Monday, June 8, 2009

More Griping

So, I know a couple of people who have children with conditions that are affected by the foods that they eat. The foods that the kids have to give up are always foods that they like and convenience foods. Because the children aren't deathly allergic to the foods the parents still feed them to their children. I think that is insane. Eating the foods has immediate and long term effects on the children and parents, but it is just easier to order a cheese pizza or let them eat unhealthy foods at a restaurant than to tell them no. One mother actually said she doesn't want to sacrifice (I hate that word) convenience foods and tell her other children that they can't eat those foods either. She doesn't want to have to cook or prepare lunches, so her child, and the whole family really, will suffer.
I don't know why I care. It just seems wrong. I have a medical condition that is affected by the foods that I eat. Do I still eat foods that make me sick? Sometimes, but I'm an adult. I know the consequences. Kids don't know, they don't understand, parents are supposed to help them. It isn't easy, but people teach their children that they can't eat certain things. Kids who are allergic to peanuts learn that they can't eat everything. Children learn what is and isn't kosher. So, why not teach your children what foods make them sick (even if they can't see the sickness)? Ugh.
I'm not going to have kids, so I'll just take care of myself. Time to go make shortcake.


LisaDiane said...

There is a kid who goes to our church who has tons of food related issues. Somethings he is severely allergic to, as in go to the hospital, but some things just impact his behavior and overall function really strongly. He is actually very responsible about it. If he isn't sure if he can eat the food that is provided at a youth event at the church, he call his mom and asks what he can have and how much. His mom usually packs him a snack to eat, just in case there is nothing that will fit his diet. Even though his folks aren't around, he has learned over the years that it is better to stick to the program - he feels better, he has more fun, and his folks have an easier time. Not to say he never steps outside the lines, but his parents' continuous vigilance regarding his diet has taught him the skills to begin to look out for himself.

Team Serrins Springfield said...

How interesting that you know parents who still let their kids have the "bad" foods. I will say that since we found out that Pablo was sensitive/allergic to Soy and Corn, we've completely altered his diet. He no longer eats corn in any form if we can possibly help it. And soy we allow him in only very specific very small situations. We now make our own bread and serve him different foods. We also take his own food to restaurants, parties, and on the road.

Our only exceptions are letting him eat a piece of birthday cake at a birthday party because, honestly, it sucks to not get to eat cake. We know that his behaviour will probably be worse the next day and we try not to schedule anything social for that follow-up day. The other thing is that sometime we can't avoid feeding him a grilled cheese on regular bread on the way home from a road trip. So we will have managed to take food on the way there and fed him at the destination but on the way home we don't always have the correct food.

The other thing is that he is incredibly cognizant of it. He asks "does this have corn or soy?" "can I have this?" about everything.

We've made big changes and seen big changes.

k. said...

LD and Deb, that is so great to hear. I was just flabbergasted last week when this woman was saying how sick her daughter is, but she doesn't want to change her ways/diet.

Just out of curiosity does the rest of the family eat corn and soy? And what is it in bread that bothers Pablo? I usually carry an odwalla (has soy) or clif nectar bar with me wherever I go. Clif nectar bars are made with organic fruits and nuts. Maybe he could eat that instead of a grilled cheese.

This lady didn't want to change her diet or make the rest of her kids suffer (oh, the suffering of eating healthy food!). The reality is that if her child has a flare up and ends up in the hospital the whole family is affected. I've just heard parents say that the "bad" foods are unavoidable, but if the child was deathly allergic they'd avoid them. Or would they? Ha!

Team Serrins Springfield said...

K - It's appalling that the woman is not willing to make changes to the diet to help her child.

Bread: almost all commercially availble brands have both soy and high fructose corn oil (a true bane of Western society). Honestly, the bread R makes is better than any bread I've ever bought. She's constantly tinkering with a recipie with whole wheat flour, flax seed, agave, and I don't know what else. The only hard thing is that the bread maker takes 5 hours and you have to be there to take the bread out when it's done (thankfully you don't have to be there before that and you can time-start it).

The rest of the family does eat both corn and soy. Being vegie, it would be even harder to get our nutritional needs met without. Plus we like it. Plus he doesn't mind.

We carry trio bars in our car. They're fantastic. Kind of nuts and seeds and fruit smushed together with maybe honey to hold them together. I think 18 grams protein and 16 grams fat. But we don't like him to have more than one a day so on a long trip home we usually are limited in choices.