Thursday, July 12, 2012

Diabeating your children

"When parents feed their young children, who do not know better or aren't given any healthy options, pure crap, resulting in juvenile onset diabetes. This should be considered child abuse." - Urban Dictionary

I subscribe to Urban Dictionary's "Urban Word Of the Day", and that little gem was waiting for me when I logged in to my computer at work this morning. Glaring grammatical errors aside, I find myself in agreement with this particular definition.

Maybe it has something to do with remembering a part of my own early childhood; my mother would pick me up from daycare after working graveyard and take me straight to the AM/PM down the block. I could (and did) load up on whatever I wanted, and would have most of it finished off by the time we got home, a mere three miles away.

Maybe it has something to do with the way I felt when, at age 21, I saw in the endocrinologist's lobby and just knew what the test results were going to say. I remember Anne calling me back to a room, and then breaking nurse protocol by holding my hand as she set my chart down and confirming my fears: adult onset diabetes, Hashimoto's, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.

At 392 lbs, it wasn't exactly a shock.

Now, seven years and 180+ lbs later, I can see the unhealthy relationship that we introduce our children to out of convenience, fear and, at time, laziness. Why else would my mother take me to a gas station convenience store at midnight? (Don't answer that.)

All of this to say, I believe I am justifiably paranoid regarding what food my children are presented. Whether it's mealtime at our house, a dinner out or the ladies at church offering them candy whenever my back is turned, I have a vested interest in what my kids ingest. Go figure.

Lord knows the Man-Mate and I are not perfect in this regard. The Bruiser is currently obsessed with chicken nuggets, pizza and GoGurts... and the Dominatorinator has, well, that kid will eat anything you set before him (including your purse, ladies, so watch it). However, I am cognizant of how easy it is to fall into the "zap-a-meal" trap, and strive to make what I call "Sneaky-Mom Additions" to their meals - basically, finding a way to hide super-foods like spinach or blueberries or fish in their preferred meals. It's... difficult. It's worth it.

Lest I turn into one of the outspoken, uber-crunchy moms that I truly cannot stand, I will end on this note:
All it takes is thought.
A thought towards your child's future; what do you want it to look like for them? What kind of experiences do you want them to have? What adventures would you love to see them take? Who do you want them to become?
Food plays a vital, inescapable role in how we turn out (there are reasons entire cultures are based around the many aspects of 'food'). Too much, too little... both can, and do, shape the way we view the world and how we are viewed by it.

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