Where did it all go so wrong? Big D used to eat anything and everything healthy when she was a baby. She thought blueberries were sweeties and olives were a special treat. Heck, she used to like mustard! I was an A* Annabel Karmel disciple.
A few years on and I’ve hit rock bottom – I now have a pre-schooler who won’t touch a piece of fruit – getting her to eat her vegetables is a daily battle. I’m struggling to control her insatiable appetite for sugar – and don’t even get me started on Little D’s candy crush.
Big D didn’t have anything sweet until her first birthday, when she tucked into her first piece of birthday cake. She had a total mouth party!
The floodgates opened.
Don’t misunderstand me – I love cake, chocolate and sweeties and I’m really not into depriving my little ones of these things, but it’s a case of moderation. Currently, my darling daughter can’t grasp this. It’s my responsibility as a parent to give her a healthy balanced diet to enure she’s getting all the right nutrients to grow and develop.
The Easter hols presaged a deterioration in the situation – all those eggs and chocolate bunnies in a single weekend. Big D was dreaming in coco and sherbet, and all other food seemed boring, frankly inedible, in comparison. It’s been a struggle getting her back on track since.
There’s no point trying cold turkey, literally or otherwise. Whether it’s a birthday cupcake from nursery, a lollypop on a play date, party food or the complimentary ice-cream with the kids menu (it’s so difficult to feed your children healthy food on the high street), there’s no escaping the sugar which is beginning to control the eating behavior of my little loves. Refusal to eat a meal in the hope that a sweet pudding will follow or tantruming at the prospect of an apple are not good things.
I ask myself, is it my fault, where am I going wrong, where have I failed? I’ve always put good freshly, cooked food, on the table and tried to make sure my daughters have a healthy, well balanced, diet – but have I over-indulged without realising it?
I recently read an article by James Duigan on MyBaba.com – Sugar is a Bitch who is Trying to Ruin your Life and Steal your boyfriends, it caught my eye for two reasons 1. strong title and 2. I have James’s book Clean and Lean Diet but have abjectly failed to introduce his healthy mantra to my own life.
Reading the article makes me realise I’m totally to blame for my two little sweeties’ sweet teeth. I’ve always allowed them to have juice, giving them a constant drip feed of sugar from around 6 months old. I’ve always given them sugary yogurts after meals and I’ve allowed them to snack on dried fruit such as boxes of raisins and dried mango. Meals times have often consisted of finger sandwiches and pasta – two staple favorites which are both white carbohydrates. So when I look at my weekly menu for the girls it’s easy to see that I’m actually the problem.
I’m now cracking down (on myself) and trying my hardest to provide a genuinely healthy diet and being super-strong when it comes to sweets, sugary snacks and trying to ensure sweets are a genuine treat reserved for birthday parties, celebrations, occasional play-dates or on weekends, not an everyday part of our diet.
It’s tough, and I’ve met some hard resistance, but a week in and I’m beginning to see some small changes. Seeing my girls devour spinach the other day and enjoy fruit again has been amazing, but it’s work in progress for all of us. I’ll let you know how we get on.
If you have any tips on how you keep your ones healthy and happy I’d love to hear them.
Love Mummy B