Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eating away from home

Our children will often eat away from home. They will perhaps have a sleep over at a friend’s house or go to grandparents for a weekend. Or perhaps they will be having lunch from the school canteen or at crèche. Do you know what they will be eating? Are they old enough and wise enough to choose for themselves?

If your child has an allergy or is on medication you will be sure to inform the temporary care-giver, won’t you? You have just as much right and need to inform them of your child’s normal eating habits.

I heard a story a while ago about a little boy of 5 who went to spend the night with a friend. The little boy’s parents were vegetarian, and so by circumstance, it seemed, was he. His host mother gave him a hamburger, which he tucked into with great relish and even asked for more. But he soon became very, very sick. It turned out that he had a rare protein allergy, and his parents had become vegetarian to cope with this – but they did not notify the friend’s parents of the reason. A lot of pain, suffering and expense could have been spared if they had.

Although a deviation from normal eating patterns is not necessarily life threatening, and occasional food indulgences are pleasurable, it is always advisable to be aware of, and maintain some control over, what your children are ingesting.

Even as adults, we don’t always acknowledge what is bad for us.

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