Let them Eat Beets.

Ah, yes. The French. I’m beginning to wonder if these blogger/writers are paid by the French government to write these books and posts. Motherlode has a new post up today about all things fantastic concerning food in France. I’m glad that the writer of the article voiced that she thinks the French aren’t the perfect parents, and that parenting the French way isn’t necessarily the only way to parent.

And I would agree that there is a problem with childhood obesity in America. It’s super harmful and something that needs to be worked on together as a community. Just as big of a problem, however, is that the childhood weight issue gives some moms more ammunition to use in the mommy wars (as a sidenote: today’s Her.Meneutics guest blogger urges women to drop the “violent”-oriented words altogether- a good one to read).

“My kid is so tall (95%) and so thin (25%). It’s because they eat so healthy and love fruits and vegetables.” [Read: I’m an awesome mom who has tall, skinny kids because I created them to be that way.]

“Did you see that boy eating white bread? Poor kid.” [Read: that kid’s mom is horrible. Child abuse for feeding a kid white bread!]

“Oh we don’t drink juice.” [Read:…and you do? tsk tsk]

For those of us who have thicker kids, going to the doctor can be a very stressful experience. We’re sometimes looked at as neglectful parents because our kids are “overweight”. Not only do I want my kids to be healthy, I also care what other people think (because, let’s be honest, some of us moms let other moms give us our job evaluations). When my kids step on the scales, I get nervous. I prepare in my mind how I will respond to the doctor if they say anything about the kids’ weight or how they think I feed and care for my kid.

I wonder if our parents dealt with the pressures of monitoring our weight too. Because doesn’t it seem like it is suddenly a huge problem onset by the increase of the evils of processed foods, white bread, and sugar? Maybe. But look what I came across.

Here’s a pic of Jake as a preschooler:

And one of me on my third birthday:

Chubby? Yes. We look exactly like our kids, who are a bit…squishy. I wonder if our parents were looked at with disdain when they took us to McDonalds for a happy meal treat (ahh…THAT is why your kid is fat). My guess is probably not. Back then people ate what they ate (which, for me and everyone else I knew, included white bread and poptarts and Lucky Charms and canned green beans and all the stuff that is taboo these days). Kids were different shapes and sizes, and given enough time, most of us balanced out to a good weight for us. If we were kids today, we’d be labeled at-risk for obesity and other issues. Back then, we just hadn’t hit a vertical growth spurt; no biggie.

My point is, perhaps we need to back up, give kids a little space to go through chubby phases, and allow everything to work its magic. And as a culture, we need to realize that God doesn’t have preferential treatment for skinny people. Some of us will be chunkier, and that’s okay.

Let the French kids eat their beets. We’ll stick with our goldfish.

3 thoughts on “Let them Eat Beets.

  1. This would not be a mommy blog material post, Tiff, so I am glad you posted it here! I think its worth it to post what you and your husband look like now as a piece of evidence for why you aren’t too worried about your kids BMI. I know some chubby adults who were chubby kids, just saying. My kids are 99% and 25% as you mentioned, but I don’t think its a free pass to McDs free of judgement. Hm. Very interesting post! I think what is most interesting to me is how God does not prefer kids to be a certain shape, but he does prefer me to be a wise mom when it comes to raising (and feeding) the kids. Great mind-fodder for me today!

  2. Great post! My mom was very careful about what she fed us… no pop tarts, Lucky Charms, etc. that a lot of the kids we knew got. Yet, I was a chubby kid (the only one of my siblings) and have dealt with weight and body image issues my entire life. I am still careful about what I eat and will be very careful about how we feed our kids as well. Even without doctor-approved thinness, I am extremely healthy (just had a yearly physical the other day to confirm it). 🙂
    I guess, for me, the bottom line is that health goes far beyond BMI–if we eat nutritiously, exercise, sleep well, and
    manage stress in a healthy way (and teach our kids to do the same), wellness is ours even if our bodies don’t perfectly fit
    numbers on a chart.

  3. Bethany, oh goodness, I hope you didn’t think i was talking about you with that quote- 🙂 because i very much wasn’t. Anyway, yeah, I think we forget that being thin isn’t next to godliness and it’s not evidence that we’re a good (or bad) parent. Our culture seems to tell us so. Thanks for the comment!

    Elizabeth- love it! totally agree “bottom line is that health goes far beyond BMI…” I remember Marilyn Elliot talking about how she was German and that her body type was that- German. And how we need to take into consideration where we come from as well.

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