One reason I love reading the Daily Mail online is because they’re so controversial – their headlines may not be the most creative, but they definitely make me react. There’s an article about an 18-month old girl who is already considered to be obese, which is not surprising considering that she refuses to eat vegetables and subsists on chips and fruit juice and coke. There’s something wrong with that picture. An 18-month-old should not be EATING chips and DRINKING Coke at all and definitely not have such control over their diet that they even know the taste of chips to prefer it to veggies.
I’m sorry if I’m going to offend some parents here – I don’t have kids myself but I have a gorgeous niece and while I know that she’s headstrong, as a parent, my SIL and brother have control over her diet and not the other way around. Coke is an adult drink. Chips are a sometimes food and were only introduced in the last year or so. Of course she would prefer chocolate everyday, but she was also introduced to fruit and veggies early on and often picks the healthy choice because she knows the tastes.
How are kids supposed to learn good habits if
a. they’re never introduced to the good food as a kid
b. they’re given total control over their own diet before they have the tools and knowledge to make good decisions?
An 18-month-old kid cannot choose her own food. If she is refusing veggies and choosing chips, that’s the parent’s fault. If she’s obese at that age and knows nothing about good nutrition, you’re setting her up for a lifetime of struggling and ill health. There are medical reasons for people being overweight – I get that – but being fed chips and coke from birth is not helping anyone.
There was a show on TV a while ago called “Honey, we’re killing the kids” and it showed parents how much damage their bad habits were doing to their kids and how much younger their kids would die if they didn’t change things up. Parents have ultimate control from the beginning. If you teach your kids good habits from the start, they’re better equiped for life. If they choose to undo that once they reach adulthood, well you’ve done your best. Up to then, it’s your responsibility. Where else are they supposed to learn?