Parenting and health: Uphill battles

There is no winning… I have been used to the dirty looks for a long time. As a breast feeding mom I had a lot of negativity thrown my way. People were uncomfortable that I publicly breastfed, I had people… family, even tell me that breastfeeding is not healthier than formula. No offense to any formula feeding parents, but that’s bull. Not to say there is anything wrong with formula, it’s fine… it’s just the second best nutrition for a child. I chose, because I was blessed with the ability to breastfeed, not all parents have the option, and it is a huge commitment. As if becoming a parent isn’t enough of a commitment, right? I even had my daughters pediatrician tell me she would have mental issues because she was not getting enough iron. (Upon research I found that the iron in breast milk is easier absorbed than formula, solid food, or iron supplements!) She was never underweight, she is bright as the sun, she was speaking sentences before she was a year old, I never once worried that she was not getting proper nutrition. My daughter just would not eat food. I’m not kidding, all she wanted was boob. I had a child who was potty trained when she was 14 months old, but would gag and throw up if she ate solid food. She did not start eating solids until she was 19 months old, which is when we weaned.

P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video
P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video

Having survived breastfeeding, I was relieved to think the ridicule regarding my daughters diet was over. Ha! Far from it! When you begin feeding your kids solid food it is a whole different ball game. All of a sudden there are parents who feed their kids gerber, organic, juice, soda, alcohol, hot cheetos (that was me…), you name it, and every other parent has an opinion. So personally I try to stick as close to organic and plant based as possible. After reading ingredients I can’t help but to feel guilt over the food I have given my kids, yes, hot cheetos (chemical crap), crap granola bars (just as unhealthy as candy bars, just not as tasty), top ramen (MSG, salt, chemicals)… I still do give her some of this stuff. Not daily, but occasionally, I try to have easy HEALTHY food available so I don’t offer crap. Sometimes I feel like they need to have some crap so they don’t get obsessed, deprived and start hoarding (living in recovery from an eating disorder and being treated with all kinds of food related disorders and growing up in a cult, I am very aware of the effects of forcing a belief.) I have another approach, I am trying to train their taste buds to love healthy food. I add salad into several meals a week, and even the boy doesn’t complain anymore!!! Snacks are usually carrots, cucumbers, apples, and occasionally crap. For now balance works for me, and I really hope just as they love their fruits and veggies, they will lose interest in the other things. Now that I have explained this and you all understand my thought process with feeding my kids, I have to endure the never ending judgments of parents. The parents who give me looks when I won’t allow my kids to drink soda, (no, not even diet,), or juice (which inevitably is not juice, but liquid sugar and chemicals that tastes like fruit) or milk (my kids do drink almond milk, but we keep dairy out of the house besides occasional organic treats). Or the questions I get when I do allow something obviously unhealthy. Here’s the deal. I am trying. I research food, I read labels, I sneak veggies in, I do a lot. I’ll let you in on a little secret, my 8 and 5 year old’s get hot lunch. Am I happy about it? No, I’m really not, I won’t even let them tell me what they eat at school, however, making lunches everyday is one more thing to add to this endless list I have going, and less food we have to buy. I hope I can get to the point where buying and preparing lunch for the kids is not a pain, for now it really is. Luckily, their schools have salad bars and avoid processed junk.

I am so sick of judgments! What do we know? So what you feed your kids hamburger helper, mac n cheese and T.V. dinners. That’s up to you. So what if I don’t give my kids milk… does that effect you? We all have different parenting styles, just like we all have different faiths. I’m not Christian, do I have faith? YES! Does it clash with your religion? No… well it shouldn’t, but inevitably someone is going to have a problem because they think I’m not going to heaven. OK, sure according to some standards, and my own knowledge of The Bible, no I’m not, but do I judge you for giving your kids liquid crack? (I’m sure the fact that my eminent afterlife in the fiery pits of hell is worse than the fact that you are willingly giving your kids diabetes.) We are all parents, humans for that matter… Let’s make an effort to support each other. I need support. Parenting is hard enough without all of this negativity.

drinking their Isagenix shakes!
drinking their Isagenix shakes!