My Contribution to the Obesity Epidemic?

I have a confession to make.

A deep, dark confession.

Today I gave my son a piece of Rocky Road.

It was just a tiny piece.  OK, two tiny pieces.  No, three.  But they were no more than bite-sized.  He had three bites of Rocky Road.  He is eighteen months old.  Am I a bad mother?

I thought he wouldn’t like them.  I thought he would taste it, savour it for a moment and then spit it out with a look of disgust.  That’s what he does with most new foods, after all.  Instead, he tasted it, savoured it, murmured a sound of overwhelming approval, and asked for more.  Yes, he asked for more.  Like a pre-verbal Oliver Twist communicating solely through hand gestures.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I started off with such good intentions.  I had all the weaning books, I made all the recipes.  I dutifully perused the fruit and vegetable aisle looking for new and interesting tastes for him; a selection of seasonal red berries, a mango here, a passionfruit there (a word of advice: Don’t bother giving an eight month old passionfruit.  They rarely appreciate it, and the mess is biblical).  Sometimes he would try them out, squeezing strawberries so hard that he shook, the juice oozing out of his little fists.  Other times he would turn his head away and purse his lips, indicating that no Mummy, there would be no green beans today, or ever, thank you very much.

The thing that never wavered was my resolve.  I had all the data.  Fruit drinks caused tooth decay, chocolate was for adults, a solitary slurp of ice cream was the start of a slippery slope that would inevitably end up with my darling child being lifted out of his bedroom with a crane and transported to hospital in one of those extra-large ambulances in the kind of scenario you see in Jeremy Kyle-fronted Channel 5 documentaries with tabloid names like “Bodyshock: Britain’s Fattest Man.”

Then Piglet turned one.  A bit of Sainsbury’s finest birthday cake was sourced, and the rest, as they say, is history.  It wasn’t even a homemade cake.  

A Sunday treat here and there, a little bit of ice cream and maybe the apple bits from an apple pie…

A bite of a cookie every now and then, as and when he requests it…..

And now Rocky Road.  A veritable feast of marshmallow, biscuit and chocolate all wrapped up in a tantalising but lethal package.

I knew that sooner or later this day would be upon us.  He is onto me.  He knows I eat cake, and cookies, and chocolate, and he knows that they are good.  He knows what a cup of tea is, and has added it to his expanding repertoire of known vocabulary.  He even dipped his finger in the dregs of a cup of lukewarm tea the other day, swirled it around, and tried a bit.  How long now before he is putting in his drinks order, and it’s a large latte?  And while I’m at it, I should probably hide that bottle of wine in a locked cupboard somewhere very, very high up.  I am now faced with a stark choice.  I either accept that my control over his diet is loosening, and give in to packets of Wotsits eaten inside the shopping trolley before reaching the till, or I can give up all unhealthy food for the rest of my life, and hope he follows my saintly example.

Which will it be?

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68 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah says:

    Haha this made me laugh! Oh the guilt some people would try to make you feel! Now I like to think I’m tough on sugar but I’m not really! We still have it, it’s okay, they still have all their real teeth..no seriously, don’t live Saint like, just hide your snacks better 😉

    1. Min says:

      Yes, I think I’ll just have to have something slightly less decadent when we go to cafes in future. Maybe a croissant and a hair shirt!

  2. Annie B says:

    Ha ha. There would be some who would take this much more seriously then intended. We are a ‘healthy eating’ family (whatever that is…we do TRY) but I am a ‘coffee and cake at the cafe’ addict and so my Little Bs know the pleasures. And when we can’t go to the cafe? We sit with tea/hot chocolate around the table and eat cake and chocolate fingers!! One of Littlest B’s first actual words was ‘TEA’ ! #bigpinklink

    1. Min says:

      I think I may be heading the same way, but I don’t mind. Sitting around the table with hot chocolate and cake sounds like a lovely thing to do. All in moderation!

  3. Mrs Lighty says:

    Ooh don’t, Baby Lighty is only 8 months old and I fear that I’m already on that slippery slope…the other day I gave in to a bit of custard cream!! But I’m consoling myself that on the NCT weaning course, they said that if you make a food taboo, they’ll want it even more…so we are doing the right thing really, aren’t we?! 😉 Found your post via #fartglitter 🙂

    1. Min says:

      Aha! If the NCT weaning course says that, then I am going to follow it. I was thinking that too actually. It didn’t really matter when Piglet was younger, but now that he knows what other people are eating and if he has something different, I feel as though I can’t be too strict about banning things for fear of making them more appealing.

  4. Robyn says:

    Before I had children I (silently) judged as one of my friends shared a brownie with her toddler while we were in a cafe. I thought it wasn’t good for the child and she wouldn’t know what she was missing anyway. Now I give my child small bits of anything and everything. That stuff is out there in the world, and my boy won’t always have Mummy around to keep him from temptation so he might as well not grow up thinking of it as forbidden fruit (or chocolate!). You’re a better Mum than me if you would contemplate giving all that up yourself 😉

    1. Min says:

      I have thought about giving up cake, etc, but then I think I would end up trying to eat it when he’s not looking, and hiding it under the bed or something, like an alcoholic trying to hide the evidence. Then the house would end up full of mouldy bits of cake. Probably best to just carry on eating cake.

  5. Cake was how we finally convinced our tot to try solid food. Granted it was a homemade, organic mango cake with mangoes from the tree in our garden. I added that description because it makes me feel a little less guilty. Regardless the food that convinced our baby to move away from mush was cake. Oops.

    #fartglitter

    1. Min says:

      I want that recipe! Piglet would love that. Could have been worse. A mango cake sounds pretty healthy to me. That’s all 5 of your 5 a day, right?

  6. Mrs Tubbs says:

    A little of what you fancy does you good. Everything in moderation. Chocolate isn’t bad if you don’t eat to much of it. I think teaching children about healthy foods and encouraging them to eat responsibly is the trick. And if I ever work out how to do that, my fortune is made!

    1. Min says:

      Ha, indeed! That’s the thing isn’t it, you don’t want to make it look as though some foods are “forbidden” because that then makes them even more appealing, and encourages an unhealthy attitude towards food.

  7. I have found that kids go through stages. For instance my 4 year old LOVED meat until about a month ago. Now all of a sudden she down right refuses to eat it and I have no idea why. And I really hate forcing my kids to eat something they don’t like. None of my kids like mashed potatoes. So weird right? Like who doesn’t like mashed potatoes mixed with cream cheese and sprinkled with bacon bits and garlic salt? I wish I didn’t. Life would be so much easier. But I do stick to a rule that if they don’t eat what I prepare than they don’t get a snack in between lunch and dinner the following day. I too don’t keep sweets in the house which then they go off to school and come home with bags full which really gets this mommy fired up because then I have to be the bad mommy and throw them away. Sometimes I keep a few pieces for bribery. No need to feel guilty for giving your little one a taste of some sugar. Sooner or later all kids are going to get a taste of it regardless of how much we want to keep it away from them. #mg

    1. Min says:

      That’s very true. Luckily I don’t like sweets so I never have them in the house and Piglet won’t see me eating them, but once he goes to school all that will be out the window. I am a teacher and used to work at a school near a huge supermarket. Some of the things the kids would go and buy to eat were shocking!

  8. This is great! I have three children, all tasted their first icecream at six months shock horror! I wanted to ‘do the right thing’ in feeding them wholesome stewed veggies (which they also had) but the odd chocolate button does a little one no harm. A Mum at a party looked utterly shocked at the weekend when she saw a toddler eating some chocolate cake and said her boy had never tried any. Lovely fun post! Sarah #mg

    1. Min says:

      Haha, now that Piglet is a toddler it’s going to get much more difficult to deny him the likes of chocolate cake as I love it! Thank you for commenting.

  9. Well, you’ve done much better than me!! I was vigilant with the eldest, everything was organic, sugar free, and all the rest of it, until at 15 months he pretty much refused to eat anything. I was determined he wouldn’t beat me, just because he wasn’t eating, didn’t mean that I’d give him the ‘bad’ stuff. But then the waffles, fishfingers, odd chocolate bribe came creeping in. Now not a week goes by where both of them don’t eat kinder eggs, ice cream, crisps… I keep trying to hide the vegetables, but if found, they will be relegated to the floor. Fruit is getting better, but not great. I just hope that if I keep educating, and pressing the message onto them, when they’re old enough to understand, they’ll make the right choices! It sounds to me like Piglet has done well!! Thank you so much for sharing with us at #bigpinklink

    1. Min says:

      I’ve been quite lucky because he loves fruit, so I know he’s always getting something healthy. I really don’t like fruit at all, so I can’t take any of the credit for setting a good example there. Other than that he’s very picky-like your eldest he sometimes just refuses to eat. All in moderation is my motto now.

  10. laura dove says:

    Haha this did make me laugh. My kids LOVE chocolate, infact it was my youngest sons first word!! Oops! #fartglitter

    1. Min says:

      That’s a very impressive first word! Three syllables, love it! Piglet is still not 100% sure what to make of chocolate, but he loves chocolate chip brioche and will pick out the chocolate chips and try and feed them to people. I’ll be honest, I don’t usually turn them down.

  11. oh yes this brings back memories of sourcing everything organic and only serving the most healthy things. I remember coming home one day and my mother had given my daughter a teddy biscuit to suck on I was mortified. But yes gradually I gave in to giving her treats, then her sister and now their brother. Yes they eat unhealthy treats and yes so do I (way too many), but if mostly they eat healthy and they are active I think it is good to not be too strict! I don’t want my children feeling guilty having the odd rate this will just cause more problems. I want them to know a good balance and feel positive about food and know it is OK to enjoy everything within reason. Great post! #mg

    1. Min says:

      That’s the thing isn’t it, teaching them that it’s OK in moderation and just to be sensible. I think that’s the key to life generally.

  12. Michelle says:

    My ex always drank soda. Nothing else so my oldest likes soda. Thankfully, my youngest drinks more water in a day than I consume in a week but he loves potato chips and cookies. He is my picky eater and there are time when I give in just to get him to eat something. It’s getting more rare now that he’s getting older. He’s 9 years old now and knows how I feel about him eating better but I am also not a stickler for all the healthy foods. My motto is this, If I won’t eat it, I’m not going to make my kids eat it. If they try it and don’t like it, that’s fine too. I do my best to keep a healthy variety of food in the house but I don’t worry anymore about what they eat. I think some people just take the health food thing a little too far. I love chocolate and coffee. I won’t not have those in my house, lol! #mg

    1. Min says:

      Me too! That’s part of it with Piglet, he’s such a picky eater that there are times I find myself sighing and reaching for the biscuits.

  13. Zoe Alicia says:

    Everything in moderation I always say 🙂 I’ve been nibbling on lots of chocolate lately, but I’ve also been eating more healthy otherwise. So it’s okay 🙂 x #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Everything in moderation indeed. Thanks for commenting!

  14. YOUTHEDADDY says:

    Such a tricky area this, but I think it’s better to get them accustomed to sweet treats at an early age (in moderation)…otherwise, if they’ve been deprived, when they get older, it’s all they’ll want to eat and spend their pocket money on. Normalise it early I say… #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      They’ll soon be old enough to know their own minds (and where to find the sweet stuff in the supermarket) anyway!

  15. Sassy says:

    This is a good tongue in cheek post, everything in moderation I say 🙂 encouraging your child to eat the good stuff is always best, but as you said previously if you make a big deal of the bad thing is they will just wanted more 🙂 xxx #BigPinkLink

    1. Min says:

      Yep, everything in moderation definitely the way to go!

  16. Mrs Mum NZ says:

    Love it! I’m already sliding down that slippery slope too. I don’t think that we should be too strict, sugar exists and if we don’t allow it when they find it (and they will!) they will over indulge. What we have to teach is everything is ok in moderation. Besides, there is no way I can give up my sugar addiction!!! No way!

    1. Min says:

      That’s pretty much my thinking exactly!

  17. This made me giggle. I was the same with my first but now I just shove a cookie at then to keep them quiet lol! Don’t beat yourself up, everything in moderation is good. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    1. Min says:

      You’re right-and I’m sure I wouldn’t be so picky about it if I had a second child. You’re just so worried about getting everything “right” first time round.

  18. MMT says:

    I think I was a lot more uptight first time around on the food thing. Tigs eats anything and everything and is generally an amazing eater of all things healthy and the occasional treat.
    Her baby sister however is a 16 month old ketchup addict *shame*… I don’t know how I let this happen Min? It’s just so hard when they see what their older siblings have! To be honest, these days I’m grateful to get her to eat Anything…and ketchup is a vegetable? Right? 😉
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. Min says:

      I can imagine. I try to keep Piglet away from older children at all times as he is always gazing at them in wonderment and trying to copy them. I do find myself sometimes just happy that he will eat anything though. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub. It was a pleasure to join the party, as always.

  19. Kaye says:

    I was the same and now I’ll admit Archie has his fair share of goodies! But I do try and get plenty of healthy stuff in him too. What’s life without treats!! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

    1. Min says:

      All in moderation, I say! Thanks for hosting and commenting.

  20. Hehe, love this! Marianna tries pretty much everything we eat and some people get very sniffy about that but, really, so long as she’s trying different things and textures I really don’t care. I was a nightmare baby / toddler and ‘ate’ nothing but strawberry milkshake long after all the other kids were on solids, so I was always said I’d be happy so long as my own toddler ate *something*!

    Thanks so much for sharing with #FridayFrivolity

    1. Min says:

      Apparently I lived on some kind of hideous 80s baby food called MyLoopa carrot and tomato but, as my mother never tires of reminding me, at least I ate. Today, Piglet’s entire food intake (not including breastmilk) consisted of 3 orange segments, 2 bites of brioche and one bite of cake (ignore that last one). Then again, he is ill at the moment so that would be why!

  21. All things in moderation is the key. A rocky road treat is fine, a rocky road diet not so.
    It is a wonder however why children NEVER refuse or spit out their first mouthful of chocolate, we are definately pre programed tonlove the stuff.
    Thanks for sharing with us, Tracey xx #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Yes, interesting isn’t it. Everything else seems to get a turn of the head and a grimace, but not so with the rocky road. Funny that!

  22. I will join you in your confession. Little E has eaten more sweet stuff in her first 19 months than Ethan had in three years. At one she was already demanding her share of the quavors, bye bye goodies! I had an ice-cream on Sunday and boy did she fight hard for her share. She even demands juice! Terrible mother right here. I have decided that treats are OK as long as they aren’t everyday and to be honest she quite good at getting her own way. I’m dreading those teenage years! #SSAmazingAchievements

    1. Min says:

      Oh no, I’ve heard that it’s harder with the second one as they see the first one having stuff they aren’t allowed! I’m sure you’re not a terrible mother, and a few treats are OK!

  23. Mmm, rocky road! Think you were VERY generous in sharing!
    Everything in moderation is the key otherwise “banned” foods will always seem so much more attractive.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

    1. Min says:

      That’s what I was thinking. At least that’s the excuse I’m using!

  24. Ha ha! Following on from yesterday where I went for afternoon tea with my friends avec my son and his tea consisted of malt loaf, crisps, lemon drizzle cake and scones with jam, this post made me chuckle! How guilty we can feel, or others can make us feel if we dare to give them something other then fruit or veg! I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation, which is why we’re having a Sunday dinner with loads of veg now. #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Me too. Piglet can be very temperamental with what he wants as well, so today he was more than happy to scoff a load of broccoli at lunchtime, but wouldn’t eat anything else from his lunch, except the accompanying bread. Standard toddler fussiness!

  25. I had a giggle at this! I had such good intentions to never let chocolate pass SB’s lips. The other day I half-filled my pic n mix cup with white chocolate mice for her. Sharing a pick n mix with my almost-two-year-old daughter has become a milestone. Whoops! #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      Haha! It becomes impossible, doesn’t it? I would literally have to never eat any cake or chocolate ever again if I wanted Piglet to last until two without it. He always wants whatever I’ve got (unless it’s his actual dinner).

  26. Hahaha! We love rocky road too! Does that make us bad…no. Everything in moderation xx #KCACOLS xx

    1. Min says:

      Absolutely! Yay to everything in moderation!

  27. Ha ha love this! Yet another thing us Mums are made to feel guilty for but we shouldn’t- a little treat now and then does not define you as a Mummy! And hey, us Mummys need the chocolate and the cava – it’s a must!! xx #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      I agree! Thanks for commenting. x

  28. I was so strict with Tin Box Tot’s diet until she was one year old and then things loosened a bit. However, I still held back from giving her anything too sweet. Then one Saturday she went off to a family party with her Nana and came back with a new word; ‘chocolate’. I was mortified. Of course, trying to keep all sweet treats away from your kids is impossible, especially when you have a sweet tooth like I’ve had since being pregnant. Tin Box Baby is 10 months old and has already tried out most things. Times change – don’t worry about it. Those people being craned out of their bedrooms didn’t get that way from eating three piece of rock road 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS and I hope you can pop by again next week x

    1. Min says:

      Yes you are right about that-a few pieces of rocky road doth not a crane situation make! Thanks for commenting. x

  29. Oh my gosh this post is hilarious! I’m so glad you linked it up at #FridayFrivolity!! I’ll be featuring you at this week’s party!

    Pinning and tweeting… 😉

    1. Min says:

      Oh thank you! Glad you liked it. 🙂

  30. Silly Mummy says:

    Haha – I think this happens to us all! &, of course, my little one has had treats from an earlier age than eldest as she wants what big sister gets! They get a bit of chocolate and occasional bits of cake, and bites of our naughty food. I have stuck to them only drinking water. And I don’t let them have any sweets (I have convinced myself that chocolate is a bit more natural & of more nutritional value than sweets!). And they eat a lot of fruit and veg. So I think it’s not TOO bad overall! Am I convincing anyone? #KCACOLS

    1. Min says:

      You’re convincing me. It sounds like we have a very similar philosophy on chocolate vs sweets. Chocolate’s a natural product, right? And Piglet only drinks water too, so that’s OK!

  31. haha I have done the same thing and maybe even earlier than 1 year old! They see all of these tasty sweets and of course they want to try them all. I remember with Bella I was more strict until my mum decided to give her ice cream at 8 months!! I was so upset about it but then after I got more relaxed and she started eating more sweets. She loves them but she is actually skinny don’t know where all those sweets go. With Sienna instead I was more relaxed as having Bella around was so difficult to control what she was having as Bella used to give her sweets sometimes behind my back!! I think it is fine for them to try them as long as it is in moderation as you don’t want to give them too much either! Great post.

    1. Min says:

      That’s very much my philosophy too. I was reluctant to let Piglet try ice cream and it was my mum who gave it to him first. Now he loves it, but I keep telling myself it’s just like milk so it’s OK!

  32. Tori says:

    Oh man. With our first little girl, I was so particular on which foods we gave her and when. Now that she is almost four and could hoover all the candy in the house in one sitting, I know better. None of those precautions made any difference…Some kids just adore sweets. You’re not alone in giving out Rocky Road and the like– I let me son taste my ice cream when he was *gasp* three months. We are a slim family. We all just need to chill the F out! 😀
    #FabFriday
    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com

    1. Min says:

      Haha, that is very true! Thanks for commenting.

  33. haha I totally relate to this and Ive done the whole wotsits before they get to the till thing! I agree all in moderation, they eat pretty well at nursery and during the week but come the weekend it’s icecream and chocolate all the way! #fabfridaypost

    1. Min says:

      Definitely all in moderation..although for Piglet eating well at nursery often consists of eating nothing but peas!

  34. Haha great post, made me chuckle. Our two year old eats chocolate buttons, I always said ‘no child of mine will eat chocolate under the age of 5’ – what an idiot I was! #FabFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      I think I said something very similar. Haha!

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