Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter and the Great Healthy Eating Undoing

I suppose it was always going to happen one day.

I'd been so careful with Eleanor's diet. I avoided anything with added sugar like the plague for as long as I could - she didn't have anything with added sugar until she tucked into her 1st birthday cake. Biscuits and cakes were a special treat, and as for chocolate, well, she was lucky if she got that once a month.

She didn't mind though, so I didn't feel bad about it. She would actually sometimes turn down chocolatey foods. She genuinely seemed to prefer fruit. "Everything the NHS says is true," I thought, "limit sugary foods when they're young and they won't develop a taste for it."

Then, on Sunday, this happened.

And since then, she has learnt a charming new phrase - "Totlot! Want some egg-shaped totlot!" She asked for chocolate for breakfast this morning. That was met with a weary sigh.

I've often wondered whether I'm too strict about what she eats. My rules about her diet are often met with confusion, and sometimes derision. And everyone else seems so much more relaxed - not just parents, EVERYONE. Two of the groups I take Eleanor to serve biscuits at snack time - one of them, to it's credit, also offers fruit, and there was a time when she would ignore the biscuits and just eat the fruit, but I've noticed her going for the biscuits first recently. And so many children's books mention biscuits and sweets too, annoyingly so, as whenever Eleanor reads about someone having a biscuit, she gets upset that she hasn't got one. Am I the only one who gets worked up about these things?

There is a bit of hypocrisy going on here, because I basically run on refined sugar. I am a chocoholic - and I mean that quite earnestly, I gave it up for Lent last year and had withdrawal symptoms. But that's kind of why I've been so careful to avoid sugary foods entering Eleanor's regular diet. I don't want her addicted to chocolate like me, risking foul moods if she doesn't get her 'fix'. And of course, I want her to be healthy generally - a good weight, with nice teeth - and sugar doesn't exactly help with that. Besides, she's only two, she's still eating fairly small amounts of food, I want to make sure that what she does eat is actually beneficial to her.

And yet, despite my best efforts, she has figured out that chocolate is nicer than most other food we have to offer her. I'm not too worried. Even though she has asked for it the past two days, she hasn't actually had any - on Monday I explained she could only have one treat and she favoured the cupcakes she had 'helped' her Dad make that morning, and today she only asked for it once, at breakfast, and I wasn't going to say yes to that! But it's made me realise that I can relax a bit about this now. A bit of chocolate every now and again won't cause too much trouble. I need to trust her to some extent, while still guiding her towards what's best for her physically.

As long as I keep the other two Easter eggs and the chocolate bunnies secret, all will be well!


  1. Ha ha, you sound like me, Bagl gets very little refined sugar but I eat loads of the stuff! I'm becoming more relaxed about it but still, like you, think everyone else is far more relaxed about it than me. Apart from you.

    1. Haha,once again you reassure me that I'm not the only one! I was so surprised when people started talking to me about giving Eleanor chocolate before she'd even had her 1st birthday, I'd assumed everyone else was as strict as me. I think at this age a few treats in moderation are OK, but don't understand why people act like depriving a baby of chocolate is bizarre!