I have had two chilling experiences in the last two days that have me fearful of raising my children in the lowfat raw vegan lifestyle...
We were all visiting my in-laws on Mother's Day and were enjoying each other's company. We talked about gardening and all of the exploits of the various young children in the extended family. At one point, we had been commiserating about a relative who is a bit wacky (or maybe cranky is a better word) and is in the process of going blind and losing her mobility as a result of diabetes and obesity.
My son came into the room and did something in such a grown up way, that I was just so enamored of him at that moment. He has grown up so much physically as well. I reached over and tousled his hair and said, "What a good-lookin' young man. He's growing up so fast."
"He's too skinny!" my mother-in-law shot back. "He's a healthy weight," I responded. And the matter was dropped. But this isn't the first time she's made such a comment. It is really upsetting, because she truly does not respect me as a parent. The earlier discussion of the chronic suffering of our diabetic relative--doesn't she make the connection between a healthy weight and long-term health?
Later I looked up my son's height and weight at
and received this report:
A 7 year and 7 months old (male) child who is 50 pounds and is 4 feet tall has a body mass index of 15.3,
which is at the 40th percentile,
and would indicate that your child is at a healthy weight.
This doesn't even take into account the problems with the BMI chart and the height and weight percentiles being based on a population of unhealthy and overweight children.
The second experience tonight came when my friend (who is my mother's age) confronted me about our new diet style. She was quite worried that I am starving my children. She was highly concerned that a diet primarily consisting of fruit would cause them to stop growing and not develop healthy brains. She kept saying, "No grains?"
I let her try a cracker made with sprouted grains and flax that I had in my car... which in a way was dishonest, since I am coming to believe that indeed, the best diet for my children does NOT include grains.
When my children were last there about a week ago, they went inside her home to visit while my husband and I were doing some gardening. When I went to retrieve them, I found her feeding them large quantities of rice, beans, eggs, and bread. I didn't say anything. But she used this as evidence that they weren't getting enough to eat. I explained that they have healthy appetites, are very active, and eat large quantities of food all day. (I didn't mention that she uses a lot of salt in her food or bring up words like excito-toxins). The conversation ended with her seeming to accept what I was saying, with reservation and she did apologize for "scolding me." But I left with a sick, fearful feeling in my stomach. Would my friend turn me in to the authorities?
Part of my fear comes from inside. What if my kids aren't getting what they need? Recently, I have become aware that they need to eat much more sweet fruit than I realized. I didn't know that they needed more bananas and mangoes than apples and oranges. My oldest does not like melon or bananas very much and will not eat mangoes at all. He eats a lot of apples, which are his favorite. My daughters are actually a bit overweight and are less picky, so I worry less about them. And of course, the toddler is still nursing quite a bit.
All of you out there, you lovely blog readers, reassure me! Does anyone have wisdom or resources to share?