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24 March 2010 @ 05:56 pm
How do you all feel about babies (under 1 or 2) getting junk food? (juice boxes, french fries, iced cream, mac n cheese, etc.) Do you allow it? If so, how often? Would you be okay with this once a week?

edit: I am referring to the prepackaged, processed versions, NOT homemade.
Nicolesblmnldrknss on March 25th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
Not all those things are necessarily junk food. I make almost everything from scratch, and they're not "junk" because I put good, whole ingredients together to make the food item.
As for things that are truly junk, like Doritos, soda, candy, etc.... I don't think it's a good. Under a year, I think absolutely not. Between 1 and 2, maybe occasionally like at a party, but certainly not a part of regular dining.
Jen-Jen: bandelephantsrock on March 25th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
I agree whole heartily.
Basil Havanacubes on March 25th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
I don't consider any of those junk food. They're all foods I give my kids (and myself) in moderation. They may not be the healthiest items on the planet (depending on how they're prepared), but they're FOOD, and fairly nutritious food at that.

Junk food is (IMO) things like candy, soda, prepared snack cakes... empty calories made up of sugar and artificial flavorings.
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
It really grosses me out when I see babies eating junk food. We avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and weird chemicals. Most juices boxes are not actually juice so I would not let my daughter have them. She has baked fries sometimes with meals. I don't necessarily think a baked potato fry is junk if it is an actual potato and not the nasty processed fries.

As for ice cream I eat mostly coconut milk ice cream so if I have some she is welcome to some. That happens once every few months.

we're vegan so no mac n cheese here.

Junk food for us would be Boca veggie chicken nuggets. I give them to the kids a couple times a month.
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Other junk: If I bake cookies or cupcakes from scratch she gets one and I have always allowed that. I think it is good to teach kids moderation and that making things at home is much healthier than eating store bought junk food.
Basil Havanacubes on March 25th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Weird chemicals like... ZEATIN?? (and other cytokinins found in, yep, coconut milk)? they use that stuff in fertilizer, you know.

Seriously, I don't get the whole "OMG CHEMICALS!1!!!11" reaction. Chemicals are everywhere, in plants, in people, and in laboratory beakers. Some chemicals found in nature are deadly. Some synthetic chemicals are lifesavers. "Weird chemicals"? How do you define what's weird and what's not? If you go by function, many natural substances (some that we don't even fully understand) have man-made stuff beat hands-down for weirdness.
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC)
Listen, I'd rather feed my kid something with ingredients that are understandably food. How do you have a problem with that? I am a lot more comfortable feeding my kid something that has a couple ingredients say potatoes and olive oil rather than "Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)**, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). **CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.)"

I think it is a bit odd that foods that should have one or just a few ingredients are packed with non food chemicals so I will not support companies who choose to do such things. We are not talking about naturally occurring chemicals already existing inside food stuff we are talking about ADDITIVES. There is a big difference. I don't feel like filling my family or myself full of additives.
Basil Havanacubes on March 25th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Feed your kid whatever you want.

But the "weird chemicals" thing you're trying to avoid is just silly, when the plants you eat have chemicals in them that are every bit as "weird" as anything man-made.

The whole "natural good, man-made bad" is over-simplistic and does a disservice to people who can actually benefit from many of those "additives" (vitamins, for example).
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
There is a difference between consuming chemicals as they occur naturally in foods and extracting them and using them as fillers, preservatives, dye, anti-foaming agents, etc. I think it's a pretty good rule to avoid companies that do this because overall the foods do tend to be healthier without all the additives. Much of the time they are just added to extend shelf life.

It's not silly to me. Eating whole foods is important to me.
thismakebelievethismakebelieve on March 25th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
I agree with this whole-heartedly. Eating whole foods is very important to my partner and I as well. Growing up my parents grew and made ALL the food we ate, and I'm doing just fine today without ever having consumed processed food more than a handful of times until I was in my 20s. It's not so much that I think the chemicals are poisonous or evil or anything, just that they don't need to be there to make food taste good or be healthy, so why would I feel the need to eat them?
at the impulse of your lovetherachel on March 25th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
It's definitely not silly.
Feeding your kids anti-foaming agents???? Really???

Just because post-industrial revolution starry eyed people with dollar signs in their souls decided they could make something tasty out of GARBAGE and MARKET that garbage and GET RICH off of the sale of that garbage and CON the FDA into thinking that it's PERFECTLY safe doesn't mean that it's food, OR good for your children.
wholeytoast on March 25th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
I agree with you!

Additives aren't all evil...such as the above mentioned citric acid, which is actually a natural preservative.

And just because they are listed by their chemical name doesn't mean they're created in some mad scientist lab either, it just means nobody has bothered to come up with a nickname yet.
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
The whole point is that they are not necessary. Why should apply sauce be more than apples? Why should peanut butter have tons of oils, corn syrup, and preservatives when all that is needed is peanut butter? It makes no sense.
wholeytoast on March 25th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
A lot of additives are preservatives, so if you want food that has a longer shelf life than say...a couple days, your food won't be contaminated with microbial growth. Groceries are expensive, I like mine to stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

Other additives are added because of consumer tastes; most people I know pick out a chip that looks too brownish and throw it away. Keeping color and texture consistent are just more attractive and the additives are deemed generally safe by the FDA which, to me, means they are nontoxic. Again, I prefer crisp things to remain crisp and to be able to have a general idea of what my food will look like when I open it up.

There's also no reason whole foods and prepared foods can't exist together in a healthy diet. When I want a whole apple I eat a whole apple, when I want an apple chip I eat an apple chip.
(Deleted comment)
at the impulse of your love: barftherachel on March 25th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Emmettlunasol on July 6th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
But why would anyone want to?
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
The EU seems to disagree about the safety. We used to think lead paint was safe, too.
thismakebelievethismakebelieve on March 25th, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
There's a list in the book Skinny Bitch, which is sort of like, a vegan healthy eating book from what I understand (I have only skimmed it and used some parts of it) and the list contains some scary sounding additives that are in food but lets you know what they really are, in one case it's just lemon juice for example. I'm not sure why they even bother putting the scientific name when the layman's terms sound far more benevolent, but heh. Now I wish I could find the list online but my Google Skillz are lacking.

Here's the book:
wholeytoast on March 25th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
I'm not vegan but sometimes we make vegan meals just because they're so tasty. Might have to look into that one, I do enjoy a good tongue-in-cheek book and "Skinny Bitch" sounds like it might fit the bill;)
sheisredsheisred on March 25th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
Not a huge fan, but every now and then isn't a big deal.
Foxy Voxyvoxangelus on March 25th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
My kids get ice cream about once or twice a week. Boxed mac & cheese about every 2 weeks. Fries maybe once every 2 weeks, if even that often. One is 22 mo, the other five. I don't see anything wrong with it. They eat a healthy diet with the appropriate amount of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc - I'm not worried.
wonderful caricature of intimacysarawr on March 25th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
I feel badly about babies getting junk food. I think there are homemade versions of most "junk" foods that are both healthier and tastier, and those are what would be offered to babies (and all children) in my ideal world.

I didn't allow my son to have junk as a tinykid, and I won't allow it for future children. I allow true junk very, very sparsely even now (he'll be five next month), and that's about where my junk allowance will stay for him. I wouldn't be okay with it once a week for a tinykid; although it sometimes happens on a once-a-week level with my midkid, I prefer and strive for junk occurring more like once or twice per month. Basically, I avoid serving true junk unless I am just totally exhausted, or the junk is completely unavoidable (say, at a birthday party or family event).

Which is all not to say that I'm perfect. I use a lot of convenience foods and bend a lot of "the rules" regarding perfect diets for kids. I'm just not comfortable with the truly bad stuff being a normalized part of my kid's diet.

I edited for a typo, but now that I'm thinking of it... despite my sort of intrinsic loathing of really, awfully bad foods, I try very hard not to instill guilt or shame in my kid with regard to food. He has the bad stuff sometimes. It happens. It's tasty, it's fun, it's for special occasions, it's fine, and I try to leave it at that.

Edited at 2010-03-25 01:18 am (UTC)
Andee.dancerevoluti0n on March 25th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
I have a friend (who in my opinion isn't the best mom ever) who feeds her 8 month old burger king french fries almost every day. But that's the least of his problems.

My parents fed me french fries when i was 6 months old. i'm perfectly healthy and happy and LOVE french fries :) But when i was old enough to "understand," they did teach me about moderation (apples are better than this, yogurt is better than that) and i think that helped.
I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do youuppity_heathen on March 25th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
Excessive junk food is usually a symptom of a larger issue from what I have seen.
bloodparabloodpara on March 25th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Every once in a while is no big deal in my opinion. You're only young once and if your metabolism works well use it while you can. I guess when available, nothing counted out like "3 days ago we had this 8 days ago this so you can't have it" but like if we want ice cream we get it but then we don't eat any for a month. Of course we're going to share it with our kid. If we get Wendys we share the fries too but then we don't eat it for a while. We don't specifically buy junk food to feed our kid as a meal.
bloodparabloodpara on March 25th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh and boxed mac and cheese is probably the most disgusting thing out there. I always microwave some real cheese and it tastes a million times better.
wholeytoast on March 25th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
When my son was that age the only things he wasn't allowed to eat were those that the doctor told me not to feed him. He's 3 now and it's the same.

I'm a believer in moderation and so were my parents. When I was school aged most of my friends weren't allowed to drink soda at home while my parents would let me have as much as I wanted. Guess who did (and still does) usually choose water instead...

If I allow myself to occasionally indulge in food of zero nutritional value then my son should be as well. We will share a Happy Meal or a HoHo, and I don't feel bad about that. We're all very active and healthy, and when we make good diet/lifestyle decisions it's because they make us feel good...not because somebody told us not to.
thismakebelievethismakebelieve on March 25th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
What is a HoHo, it sounds like you are sharing a hooker lol

Ahh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Hos

Edited at 2010-03-25 02:03 am (UTC)
wholeytoast on March 25th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
LOL! It's a Hostess Cake.
thismakebelievethismakebelieve on March 25th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Haha I just looked it up. It looks kinda tasty!!! What an unfortunate name though haha.
.·:*¨¨*:·. *Jewelz* .·:*¨¨*:·.: Best Cookiesjewe1z on March 25th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
HoHos and DingDongs go together like peas and carrots.

They're almost as amazing as Deep Fried Twinkies.
.·:*¨¨*:·. *Jewelz* .·:*¨¨*:·.: OMG ONOZjewe1z on March 25th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I think kids should get frozen waffles as soon as they start teething.
si_anenomesi_anenome on March 25th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
si_anenomesi_anenome on March 25th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
Under 1, they shouldn't be eating any of that.

My Mom used to feed my kids mac&cheese when she babysat them. Ice cream too... and root beer floats... and cookies. Probably a bunch of other crappy stuff as well. Whatever -- special treats at Gram's house. Not a big deal in my book.
Lolamilkmaid on March 25th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
We gave our daughter tastes of things, ie a dip of her dummy/pacifier into various substances, when she was very little. I think it's helped cause she's open to all sorts of stuff. But that's just our case.
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medea34 on March 25th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
I try to keep the juice (pop,fruit drinks) to a glass or 2 per day just because of the sugar. Fries = potatoes, so I don't see a difference between them and mashed or boiled or roasted - it's all potatoe. Mac n cheese, while not the healthiest option in terms of fat and nutrients, it's just starch and cheese (I like to use it as a side - like potatoes or rice or bread).

On preservatives - I feel that there is no free ride. If you want stuff to have an extended shelf life you have to accept the trade off, that there are things in that product that are probably not the best thing for you. Even old school methods of preserving have health downsides ( jams & conserves are full of sugar, pickles are full of salt, smoked foods have been linked to cancers). Fresh is best but preserved is better than none.
lorienellenlorienellen on March 25th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
There's no need for *anyone* to be eating those things except as treats and especially never for babies. I wouldn't feed a very young child that sort of food. Maybe home made potato wedges when they were age appropriate.
Ruchelruchel on March 25th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC)
Once a week sounds fine, in small quantity.
satellite6satellite6 on March 25th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
If they're between 1 and 2, once a week would be OK.
Younger than 1? I wouldn't go for it.
It can't be overstated how much of American food is crap. My son is 3 and he still doesn't regularly eat things like Cheetos. We just don't keep that kind of thing in the house, so it would have to be at a birthday party where I don't mind so much.

When he gets treats at home, it's usually something like (whole) ice cream or strawberry shortcake. I do cookies every now and then. But I'm a wanna-be amateur chef *snicker* so I usually make all those things or get the whole versions at Trader Joes. I personally hate giving my son a bunch of processed stuff. By now everyone knows that stuff has nothing at all to offer a little growing body.
donkeymoodonkeymoo on March 30th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
before 1? hell no. the baby's tummy is so small, you'd be completely filling it with the junk food, instead of real food where they can get good nutrients out of it. apart form the fact that most babies these days under the age of 1 are still part breast-feeding as well. between 1 and 2, i'd say (like everyone else on here) moderation (once a week?) and special occasions would be fine.
Erinerinmdmd on June 26th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
I prefer that it doesn't happen for an under one year old. I prefer that it happens rarely for an older child. Once a week is too often.

That said, my ten month old got his first taste of mac and cheese yesterday.