Recently someone told my three year old daughter if she eats too much chocolate she will get fat, this was right after she received a giant chocolate bunny half her size. She has yet to touch that chocolate bunny, not because it will make her fat but because there is so much sugar in it she would bounce off the walls for days if she were aloud to consume it. It’s happened before; Piper had a sliver of chocolate cake at 8pm and didn’t go to sleep until 3am despite all our efforts, including an hour drive home. Between my husband having to wake for work before 6am and me 9 months pregnant at the time…we learned a valuable lesson. Don’t feed the girl sweets after dinner. Dessert may be better suited after lunch here.
Each child is different but this is mine.
Sugar + Piper = hyper bouncing toddler. Do not feed sugar after 4pm if you EVER want to go to sleep.
Anyway, Piper came to me days later and asked, “Mommy, if I eat to much chocolate am I going to get flat?”
“Yes, flat, like paper?”
I have to admit I kinda loved hearing this question; there is so much innocents in it. She doesn’t know that too much candy can make people gain weight. I don’t think she knows what weight is yet. In my opinion a three year old shouldn’t have any idea what fat is and apparently Piper doesn’t. I can just see her in the grocery store asking if the man or woman next to her in the checkout line is fat. I’m sure I will have to teach her not to say in public eventually but for now I don’t think it is a necessary topic of conversation.
The last thing I want for her is to have body issues. We talk about making healthy choices so she will grow tall and strong, have good eyesight and hearing. Encouraging her to eat things that will help her grow and don’t pump her with sugary treats everyday. We don’t talk about candy as being bad for you; we do say if you eat too much of it you’ll get a tummy ache. Everything in moderation is good for you. If you ate too many raspberries you’d get a tummy ache too.
Carrots are good for vision.
Grapes are good for your lungs.
Kidney Beans are good for your kidneys.
Tomatoes are good for your heart.
Meat is good for your muscles.
Ice cream is good for your smile.
They all have a purpose.
Please don’t tell my children they will get fat if they eat something. That isn’t your job. Parenting is a privilege I take very seriously. The world will someday be very harsh on my babies in one way or another but for now they are babies and they don’t need to know about calories and fat content in foods. They need to know fruits and veggies make you grow big and strong and that chocolate and ice cream are special treats for special days, sometimes to reward good behavior (it also works for some necessary bribery here and there!) Eating disorders come in all shapes and forms, the way we speak to our young children could impact the way they look at themselves in the future. My children will be beautiful no matter what shape or size they are, tall or short, big or small, fat or flat.