regular Ren Fest visits. I made them with double hems and adjustable elastic waistlines so I only had to 'make' them once & just had to let out a hem as needed. But I prefer less effort. This year they were pirates. They wore their own pants & I bought some white undershirts a couple sizes too big. I cut 'belts' and eyepatches out of black fabric, tied a bandana on their head and TADA! :) My favorite thing for Halloween costumes is to buy them at yard sales & then alter them to suit. It's so much easier to start with something already made.

I took your survey but I have a hell of a time with yes/no questions. My answer is almost always 'maybe'.

Two words. Repeat after me:
Stitch Witchery.

You can find it (or another brand of the same type of thing, but I have to say having tried a couple of different brands that Stitch Witchery is the best) at most fabric stores. It's a fusible web that allows you to create hems and seams with a steam iron-- it glues the fabric together, and is relatively permanent, though not as strong as stitching. I can actually sew a teeny bit, but I used this to make most of the hems on my costume this year to save time.

Yah! I got the bat costume finished six hours before the Halloween party tonight! It would have been better if I actually knew how to sew, but it works. The "marching band guy" got put together with hot glue. That I know- and it looks awesome.

OK, one last thing about sneaking healthy foods into your kids, actually two. Growing up, my mother told us wheat germ was sprinkles. Imagine my disappointment when I went to an ice cream parlor at the age of 5 and asked for sprinkles and instead got these little brightly colored tubes of sugar! Oddly enough, I still like wheat germ on my ice cream. Of course, what my mother did wasn't nearly as bad as my friend's parents. Every night they enjoyed vanilla ice cream & chocolate syrup, while feeding him plain yogurt with molasses. He was 7 before he accidentally ate out of his dad's bowl and discovered the difference.

I got about 30 eCard emails today! WTF?!

So, a dwarf, huh.

Tried to take the survey but it keeps coming back "this survey currently closed."

Editor: Should work now. I upgraded :)

Can I tell you how many times the baby Poo put those effing blocks in her mouth as an infant? It makes me feel like collapsing.

I'm learning to sew, maybe next year I can help you out. :)

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