Wednesday, November 14

The Unintentional Child Abuse

Recently I watched this documentary about feeding children with junk foods, (titled Fast Food Baby) and it is appalling to see how irresponsible some parents can be.

To be honest, I am a self-confessed fast food junkie. I LOVE eating fast food, all those fried, greasy, sinful stuff give me the rush. On the other hand, I also know how bad my eating habits are and I tried my best to prevent my children from picking these habits up from me. Which is why, you often see me indulging in fast food during lunch time when I am working. It's a struggle to keep up with the pretences, if you know what I mean.

Since I was a child, I didn't have anyone to show me what good and healthy eating was. To make matter worst, one of the rewards for having good school results was food - not any kind of food, but fast food like burgers and fried chickens. And having sodas and cakes at home, which I can eat freely, just made the matter so much worst. Needless to say, I grew up with a weight problem (and I am still unable to shake that off as an adult) because of the way I view junk food as comfort and I became obsessive with balancing the love I have for eating junks and my ballooning weight.

When a child is young, he/she is unable to distinguish between right or wrong, hence he/she learns by observing and imitating the parents or caregivers. Which is why, I am so crazy over making sure that my children have healthy eating habits by feeding them balanced diet (vegetable is a MUST), fixing their mealtimes, ensuring that they love fruits, drink lots of plain water and strictly NO TV during meals, while all this time, I hide away my horrible compulsion to eat junks from them.

I know it is controversial for me to say that feeding your children junks and letting them grow up with a less than desirable eating habits is like child abuse, but as parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that our children grow up healthy by instilling the right mindset and habits.

Perhaps, you think your junk-eating kids are doing great (even better than mine even though they eating healthier) because they aren't over-weight or they might be looking quite as healthy. Don't be too glad yet. Research has shown that kids who are eating badly are at risk of diabetes, rickets, anaemia, and many vitamins deficiency diseases are awaiting them. And experts believed that good eating habits foster better learning abilities and decreases chances of behavioural problems in young children.

To rid all evil food is being overly idealistic and it just won't work.We still have the occasional eat-outs at McDonald's, KFC and all the other fast food chains, but as often as 5 times a week, we would have decent home-cooked meals back at home, complete with vegetable, meat, rice and soup.

Parental responsibility for ensuring our children are eating, sleeping and growing up well is inescapable. It's always easy to come up with excuses; blaming our lifestyles or how busy our lives can get, but if you so much as bat an eyelid at an abusive parent who gives his/her child a punch that blacken an eye or a slap that cuts the lips, you should start some soul-searching because feeding them junks all the time can just put you in the same league.

I might come across as being very judgemental with this post; objectively, I just want you, the parents, to see that loving your children goes beyond lip service; it means setting up some strict rules and cultivating a few good habits that your children will be thankful of, in the years to come.

OK. Finished. Now, I can go and pop that chicken nugget into my mouth.

Nahh.. Just kidding.

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