I am not one normally to repost something but in this case I must. It is a simple, clever and sobering look at childhood obesity, consumerism and social norms surrounding it. I am reposting this as believe the author deserve the recognition for such a great article and to raise awareness to the issue.
We live in a very active and healthy city with a near endless supply of activities, sports, pastimes and new adventures offered within a couple of hours of your door step. This is a large part of what I love about this city and why I have chosen to settle here. My wife and I are very active, having played competitive sport our whole lives, coaching, enjoying winter sports, running, biking, hiking, going to the gym, boot camps, climbing, swimming, kayaking and etc. Having not grown up doing much of what I do now it is something I want to share with my kids and have them enjoy it as well, just being outdoors is amazing way to spend your childhood.
We also eat very well, by choice and out of need to keep up our lifestyle. We make a conscience choice not give our kids sugar and food that they do not need. Why does a 2yr old need, chocolate, ice cream or pop? They don’t, adults don't need it, they want it. I am fully aware that my kids will be offered such treats but if you read the above article, where does it stop? I never realised how bad it really was until I read the article. I knew it, I see it but I never really made the connection and it really does make you think. For me it validates what we are doing is the right thing but we do get ostracized by those that offer what is essentially a very nice gesture, all be it a forgone conclusion.
I do feel bad having to refuse them, I feel bad saying "no thanks, she does not eat ice cream" or "she only drinks water". I also feel sorry for them, I wonder why they feel its okay to offer child diabetes on a stick, and we really have normalized this behaviour. Yet, I am the bad guy for saying no thank you.
Our families live between 6 and 15 hrs. flying from us which is both good and bad for several reasons but they tend to be the worse culprits. On a recent trip the Grandparents had given my 2yr old a rather large and well accessorised cookie and a bowl of ice cream, all before lunch. In that respect we are lucky they are not here every day. This was just one day of 14, they sneak it to her behind our back and make no apologies when caught. They do not get to see her as often as we all would like so it really is a treat, it creates a bond and is something they look forward too upon uniting again.
I do have a rule though, if you give my kids sugar, you are responsible for them for the next 2 hrs. I will defend the use of treats in potty training but will leave my stance and argument for another post.