Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Butter, or Not to Butter


This frosting is good to eat & to wear...once in a while.
My daughter is small.  Not just, "oh, she's cute" small, but actually quite shrimpy for her age.  She's got the height...just not the heft.

At her recent well-baby check, our pediatrician told me that I needed to start pushing calories on her.  She recommended Pedia-Sure, bumping up her full-fat dairy, & then she said it: "...& it wouldn't hurt to put butter on all of those vegetables that she's already eating."

I've been in a tizzy ever since.  I'm stuck at the intersection of my experience & my job as a parent.  Though butter specifically was never my problem, I am hyper-aware of my job cultivating a healthy pallet for my children.  They don't have a concept of white bread, canned fruit or kool-aid.  They expect a vegetable at every lunch & dinner & a fruit at every meal.    They don't expect treats every day (though they do enjoy them on occasion!).   

I absolutely believe that Adult Sara is fully responsible for the choices that got me to 269 pounds.  That being said, in some ways Adult Sara was informed by some of the tastes that she developed as Kid Sara.  I want Kid Link & Kid Cora to have the best possible start at maintaining health lives & bodies by giving them an appreciation for wholesome food. 

The idea of putting butter on some peas may not seem like a big deal, but for me it has been one of those Big Issue moments in parenting.  Do I follow doctor's orders?  Do I go with my gut?  If I go with my gut am I compromising my child because of the mistakes I have made?  Is this just another example of others paying the price for my bad choices?

Possibly.  More probably I have a heightened awareness of the stakes of the game that cause me to be a little paranoid.  Two things ultimately caused me to stay away from "The Buttertons" & continue giving her veggies as God intended them--out of the freezer. 

1.  As Dave pointed out when I was wringing my hands & rending my clothes over the issue: the pediatrician likely used the butter merely as an example in response to my answer to her question, "what does she eat right now?"  I listed a few of the staples, among them veggies, & she gave me ways to boost calories within those parameters.  She was probably assuming that I was a rational, independent thinking woman who would take the ball & run with it.  Little did she know.

2.  As a good friend pointed out to me when Link was just a "folded-up-chicken" baby: the choices I make for my kids are the best choices for them because I am their one & only Mom, making decisions with love & their best interests at heart.  I'm the only Mom they have.  For good or for ill, it is my job to mother them, Dave's job to father them & our jobs to make the choices that will ultimately get them from point baby to point productive member of society (fingers crossed!).  If my mom-dar says no butter on corn, then no butter will be present on her corn. 

Doughnuts, a good "sometimes" food.
I feel very confident about our resolution of Butter-gate, but it has made me think about my job as Mom as it relates to my weight issues.  This will not be the last time I have to weigh my history & prejudices against what is best--or even just OK--for my kids to eat.  I am incredibly thankful that my own journey has made me mindful of the task of raising healthy eaters while my kids are still young enough to be unaware of the fleeting pleasures of whole meals of baked goods.

1 comment:

  1. You are a great mom! I agree with your butter-gate decision, mainly because then she would get the taste of veggies with butter and not want to eat them without. This parenting thing is not easy. I have a fourteen-year-old and when he is out in the world, he will often eat things that I wouldn't put on the table. But I gave him the foundation early so he knows the good choices to make. It's all a process.