This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cheese makes you fat

I was cleaning off the kitchen counters when I noticed that one of the two bags of cookies I'd bought the day before was waaay too light. *sigh*

I rarely buy sweets, and this was intended as dessert for a meal. The kids knew that, and usually if the package is closed they won't be the first to open it without permission. Immediately I knew it was Bear.

On the phone with him that afternoon, Bear admitted to eating the entire 1 and 2/3 packages of cookies although he did of course justify his behavior.

They were already open (most likely a lie).

Anyone could have had some (but no one else knew they were open Bear!).

******************Back History*************************

Saturday afternoon

The day we bought the cookies I had all 4 kids at the grocery store (yes, I already know I'm a masochist - you don't have to point this out). Bear was "starving" and like most of the kids didn't want to be there. I quickly pointed out an advantage of shopping on Saturday is the multitude of free samples. So the kids grazed as we shopped and it kept the natives from being as restless.

In the deli we came upon a display of cheese with a very nice lady offering free samples. Sixteen year old Bear immediately, very rudely, stated loud enough for everyone to hear, "I hate cheese. Cheese makes you fat." To which I quietly replied, having heard this many times before, it's OK to not like cheese, and too much cheese can make you gain weight, but this particular kind of cheese is better for you than others (it was a white cheese versus say yellow American). To which he of course replied, "Cheese makes you fat."

The lady joined in at this point and stated cheese doesn't make you fat. Bear of course stated, "Cheese makes you fat." I immediately scooted out of the area as fast as possible, and let the subject drop.

Sunday on the way home from church in the car.

Ponito and Bob start talking about all the yummy food they have available to them in Sunday School. Ponito mentions that he had at least two brownies, some cake, and was talking about donuts. Bob states she had several brownies and couldn't stop eating donut holes until someone helped her by closing the box. I questioned the fact that Ponito was obviously in the youth area, and he assured me that Bear had taken him (I asked Bear to stop doing this. Ponito doesn't belong in the youth area). Ponito then squealed on Bear's snack gorging. Last week, Kitty was complaining because Bear keeps coming into her Sunday School class so he can eat donuts. She claimed he had 5 donuts (Bear said it was only 4).

I've always wanted to walk up to people who bring all this junk to Sunday School and point out that they are NOT really doing the kids any favors. What about kids with diabetes or food allergies? You could potentially kill a kid! Yes, most kids this age are old enough to deal with the consequences of pigging out, but do they really want to be responsible for the one (like mine) who can't?
I do admit I'm mean to the sample distributors at grocery stores. When my kids rush in front of me and are given samples, I often come up to them and ask, "Did you just give a sample to my 13 year old daughter without parental permission?" They usually are extremely apologetic and start asking about food allergies. Their policy says that all children under 14 must have parental permission. Bob obviously doesn't look 13, or 12 or 10... I've been doing this awhile! *evil grin* I always reassure them, but, if it makes them stop and think next time... then I feel like I've made a difference.

Kitty pointed out that everyone should stop talking about all the sweets at Sunday School, or Mom would fix it so they didn't get them anymore (Smart girl!). She does try very hard to not do things she knows she's not supposed to (and make sure I know about it).

Learning opportunity!

I started by mentioning that sugary sweets have empty calories and are more likely than cheese to make you fat (see how I tied that in there?!). Then I immediately assured Kitty or Bear, I forget which, that no, I don't think they are fat.

We then talked about how sugary treats make some of them hyper (Kitty).

Then I introduced the concept of sugar crashes. That unlike protein, your body uses up the calories quickly and you get tired, depressed and irritable.

At which point I let the subject drop.

Within an hour of getting home, Ponito then did a beautiful demonstration of a sugar crash. He and I talked about it afterward (after he'd had a chance to cool off in his room), and I think this really drove it home for him. We also talked about the fact that he is 1/3 the size of Bear so he can't eat the same amount of stuff and not expect it to hit him harder.

*****************Nutrition lesson complete********************

When I discovered the near empty package of cookies, I decided to confirm that it was Bear that took them, by looking for the other package in his room (have I mentioned there are some major advantages to him being a packrat who can throw nothing away?). For once I didn't find the package (which makes me think he took it to school and sold off the cookies that he didn't eat), but I'll tell you what I did find in the next post.

Bear as you know confirmed that he had eaten the cookies. At the dinner table that night the subject came up again, and I have to admit I took a potshot at Bear. I pointed out that cookies were more likely to make you fat than cheese. The mention of cookies immediately made Kitty think of the cookies that we'd bought at the store recently so she asked for them for dessert. I told her that I'd love to have the cookies for dessert, but Bear had eaten them all.

Too mean?

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