Wednesday, 21 August 2013
What Do Your Children Eat?
So now I'm being curious, what do yours eat?
Of course, we all want to think we are doing the best for our children, and most of us think very carefully about what we feed their rapidly growing brains and bodies, but should there be banned foods? Doesn't making something wrong or illegal make it all the more appealing? Will the sweet treat deprived child gorge on such things when they have full autonomy over their diet and their disposable income when they are older?
Having said that, ours are being raised as vegetarian, with full age-appropriate explanations of why as and when they ask for them, so maybe they will demand tonnes of meat when they're older! I hope not, and so far both make interesting 'yuck!' noises and comments when they see meat in the shops or on the TV. But even as vegetarians my children have been to McDonalds, and although a vast proportion of their diet is fruits and vegetables, organic if possible, they certainly have their fair share of chocolate, cake etc!
Here's an average day's food intake (yesterday's in fact) for my two, aged 19 months and 3.5 years:
A bowl of mixed berries
1/2 tin of baked beans, 1 slice toast
Veg plate: cherry tomatoes, avocado, slices of red & orange pepper, pickled cucumber, olives, Sauerkraut
Slice of Cheddar (S) or cream cheese triangle (L), 2 crackers
2 chocolate biscuits (L) or slice of home-made banana bread (S)
A raw carrot
1/2 of a M&S Leek & Gruyere tart, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
Cheese and baguette
Fruit plate to share, yogurt
Piece of chocolate
Everything is served on an 'eat what you want' basis, so there's no guarantee that it will all be eaten, but most will, and if they don't eat much today they probably will tomorrow. Nothing is conditional on anything else being eaten, and there's no encouragement to eat or life commentary on what they have or haven't eaten. Nothing is considered a 'treat' and there is no talk about 'good' or 'bad' foods, nor do we talk about people's body shape or size, or slimming diets.
I probably do vaguely keep in mind during the day what proportion of carbs/protein etc has been eaten, and how many portions of fruit and veg (we aim for 7-8) they have had, but I would never communicate it to the children. As a result both are very relaxed about what they eat, and over a week I'm sure all of those considerations work out fine anyway. We all eat together, breakfast and snacks usually in the sitting room, lunch and dinner in the kitchen.
So, what do your children eat?
Do you worry about it, or let them pretty much get on with it (within reason!)?