I did a little grocery shopping today. I was walking down the cereal and breakfast aisle to get the kids some syrup for their waffles when I overheard a mother speaking to her daughter. The little girl looked to be about eight or nine and had a pudgy little face and deep blue eyes, which were wet from crying. The mother was speaking to the child harshly and told her that she would have to wait until 3pm when she could have a granola bar for a snack. The mom was definite: “You had lunch two hours ago and you shouldn’t be hungry. That is why you are fat. This diet is going to get you in shape.”
I felt so bad for the little girl.
Yes, she looked overweight but I also thought her mother was being a tad bit harsh to her child. It was obvious that she was on some type of diet. The question I ask is do you think putting a child on a diet is harmful or helpful?
As I have blogged before, I have had issues with my weight off and on for the majority of my adult life. I do know your eating habits as a child affect your eating habits as an adult. As a child, I drank tons of soda, and now that is something that I am getting out of the habit of doing. With my own children, I struggle with ensuring that they are eating healthy and making sure they get to enjoy certain foods that they like. Neither of my children have weight issues, but I want to set examples for them.
The White House has gotten into the debate by starting a healthy eating initiative called “Let’s Move” spearheaded by our FLOTUS Michelle Obama to help curb childhood obesity and promote exercise and activities amongst our youth. Of course we need to instill on our children the importance of eating healthy and staying active. But is a diet the way to do that?
Putting your child on a restrictive diet, unless prescribed by a doctor, is not only dangerous, but also a temporary fix. Instead of short term solutions such as a “diet”, I feel the mother would be better served teaching her daughter to eat healthy and nutritious foods and snacks that would carry her throughout the day so she won’t be hungry. Now I have no idea if this child was prescribed a diet by their physician, but knowing that the child had to wait until 3pm to eat a granola bar hurt my heart.
Of course I don’t know what the child ate for lunch, but by the way the mother was talking, it couldn’t have been much.
What do you think about children being put on a diet? Do you think it’s a good thing in order to help keep a child from becoming more overweight, or do you think teaching children to make healthier eating choices is the way to go? Do you think it has to be measured on a case by case basis?
Use the comment section below to let your thoughts be known. Is dieting as a child helpful or harmful?