Keep Your Crap to Yourself

BlazeToday I’m going to rant.  Vent.  Complain.  It’s about food.  You know, that stuff we are constantly shoving in our bodies.  I’m thinking parents everywhere are trying to do the best they can to feed their children right.  We start with breastfeeding while eating right ourselves.  We figure out how to puree organic veggies and freeze in ice trays for later. As the child ages, we make sure to send lunch to school instead of allowing the jail-quality slop in the lunchroom and, if necessary, send in alternative snacks for special occasions and birthday parties.  Juicing, bone broths, fermenting, organic and local veggies and meats and special diets… all these approaches are at an all-time high in popularity.  GMOs?  Fuggedaboutit.  But, now that my children are getting older, I have less and less opportunity to feed them thoughtfully at home, and the world out there is set up to sabotage me.  Here’s the “dish”:  No matter what you do INSIDE your home, OUTSIDE your home the food situation is WORSE THAN EVER, regardless of the heightened awareness.

Here are some examples of situations that send me over the edge; as my husband says, they “crack my tablet.”

1.  Cupcakes everywhere, and I don’t mean homemade from scratch.  Bright blue and red icings and highly processed.  You know what I mean.  Classroom birthdays and every holiday, Sunday school, whatever, they are everywhere.

2.  Pizza is everywhere, too.  The life of a child has turned into one big fat pizza party.  All that gluten and cheese?  Back in the day, this would have sent Patrick right back into Autism World for days.  Now, with enzymes, he does okay.  But since it is everywhere, and I have said “yes” every once in a while, now I’m faced with, “Can he or can’t he?” constantly.  It is stressful.

3.  School fundraisers involving pizza delivery and McDonald’s.  Here, have a healthy dinner, school families, we know you will be at your best and ready to learn tomorrow if we supply you with this nutritious  supper tonight! *eyeroll*  I mean, just look at this article linking fast food, asthma and eczema!

4.  School projects using edible junk as manipulatives.  GMO Skittles or M&Ms for math (and ABA rewards), and look at this letter I got from school so my daughter’s class could learn about the landscape of our state.  “Congratulations!” (On what?  I get to spend $20+ on two grocery bags of crap that you are going to feed all of those kids?  Don’t you have a hard enough time keeping your class calm and productive without feeding them this hot mess?)

blaze food

5.  Girl Scout Cookies?  Boy Scout popcorn?  Shite.

6.  Hawaiian Punch and Capri Sun to drink?  How about some blue Powerade?  Conventional milk in the lunchroom with NO option for WATER?  What is wrong with just drinking water all day?

7.  If you are out and about, doing after-school activities, running errands and the kids start to scream hunger (and you didn’t bring anything with you), where are you supposed to stop?  One of the new yogurt places that are on every corner?  Drive thru?  Get everyone out of the car and into the grocery store to get their “safe” snacks?  All a huge PITA.  No good options.

8.  One of the worst things I’ve seen lately was when I observed a self-contained middle school classroom with a friend.  Those kids had cans of coke on their desks, a token-economy store with full-sized Snickers and bags of Doritos to buy, and Friday life skills lessons on cooking… cooking processed crap.  The other classrooms in this school would never allow this.  Why would you give the kids with the worst learning and behavior problems this poison?  As much as I blame the administration for this, my real concern is with the teachers.  Why do you want to make your job harder by feeding kids foods proven to ruin behavior?  Boggles my already scrambled mind.

The whole thing just burns my beans.

Booty Kicker summed it up the other day when discussing a situation she had faced at Sunday school last week: “I am just so sick of how food-obsessed we all are. I mean, he is in church for just a bit over an hour. WHY is a snack necessary??? WHY do we have to feed our kids JUNK???” (Let’s not leave out the fact that the brightly colored cupcakes in the Sunday school room caused her son to have an allergic reaction, and we don’t think he even snuck one, they were just in the same room.  But that’s a whole other blog post.)

healthy-kids-smart-principal-created-parent-tested-barbara-alpert-paperback-cover-artI’ve been so discouraged by all the food issues at school, that I sent both of our principals this book for Christmas.  When I heard the story of the Atlanta elementary school principal who banned sugar and added bottled water at her school, I was in love, as her school’s test scores went up TWENTY-FIVE percent in ONE year.  She even put the teachers on an exercise schedule. WOW!

It would be a breath of fresh air if others who spend time with my children (family, teachers, therapists, friends’ parents) would leave it up to ME to be the one to give the “treats” that everyone seems to believe kids deserve every day.  When I worked at a pediatrician’s office sharing information about dietary interventions for autism and ADD, it was shocking how many mothers couldn’t even consider a special diet because so many people (including husbands, ex-husbands, parents and in-laws) would undo it behind their backs, wasting their money, effort and time.  It’s a sad state of affairs.

I think one of my new goals is to get through a week completely comfortable with the foods my children have ingested.  All of it.  I’m telling you, every time I bend the “rules” and let them have something outside my comfort zone, my stomach hurts and I get really mad at myself, and oftentimes we even get big meltdowns.  I was very diligent when my son was in a more severe place, and I have got to keep up the effort to keep both of my children as healthy as possible, no matter how hard it is to say “no” to them and to the ones who want to give him the bad stuff.  It would be really nice if more people would realize the importance of this issue and make it a healthier world for all of our children.  People need to open up the peepers and get with the program.  Food can make the difference for our children.  No doubt about it.

girl apple

~ Blaze

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89 Responses to Keep Your Crap to Yourself

  1. Jen Masterson says:

    It’s a damn shame that not everyone knows as well as you do how other people’s kids should be fed. If there were more like you out there, none of us would have anything to worry about. It takes a village, as they say.

  2. nicole says:

    That request from school of cookie dough rolls and tub icing? Wow. There are no words. I would have made my son stay home that day.

  3. My 16 year old (diagnosed with PDD-NOS at age 3) came home last week and told me he got the “highest score” in healthy eating habits on the class’s PE Health Assessment.

    “I don’t really tell you,” he said, putting his arms around my shoulders. “But I do appreciate those green drinks you give me. I feel a big difference when I don’t have them.”

    After spending years learning about our broken food system and becoming more angry and frustrated with every new realization, I can’t begin to tell you how much that comment meant to me.

  4. J. Keene says:

    Please send this to the NYTimes. Also, I’d love to read more about the success you’ve had with your child in with just his diet. I’ll check out your past blogs.

  5. I’m SO with you! So far in the month of February, my first grader’s class has chowed down on the following: frosted cupcakes (twice); fudge; taffy (twice); 100 Days of School “trail mix” comprised of candy corn, marshmallows, Cheez-its, and yogurt-covered pretzels (Funny, that’s not what I take on the trail!); AND…drum roll, please…a big box of Valentine’s Day candy (rivaling Halloween). I’m PISSED. And I’m fighting back. Please join me at School-bites.com or http://www.facebook.com/SchoolBites

  6. KT says:

    LOVE this post! I am a high school teacher and last year started allowing only healthy, non-processed foods to be eaten in class – I didn’t want to keep putting up with kiddos hopped up on pop-tarts and ice cream from the SCHOOL vending machine. The kids did eventually come around (and would announce their whole foods – ‘I have peppers today!’) – but it is hard especially when processed food is so much more available and appealing to kids in school. The only whole foods available are pieces of fruit with lunch (typically a banged up apple) – the vending machines are open all day and filled with crap! Thanks for the post – I am re-posting on my blog FB page. https://www.facebook.com/OneOrganicMama

  7. Rachel says:

    Eating healthy is great and all, but what kind of diet can you do for someone who is allergic to fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains unless severely cooked to death or overly processed?

  8. Lisa Ceizyk says:

    This is exactly what I have been going through since we switched to eating Paleo!!! We are fish swimming up stream, aren’t we? My daughter who is 10 has embraced her new Paleo lifestyle but she is surrounded by more temptation every single day by adults pushing crap on her!!! I feel like she is surrounded by a bunch a crack dealers!!! And these are her trusted & loved relatives & friends!!! Thank you for writing this & reinforcing I am not the crazy one!!!! Let’s change this world one real food at a time!’

  9. Corena says:

    I was a principal at an elementary school, and I saw the need for educating our youth (and adults) about healthful choices. Our theme one year was, “nurturing healthy minds and healthy bodies.” I worked with the staff on integrating education pertaining to healthy eating choices and movement on a daily basis. We had school-wide efforts including asking parents to send in non-food alternatives for birthday treats (example: donate a book to the class or library, play a game in the child’s honor, craft, ect). I also asked the PTO parents to request/provide healthy treats for holiday parties, including water bottles for the drink. The kids LOVED it…sadly, it was the adults who struggled with this concept. I could not believe how much resistance I was met with, and frankly, out right anger! Parents complained to the supt. that I was trying to control what they as parents were choosing to feed their kids, and that it was their right as parents to feed their children whatever they wanted. I made informational brochures, which were sent home to each family, which included facts about childhood diabetes and other current statistics. I truly believed that we were (are) responsible for teaching the whole child. We/educators teach best practice in reading, writing, and math; why would we leave out best practice in health (beyond the walls of health class) – especially when we know there is such a strong connection between the two. The negative response I received still boggles my mind!

    • Lisa Ceizyk says:

      Thank you for being brave enough to attempt this change. We need more educators like you. As a mom I see the same problem…adults are much more resistant to having their kids eat healthy, they assume they won’t, will put up a fight, will whine & cry about it, will starve, etc. My daughter constantly has t defend her new Paleo lifestyle to adults not other kids!!! Don’t give up keep advocating for your students health!!!

      • Julie L. says:

        I read a blog about this and the conclusion that the author had was that giving these junkoe snacks, they could be the “good” guy for once. They are showing their love this way and by taking away the right to be the good guy, they are being deprived of this opportunity. I think a lot of us equate food with love, but then a lot of us grew up with parents who used food this way instead of giving kids time and sharing experiences. It really is a sad state of affairs that is affecting our kids. Kids in other places don’t have junk food (tribal areas) and grow up happy and well adjusted. All without blue cupcakes!

  10. Um, hello! My kids get milk free with lunch, but have to pay extra for water. And aren’t allowed to get up and drink from the water fountain during meals. I kinda get the water fountain thing, because it’s like when you let one kid go the the bathroom and the rest “have” to go after that. Our school did do a fun run this fall for fundraising, which I loved, but we just got the big ol’ chocolate fundraiser pack this week.

    I CAN NOT believe how many parents let their kids drink junk like “energy” drinks. My son had a classmate come in last year with a huge Monster before testing, and thankfully the teacher made her go throw it away. What is wrong with people?!

  11. Marie says:

    Wow! I have so much respect for all of you who keep your families on these diets! I have a hard enough time trying to convince my boyfriend to eat well, and making sure I always have snacks/meals on hand for myself. I can’t even imagine trying to keep small children on a healthy diet.

    Good work!

    • Cyndel Jones says:

      Actually it is much easier to keep a child on these diets then an adult. Esp if you start from their first taste of people food.
      You can’t control an adult, but you can easily teach kids from their first mouthful of food how to enjoy water and real foods. And trust me, they may stray for a year or two as an adult when they have control, but they will feel the difference and eventually return to what they grew up in.

    • Stacie says:

      It’s not as hard as you think. It makes it easier to make little changes at a time. I also educate my children about processed foods and why we don’t eat fast food and how it affects their health and behavior. I became aware of all the food issues when my youngest had food allergies. I realized that this just isn’t normal. Since I’ve been striving for healthy food since they were very young, they are used to it. My husband was a little resistent intially, especially because our food bill is higher, but he has seen the medical expense of conventional food, so he is more supportive. It’s never too late to start.

    • Laura says:

      I think it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet. :-)

  12. NKirk says:

    I could not have found this post at a more appropriate time! My son tonight had a complete meltdown before bed, which I can attribute directly to a day of Valentine’s treats at school and to some of the “healthy snacks” that classmates shared today as part of a health project. It was a nightmare and behaviour I never see when we follow our traditional Paleo diet free of sugar, dairy, gluten/grains! I sometimes feel like I am a salmon swimming up stream. Glad to know I am not alone!
    Thanks for the post.

  13. NutritionalDominatrix says:

    Thank you ! This article lets me know I’m not alone.. also that my thinking
    is not unreasonable when it comes to my child and having a say about what
    she eats. She is in the 4th grade now and it has gotten to the point where the
    teacher from the year before warns the new teacher about me. I am OK with
    that. She packs a lunch of whole foods every day and her habits have even
    influenced other kids in class to bring better foods for lunch.

  14. Z.A. says:

    thanks for the article! I read this just at the right time. Both sides of the family – husband and mine – driving me bananas with their crab food. This week my husband’s aunt asked me if I give my 10 month old a cacao drink…you know these hot chocolate stuff with lots of sugar. I said no, there is lots of sugar and that’s bad. She said no it is not bad. Children like it, it give them energy…
    They are surprised I dont give him cheese to eat and the chocolate cake they made. The day before my friend asks me how do i know that the organic food i buy is really organic. She gets these ideas from her husband who is too cheap to buy organic for his baby. Today I found out that a friend of mine is giving her 1 year old Nestle food only, even the fruits are not given fresh to him. And she heats his food up in the microwave. I thought the whole world knows that microwave is a no-no for heating up stuff for the babies! Am I being ignorant? Did I miss something? I really thought parents wouldnt give nestle and microwaved food to their babies!

    Btw, here in Switzerland the children have a lunch break from 12h-15h. I live next to a school and a supermarket. It is amazing to see what these kids buy for lunch – softdrinks, pizza, sweets…

    • Julie L. says:

      Wow I am surprised that it is this way in Switzerland. I just got finished reading French Kida Eat Everything and figured that much of Europe was this way too. I knew that the US and UK were bad, but not the continental part of Europe.

  15. Melissa A. says:

    Amen, sister! I am fed up too! Birthday parties are challenging enough with our GF/DF/SF kids, but schools are what drive me crazy. Why…WHY…do they need candy, cookies, cake and other junk on the same day? And school lunches? Don’t get me started! Do crafts, toys, healthy fruits and vegetables. They cost the same in many cases and will nourish these kids instead of harm them. Preach it. I’m with you all the way!

  16. Jeri says:

    Bless your hearts…all of you. I am a 70 year old (that is mind boggling to me…because I don’t feel it at all…thanks to eating well, which I started doing because I wasn’t feeling well in my 30′s from all the junk food ) mother of 5, grandmother of 16, and great g of 4. I feel your pain! Our children tell the most hilarious stories of my healthy cooking…air popped popcorn, veggies, apples, etc they traded for Ding Dongs etc. the jokes about the healthy cookies I sent to school on their birthdays. I remember standing in the grocery store reading labels in tears trying to figure out what was the best to buy. You feel alone….I had no one (no Internet for support either). Several years ago one of my sisters -in-law said to me after having to change her diet due to illness, “We use to make fun of you, but you were right!” One of our sons at about age 14 stayed overnight at a friends house. For breakfast he had Captain Crunch cereal with sugar on it!!! He was so tickled to get to eat that. I did determine, early on, though that if I wasn’t careful that when they were out on their own, there would be a good chance I wouldn’t be very welcome in their homes if they thought I would be critical. Sometimes it is hard to accept what they ingest, especially in light of some of their diseases; myasthenia Gravis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, IBS, Gerd, and weight problems. I do regret that I went the low fat route….it was the ” thing to do”. Ladies….I wish you the best…I think you are doing a great job! One piece of advise, if I may be so bold. As important as the nutrition is……if you are stressed because of lack of cooperation or you are stressing your family because of their lack of cooperation, I believe the damage done to each of you is worse than the junk food. Model the behavior, be joyful, and love your family even if you catch them eating Captain crunch with sugar! Because…before you know it…you’ll be a young 70 years old! :)

  17. Erika Siegel says:

    You go mama! This is excellent and sadly so true. We all have to keep up the fight and hopefully soon people will wake up. Thanks for your work.
    Erika Siegel ND

  18. Gladys says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you! Since I started my son on GF/CF this has been the issue too. But reading your blog makes me feel much better because my son is eating healthier. I’m glad I have not had an issue with his school.

  19. Dani says:

    You kno0w, reading this makes me feel slightly less irritated at my son’s school.

    There is no “tuckshop” for kids to buy their lunch from, it comes from home or they don’t eat. There is a no food policy for birthdays. There is, understandably, a no nuts policy – which makes it hard when your ASD child goes off eating cheese and is living on Nutella or Peanut Butter sandwiches at home…. There’s no juice allowed because it will “cause envy in the kids who don’t have it”. And they recently banned JAM (ie, cooked fruit spread) because it’s “a sometimes food”. There’s also a no eggs policy which rules out the only other thing I can get him to eat in sandwiches. And because of how he is – Sandwiches are LUNCH foods Mum!!!

    I’m about at the stage where I’m going to have to pick my boy up from school in order to FEED him.

  20. Mich says:

    My kids have no allergies but I am against feeding them garbage that is horrible for their health. I pack snack for my daughter for school and yet there were times when she did not eat the snack she askded for because she was allowed to have whatever refined, gmo, food coloured snack someone else brought in for school. I do not understand why schools are not strickt about this! Long story short this year I made up the fact that she is lactose intollerant (which she kind of is but it is very mild) It helped but not completly it depends on who the assistant teacher is as there are two of them that have alternate days. It drives me nuts!
    Same thing with drinks we only drink water at home yet she’s getting juice at school, seriously people. It makes no sense.

  21. Jessica says:

    Well done. I agree that, as one comment said, “the world has gone mad”. It truly has when it comes to food. We (culturally speaking… though obviously not the people contributing here) have somewhere along the line forgotten that eating is supposed to give us energy and help us grow. Period. What we put in our mouths is supposed to nourish our bodies. That’s the point of eating. But now, in this world gone mad, people have forgotten that. They eat because they have cravings, are addicted, because they are emotional, because, well, because it’s THERE. They eat stuff that isn’t food and think it is food. They don’t connect the dots between being malnourished and feeling bad. Mad. And then, when we (parents) try to get back to basics and provide the truly nourishing stuff, we get ridiculed. Good grief.

  22. AMEN! I’m right now fighting with the local rec center to offer a preschool aged class that is food free. The classes run for 1.5 hours. Why is that too long to go without a snack? Feed your kid before you send him and have a snack ready when you pick him up if you must. It’s insane. One class is a gardening class. 1.5 hours. Gardening. It has a snack. I’m starting to believe it’s just pure laziness on the part of the teachers. Gives them a break.

    Here, we have to send the kids their own snacks, so I don’t have to worry about what someone else is feeding them, but my kids have food allergies that are quite intense. Not peanuts. No, not the one most people actually understand. Wheat. One of my boys has anaphylactic type reactions (sometimes, sometimes hives, sometimes internal distress…) to wheat. He also has celiac disease. And autism. And a tendency to put everything in his mouth. So no, he can’t be in the same room as anyone eating wheat. And every parent out there sends crackers, sandwiches, etc. It drives me NUTS.

  23. Charlotte says:

    I agree with what you are saying and relate to you because when I bend on allowing gluten and other junk I feel horrible. But there is one little thing I want to point out that I have learned personally after parenting a child with autism for six years. First before telling you I have to point out that I am one of those women who struggled big time with her husband. Because of him and a few other factors I just do an 80/20 Paleo Diet. The thing I want to point out is that you seem angry and unfortunately diet is an issue that is dividing ppl. Do you know that I cannot even invite certain friends to my daughter’s upcoming party because my husband said it looks so bad to them that we did not attend their’s. He has friends who give their kids Ritz on a regular basis. Basically it’s like we are no longer friends. Do you know how many ppl stopped visiting how many places we could not go, and how many events we did not attend because of junk food, and because my husband does not want me to bring along food from home? He feels it is depriving them to live a little. He is fine with them eating the way we do at home but if he goes to the ball game he wants to give our son a hot dog and otherwise he won’t bother going. I don’t want my kids to miss out on other important things in life, just because of a fantasy I have to cure my son, a fantasy that so far has proven to only be just that. Ppl can look down their nose at those of us who say the diet does not cure everyone’s autism, but unless they can raise my kid and put up with all the aggression I went through with him when his diet was strict, they should just keep their crap to themselves! You are doing your best and I relate to you in so many ways. But if your kid eats a piece of pizza once in a while it is not going to kill him instantly and it may just take some stress off your back. After all, stress is supposed to be the worst thing for our gut flora, not diet itself.

    • B.K. (The Booty Kicker) says:

      Charlotte, while I understand that your situation is different, gluten causes my son to self-injure. Everyone’s situation is different. My son has several horrible days after a food infraction. Because of his tendency to hurt himself, we have to be careful. And because of his history of anaphylaxis, we have to be SUPER DUPER careful. He had a contact reaction to the cupcakes this weekend. Just because cupcakes were in the room, and someone touched a cupcake, and then touched the toys they handed him. An allergic reaction. We have been GFCF for 5 years, I know diet alone is not going to cure him. But it sure as heck makes his life easier for him and keeps him out of severe pain. As long as that is the case, I will continue to fight whatever obstacles get in my way of keeping him healthy. I respect your point of view and your situation but I’m not going to feed my kid food that makes him sick just because it makes other people uncomfortable. It’s my job to keep him from hurting.

    • B.K. (The Booty Kicker) says:

      And I just want to say also, I have a lot of sympathy for you. I couldn’t do this without my hubby’s support. He is able to see the way my son’s behavior deteriorates with a food infraction, and that is what keeps us going. If it weren’t for that, we would have probably quit the diet long ago. But with my son, the difference is so obvious.

      • Charlotte says:

        I do understand fully that everyone has a different situation and I am sure that if my son did have a serious and obvious reaction to any food my husband would not hesitate but he would not knowingly endanger his child. He just fails to understand the effects of occasional junk food time and time again. My husband did support the diet for two years but he started gradually screwing it up around two years because he said it was not making any difference. There are ppl who claim that certain diets can cure autism and I was not saying at all that you are one of them. When I first started I really wanted to believe that with all my heart. There are indeed many children who get better when they simply avoid dairy. But my son is such a difficult case because he shows no obvious reaction to any foods. I thought maybe he does not sleep well when he eats gluten but it is hard to tell, it’s so vague with him. His autism is all behavioral and there are no obvious physical health problems. I just think that everyone in every situation should only do the best they can and do what they have to do, don’t worry about ppl who refuse to understand, because that’s what I did, trying to measure myself up to mothers who had husbands who fully supported and even did the diet themselves. I know so much about food and how harmful junk food and even some “healthy” foods are but I know that the tension that was created by following a strict diet was far more difficult and unhealthy than the food itself. All I’m saying is that other things can be bad for a child too, like tension, like being an isolated mother. I will always hold a bit jiggers standard than the average person when it comes to diet but if I go back into the 100% strict thing, even though my son has very significant autism, I would be doing it all by myself.

    • Stacie says:

      I totally understand how uncomfortable diet can make social situations, but I had very understanding friends who didn’t mind that I brought something different for my kids. We have never declined an invitation to a birthday party because of food. All I had to do was talk to the other mom, explain the situation, and ask if it’s okay if I bring something that my kids can have. Everyone was completely understanding and supportive. My kids have never felt left out of the “food experience”. I’ve never been denied taking outside food to an event, because they will allow it for food allergies. My husband understands that it is for their health, though he was resistent at first.

      I agree that violating the diet once in a while won’t be a big deal, unless there is a severe, life-threatening reaction involved. I’ve allowed my kids to break the rules or have something we don’t normally have once in a while. But I do have to be careful or one of them will end up with a stomach ache or running to toilet constantly. Then I point out the cause of it, and becomes a natural deterrent for them.

  24. Martha Donnelly says:

    This is one of the many, many reasons we home school.

  25. Thank You for writing this… I am getting that book and hope to bring it to the next SHAC meeting for my district (School Health Advisory Committee) which I just found out about this year that all schools in our state are required to have, with PARENT REPRESENTATION…
    to discuss everything from food to sex education and everything child Health and Safety related in between…

    • Thinkingmominthedesert says:

      What state are u in? Wonder if my state has that….hmm I shall look into that & add it to the neverending list! Haha

  26. AbbyE says:

    Hate cupcakes. They r so nasty. Our daycare will only allow store bought treats but I am so gratful our elementary school doesn’t allow anything nor do the have holiday parties

  27. Shannon says:

    The comment about crap processed food being less expensive than Whole food is ridiculous. You can go to Costco and get meat in bulk feed a whole family multiple times and it’ll be less than BK’s whopper meal. We actually have a small butcher shop that sells hormone free antibiotic free chicken for less than conventional grocery store chicken. There are so many alternatives especially for the bargain shopper. They may not all be organic, but they’re healthy,

    Maybe it’s an ASD thing, but my son also prefers water and plain milk. He doesn’t care for juice or soda. He does have major food issues so I tried juicing fresh organic produce for him but he doesn’t like it.

    I tried the gluten free casein free diet. I bought books did research but he doesn’t like anything. Including McDonalds. He eats cheese, yogurt, bread, strawberries, chicken, and fish. These things are even hit or miss. If I don’t offer him the foods he prefers he will starve himself. He’s lost weight and his health has declined. I’ve given in, I let him eat his preferred foods but wish I could get him to broaden his tastes. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m willing to cook or buy anything!

    • Abhijit Patwardhan says:

      He won’t starve himself if you do not let him eat certain things, but always offer something else to eat with EXCITEMENT and CONVICTION that this is good for him.
      Try it!
      Once we saw this work, we knew it was possible to do whatever it takes to heal our child through GAPS, SCD, WAPF, Gluten Free, etc.

      • Charlotte says:

        I strongly disagree with ppl on these diets predicting what other ppl’s children will do. With all due respect her son very well could starve himself, my son will literally pass out if I tried to wait on him to eat eggs for breakfast. I did the GAPS Diet for two years and while it was possible to get my son to fill up his day with GAPS legal foods, I could not decide which foods those were, and any attempt at it resulted in aggression not only toward me but toward my daughter who was a baby. It was a very unsafe situation for me to continue on being so extremely hard on him. Now still on a day to day routine he eats GAPS/Paleo, but I will no longer be eliminating fruits or raw veggies that he can snack on when I am cooking. No one helps me cook all this food from scratch and then take my son to therapy, change his diapers, yes diapers, take care of my daughter and meet my husband’s desire for a clean house and his lack of interest in supporting a strict dietary protocol that seemed to be causing behavior problems. Try explaining “die off” to him or anyone I knew when my son is biting people, smacking ppl every time they turn around, and popping himself in the head, you will get nothing but stubborn skepticism. I guess what I am saying is people do need to understand that everyone’s situation is very different.

      • Whoa. Who the hell are you to say what her child will or will not do? My child will most certainly starve herself if I do not feed her food she likes. I tried once, at the urging of my idiot pediatrician. She didn’t eat for 4 days, and I ended up having to give her pedialyte by syringe, while her Dad held her down. Now, she gets the healthiest food I can get into her, lots of vitamins, and a detox program. Because that’s the best I can do.

    • Robyn says:

      There is Daiya non-dairy cheese, Udi’s gluten free bread, and Coconut yogurt if you’re trying GFCF. I use almond milk instead of milk. Maybe you could get sneaky and change one thing at a time. Start mixing half almond, half milk and then gradually switch it to all almond. Same with the cheese. I found when I got my daughter 100% GFCF then she opened up to new foods. The chicken and fish is great. Make sure you get the strawberries organic though, they are loaded with pesticides.

    • Diana says:

      Hi Shannon,
      I have some information which may be of benefit to you. Please email me (with your name in the Subject line so I know it is you). Cheers, Diana.

  28. debi says:

    WELL SAID. It is SOOO hard to convince them to WANT to make the right choices when the whole yummier horrible side is EVERYWHERE. I just wanted to add, that even parents with kid with no obvious “reactions” to foods are in the same boat too. I spent time researching the benefits of becoming whole food, sugar free, vegans – initially just for myself – and then as I researched I knew I had to extend it to my children and at least expose them to this way of eating, so they will hopefully chose to continue in adulthood ( not easy with a 13 yr old who LOVES junks even though she has always been limited in it). Anyway, I feel your pain, how a person eats will either save their life or kill them slowly and painfully with no quality of life – it should be drilled into kids AT SCHOOL from K-12 that food wont just help your health- your health is 100% DEPENDENT on what you eat ALL THE TIME. MANY of us, feel your pain. :)

  29. SavageTMR says:

    My son (who is type 1 diabetic) came home with tons of sugary treats from his Christmas parties this year–gifts from teachers who are well aware of his diabetes–after I asked them to please give him non-food gifts. Extremely frustrating!

  30. The only thing my daughter with autism drinks is water and when some people hear that, they react as if it is some sort of neglect. “Well, can’t she have pop?” “Well, why not give her juice?” First of all, she has many food allergies and sensitivities. Second of all, she has been offered healthy choices her entire life and she hates everything but water. And thirdly (and most importantly), What is wrong with her only drinking a high-quality water? I’ll tell you what – nothing.

    I don’t tell others how to feed their children. But we live in such a world full of junk food, that it’s as if some people don’t even know how to react to a child that might not like, or drink anything but water.

    • B.K. (The Booty Kicker) says:

      Oh Debbie, we get the SAME thing. My son is the SAME exact way. He is eleven and only drinks water. He wouldn’t drink soda or Kool-Aid if you gave it to him. He’s never had any. He LOVES water. But when I ask for water in church for him instead of Kool-Aid, people act like I’m making him eat a bar of soap or something. Like, POOR POOR KID, him mom only lets him have WATER!!! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! ABUSE! ABUSE! It’s so crazy!

  31. KarenS. says:

    Amen! This past summer I enrolled my 6-year-old son (somewhat severe, non-verbal autism) in a special needs 1/2 day camp. I was reassured that they have a lot of experience with children who are on special diets. He was a holy terror for almost the whole 6 weeks – biting counselors and other children every day. Meltdowns – lots of meltdowns. Two counselors who were assigned to him actually quit. Well, guess what? I learned on the LAST DAY that he had been having dietary infractions EVERY DAY at day camp. He snuck/stole snacks from other kids during snack time. Apparently, these people with supposed experience dealing with special diets didn’t think to CHANGE my son’s snack routine so that this wouldn’t be an issue. They would have never told me about the infractions if I hadn’t asked point-blank if he was having them every day. I was furious. FURIOUS! Hmm… wonder why he was being so aggressive? Could it be that his stomach was KILLING him??? Dumb asses…

  32. Liz P says:

    What never ceases to amaze me is that, by feeding my children allergen-free, non-GMO, organic, whole food, I was targeted by a local pediatrician for “starving and malnourishing” my children. I asked whether he makes this accusation to parents who feed their kids fast food two meals a day and conventional candies for the rest; his response was, “No,” those children will get good nutrition in their restaurant food because it has gluten and dairy. It is tragic how checked-out the “professionals,” who are responsible for disseminating “health” information, truly are. We are lucky that our private school is committed to their students – a well-balanced lunch is required each day and sweets are not permitted as part of it; the school does have celebrations, but is careful to only provide my children (and some others, too) with their parent-provided treats…If only the rest of the country would adopt this approach!!!

  33. Jill says:

    Amen! Testify! I am exhausted fighting the crap-pizza-and-cupcake brigade. My 8 yr old attends a private school for kids with special needs–there are only a few kids with Aspergers, but a lot of ADHD, dyslexia, SPD, emotional dysregulation…you know *issues*. I am the ONLY mom who is on the good food = good brain wagon. (My NT kindergarten’s class in public school is better!) Just before the Christmas party I got an email saying “We’re just having Doritos, M&Ms and Capri Suns because no one likes the healthy stuff.” AAAARRRGGGHHH

  34. Gisselle says:

    Blaze, Thank you so much for this post. I am behond f-ing exhausted with trying to find ways to keep my kids healthy. It’s tough when others around you simply do not understand the concept that in fact “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”. Seriously, it seems like they are so brainwashed that they can’t get their puny little brains around this concept. My kids are young enough still 6 & 8 that I feel I can control these outside forces a bit; but I often wonder for how long. I am trying to teach the oldest one who is a typical kid to eat the right things, but I often see her coming home with candy she was given for “being good”. It infuriates me to no end. They always have pizza days and I allow it cause unlike her brother, “she’s typical”. But at the end I end up feeling disappointed at myself like I’m being a bad parent. This is so insane. I wish the world around me would finally realize the importance of food and the role in plays in our kid’s life. I do feel so very alone. Thank you for this post.

  35. I couldn’t agree more! Why is that we, who know what kind of crap kids are eating these days, are so outside the norm? This is one of the reasons why I became a health coach.

    I was so frustrated when my older son was in preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade because, as you were saying, there was a party (with the crap food) almost every day. As much as I would try to head these kinds of situations off by having his own stash of my homemade cupcakes in the nurse’s freezer, somehow there were always other non-birthday parties where he would get the crap food. At least birthday parties at school are not celebrated with food anymore!

    I find that most people are not willing to do the work because it’s “too hard” and “not fun”, and they’d rather give their kids lifelong pharmaceuticals (Ritalin, allergy medicine, Prevacid, Miralax, etc.) rather than cook their own food, even if they have the time.

  36. Really Think says:

    Maybe instead of venting you all could help make the organic foods you can afford available and affordable to those less fortunate than you. Less healthy foods are also the cheapest. This is why your “jail-quality slop” is what’s available to less fortunate people. Enjoy your luxury, but please don’t tell others to buy better food when a lot of people have to buy gas too, and pay for even the expenses public school education incurs.

    • SavageTMR says:

      I have to disagree with you. 5 pounds of bananas cost almost the same as one box of Twinkies. A bag of frozen veggies cost just over a dollar. Drinking water instead of soda or sugary drinks is a lot cheaper. There are always healthy options for every budget. Even if you can’t do organic, you can do healthy.

      • Really Think says:

        I’m not saying that fruits and vegetables aren’t affordable, period. At least, to those who know where their next meal comes from. Homeless/unemployed families can’t buy frozen veggies because they have no way to heat them if there’s no way to pay for heat or electricity or a HOUSE. Where will they keep their 5 pounds of bananas? Hunger affects thousands of people a year. People deserve a hot meal. But educating others on nutrition or starting a program to bring organic produce or product to the needy isn’t nearly as easy as venting or putting extra pressure on others to take more responsibility for your children.

      • Sunshine says:

        Really Think, Your comment about homeless people deserving a hot meal…absolutely true. But homeless people deserve a quality meal too, and there are places that do provide that. My husband volunteers at one such place. http://www.miriamskitchen.org/meals

        You are completely missing the point of the article.

      • @ReallyThink

        Generally, I agree with you. There are entirely too many posts in various forums about how everyone should eat healthy, when that is completely unfeasible for many people. However, in this post, she’s talking about the people she knows, in the area she lives in. When she says, “jail-quality slop” she’s talking about the food they’re fed at school, which we all know could be MUCH healthier, but schools are underfunded terribly. That’s not a shot at poor people. That’s a shot at a society that’s willing to skimp on children’s food when there is more than enough money to pay for it.

    • SB says:

      I understand your point about organics being very expensive, but NOT offering total garbage (think the blue-icing cupcakes and the sugary drinks) is also an option. When our country ultimately understands the long-term expense and effects on our national debt due to chronic illness and healthcare expenses, perhaps things will turn around in our culture. When the food we eat is akin to smoking cigarettes, then maybe healthcare officials will take note.

      And while it is cheap to eat at McDonald’s, etc. it is still cheaper to broil a small piece of meat, steam a few stems of broccoli and a cup of rice (none of which has to be organic) and call it dinner. People just don’t WANT that. And water is always cheaper than soda.

    • Bktmr says:

      I can relate to your issues with money – I can’t afford to buy all organic food either. We do the best we can. What I DO though is try to keep my son fed the best that I can. He has not only sensitivies with gluten and casein but also life-threatening allergies. What I see being stated in this article is that food is EVERYWHERE, and as hard as I try to keep safe food only in my son’s diet, there is crap food everywhere that threatens his health and safety. I take my son to church, he is there for an hour and 15 minutes, yet there is always a snack time? Why? Is that really necessary? If they cannot afford to feed the children healthy snacks, it would be best to just skip snacks altogether, and let them eat at home. Also, let’s talk about WATER. It’s FREE. And so much better for you than Kool-Aid, cheaper than Kool-Aid, and it won’t cause behavior problems! Sugary sodas are expensive. SO MANY TIMES our kids are being fed junk, not because they are hungry – it seems to be just a social pleasure. But it is causing much more harm than good. And what is the obsession our culture has with cupcakes these days? Cupcakes everywhere, all the time. NOT NECESSARY. It’s not going to satisfy anyone’s hunger. I would urge you to re-read this article – I think you misunderstood what Blaze was talking about. She wasn’t criticizing anyone’s decisions about not buying organic food. We all do the best we can. We just don’t need anyone undermining our efforts.

    • C’mon. There have been countless side by side studies of fast food meals vs. home-cooked meals, packaged snacks vs. fruit and vegetables, etc. that find that real food is LESS expensive that convenience eating. Yes, buying straight from a farm is more expensive than grocery store meat, and organics are more expensive than conventional, but none of that is what this article is about. If you are buying refrigerated cookie dough or soda or packaged snacks and gatorade for a 45 minute soccer game (things ACTUALLY mentioned in this article) then you can’t whine about money troubles being the reason.

    • Jai says:

      @ Really Thinks

      How are blue iced cupcakes a budgetary necessity? What do M&M maths class rewards have to do with the homeless? Where does this article insist others take more responsibility for our children? Who suggested banana kitchens for people with no HOME? How can you justify making assumptions about the writer’s social or financial status? I suspect you just came here for the sake of argument, but have only succeeded in making yourself appear ridiculous. Well done! You’ve definitely earned yourself a Twinkie.

  37. Bridget W says:

    Thank you for this article. It is hard enough to spend so much time researching and purchasing, finding recipes for and preparing healthy, organic, gf/cf , everything-free food for our kids but then they “have” to have snack at every event or every day at school/church…it drives me crazy to try and provide something different for my kids and keep up with all of it.
    @Robyn…you do not have to use food for ABA…people told me that my son would quickly get tired of his reinforcers and I would soon resort to food. But I have never used food for him over 3 years of ABA. There are plenty of things like high fives, gross motor activities, drawing, verbal praise that continue to be rewarding to him. So, go with your gut on that. No food necessary.

  38. Great article! It’s frustrating how difficult it is to raise healthy kids in our current society. I definitely feel that so many of the parents out there think their children need to have these junk foods to be happy or to celebrate events. A great big high five to that principal in Atlanta for doing the right thing and getting great results. The proof is in the pudding (chia pudding, of course) :)

  39. Megan says:

    I do all I can to keep my kids eating and drinking only good stuff. My kids have never had soda and people look at me like I’m a freak! They don’t really like juice, but sometimes they have it but I only allow them 100% juice and if the soccer snack mom brings Hi-C boxes, my kids don’t get it. They look at me like I’m evil, but I don’t care. My job is to keep you as healthy as I can while it’s in my power to do so. If they want to pump their kids up with crap, let them. They’re not pumping mine. Our elementary school does not allow food AT ALL. Not for parties, not for celebrations, not for rewards. I’ll admit their holiday parties are kinda dull, but at least I don’t have to worry about my kids being served slice-n-bake cookies and red-dye morsels. It’s just one less thing I need to worry about, or come up with a Plan B to circumvent. (and I agree – why, why, why does everything require a snack?! They played little kid soccer for 45 minutes — do they really need a snack at half time AND after the game?! Arrrgh!! Look to these little practices for one of the many sources of childhood obesity! We never let kids STOP eating!).

  40. AmyinIdaho says:

    For those of us eating non-gmo, non-allergen, non-processed, whole food, yada-yada-yada, gathering food in this country is a full-time (and stressful) activity. Honestly, we are starving in a food-obsessed culture. A huge reason for homeschooling my kiddo was food. Even in the most supportive of school environments, infractions happen and I was exhausted with trying to make ‘comparable’ party snacks and cakes. The world has gone mad.

  41. Michelle says:

    Thank you, my sentiments exactly! Two classroom activities this week, a community outing to a pizza restaurant to make and eat pizza and a cooking curriculum project to make mac and cheese out of the blue box.

  42. Sugah says:

    Amen, sista.

  43. B.K. (The Booty Kicker) says:

    I used to watch the other kids in Children’s Church be fed orange cheez puffs and orange Kool-Aid (while I gave my son his gfcf cookie I brought from home and a cup of water). Honest to goodness the staff used to look at me like I was crazy for making my son drink water. He LOVES water! He has never had Kool-Aid, EVER, and he is eleven years old. He wouldn’t touch their Kool-Aid if they gave it to him. But then afterwards, they would expect all the kids to sit still and listen to stories and be quiet. Riiiiiiight. To me it’s like the whole world has become zombies and have lost the ability to THINK. This should be common sense. But we’ve had our brains sucked out of us or something. It’s CRAZY. I think this is my favorite post EVER. Thank you for addressing this, Blaze!!

    • Thinkingmominthedesert says:

      Lol @ the zombies!! It is a zombie nation!!! My boys love water also. One time, we had no choice out n about & the only drink for them was HiC fruit punch. My Lil guy took a sip, made a face like he was gonna puke & said it tasted like poison & no thank u he’ll wait til we get home! That’s what happens when u start from birth!! They enjoy 100% all natural REAL juice but I’ve been watering down their juice cups by half since they first tasted it as babies- till this day they PREFER drinking juice watered down as opposed to total straight pure juice. I’ve also been adding a shot of prune juice to their apple juice since they were little & now they r used2it. We also add many of their supplements to this mixture & they down it no prob. Btwn the mixing, adding, shaking, measuring- i feel like a bartender making happy hour cocktails at my kitchen island! Haha

  44. SB – A big hug to you. All the mamas here, actually. But SB, I’m in a similar situation with my oldest. It is so, so hard. There are no good answers, and no one can know what they would do until they’re in your shoes. The frustration is enough to break anyone… The effort of good food sourcing, home-cooking, replacements for everything all the time… all to have the effort refused, resented, thrown in your face… I swear the stress of it all is taking years off our lives, thank God we have good diets. Anyway, it’s nice to have some community here. We can only do our best, be activists where we can, and pray I suppose. Thanks for this post.

  45. Robyn says:

    I totally agree! I belong to an online support group for autism moms, and the overwhelming response when I mention changing diet and focusing on nutrition is that their kid would never eat like that! Its too hard. They are so addicted to the junk that they refuse to eat anything nourishing! What parents don’t seem to get is that they are the ones buying the junk! Its difficult once they get out into the world and are faced with the junk food nation we live in, but come on, you can at least teach them how to eat right at home! Why can’t parents understand that healthy food feeds the brain? Its simple, garbage in, garbage out. I totally disagree with the ABA approach of offering food as a reward, as its usually a junk food, and it reminds me of training a dog. I will be starting ABA soon, and I’m going to tell them I don’t want to do the food rewards. I think it sets kids up to have issues with food, they will feel forever that if they do well that they should be rewarded with food. Its why people become obese! This society is so messed up right now, I spend half my life reading labels and cooking food from scratch because 90% of it has some kind of chemical or GMO crap in it. Why should juice have GMO soy oil and high fructose corn syrup in it? Things are not as nature created them anymore, nature did just fine before greedy humans stuck their dirty fingers in everything we eat these days.

    • Hi Robyn, I have 3 kids on the spectrum, and we’ve been the ABA route. Before you start, please check out Son-Rise (http://www.autismtreatment.org). It is a lovely, gentle, acceptance based approach. And no one there is going to suggest food rewards! In fact, they highly recommend a whole foods diet.

      I’m not affiliated with them. I’m just a Mom who is running a Son-Rise program with my kids, and finding that it fits my crunchy holistic attitude a lot better than ABA ever did.

      • Robyn says:

        I have researched it quite a bit. I like it very much, it sounds wonderful. I am willing to try anything, we’ve been doing biomedical and speech therapies, so far so good. The ABA is not exactly in line with how I think, but I want to see how my daughter responds to it. We will get 4 hours a week paid for. Our speech therapist is willing to work with the ABA woman, and come at it from more of a floortime approach, so a bit more play based. Unfortunately we don’t have anyone able to implement the son-rise program here, and I don’t have the hours to tackle it myself as I own my own business. If I had the opportunity, I would love to get there and take the workshop, I just can’t figure out a way to afford it and get time to do it.

  46. Silvia says:

    This why I tell everyone its not you who suffers but my children do in the long run. with all those cupcakes and candy….

  47. Jennifer Rossi says:

    Love this article. When my son was in 1st grade, they had what was called Friday’s Book and Cook. I cannot tell you how much money I had to spend in one year (I should have saved my receipts and presented it at a school board meeting) on safe food for my oldest son because he cannot have all the junk they were giving due to learning problems. It was all processed and filled with dye; It was horrible. He is finally older and the teachers don’t do that stuff anymore in the 4th grade but I have another little one in kindergarten who is neuro typical, but I still do not want him eating that stuff. It is not good for anyone. I am going to follow your lead and buy that book for our principal too.

  48. Stacey Hall says:

    Wait until they become teens. You literally have no control at that point and it’s frustrating. Hopefully they return to eating well when they get older.

  49. DonnaT says:

    GREAT ARTICLE – I’ll be sharing it on my fb wall. I am trying to do my best to do right by my son and myself – but after years of not thinking about what I put in my mouth – it’s hard. And it doesn’t help that the world at large conspires against healthy eating. I loved that you sent that book to the school administrators – here is hoping they’ll actually read it and take some steps to change things within their school. My son isn’t in school yet – but he goes to a daycare with a lunch program and they won’t let me send in food for him – maybe I should give her this book too. They try to do right but there is more that can be done.

    • Thinkingmominthedesert says:

      How could they not let u send in for for him!!! I don’t know the kind of prgrm it is but in most schools, they give u cards to fill out in Sept asking abt asthma, food allergies, etc… You need to write down on every appropriate form, in ALL CAPS, red ink, star it and underline it 3x: MY CHILD MAY ONLY EAT FOOD FROM HOME!!!! If there is a problem with the teacher, go talk to the schl nurse who should be the most understanding one in the building & can help u drive home the importance of this issue to the teacher. My son began GFCF, organic, no crap,etc..at 27mo. At 35mo he was starting ECSE preschool prgrm (autism classrm) & I felt like I was sending my baby off to be eaten by wolves. An intro letter that mentioned his food needs in his backpack wasn’t enough for me. I took 3 of those “hi,my name is…” nametags, wrote w/black sharpie in big letters “DO NOT FEED ME SCHOOL FOOD! REWARD ME WITH STICKERS! ONLY FOOD FROM HOME!” and stuck them on the front of his shirt everyday for the first two weeks of school!! And did it again for the next 3yrs. (Now he can tell them himself!!:) Yes I was the crazy overbearing pain in the ass parent&I still am! U have to be!!! NO ONE will care about your child’s best interest like u!! Stay involved always!

  50. Ana Maria Abba says:

    Totally agree. The crap they feed my NT DD at school is appalling.

    All kids need to eat healthy. Why is this such a hard concept to get? I am like the crazy organic lady who is very strict with her kids.

    Sigh

  51. SB says:

    You said everything I’ve ever felt on this topic! Thank you! While I do not have a child on the spectrum (have a dear nephew on it), I tried so very hard to feed my family responsibly when the kids were young. And as mainstream as I appear, I was always the food weirdo. I knew all the soccer moms were talking about me when I asked WHY the kids needed snacks after games (didn’t they just eat lunch?), and then conceded to, “Well, could we just bring healthy snacks and waters?” That was still too weird. The teachers thought I was a total PITA when I asked them not to reward my child with candy. (And my daughter cried when she found out.) And they continued to do so.

    Then my kids started telling me that I was the weirdo because I didn’t buy Pop Tarts, or I didn’t let them get ice cream every day at the pool. (Have you noticed how chubby your friend is?) Other parents told me that my children ate them out of house and home and perhaps it was because I “never” let them have any “treats”.

    Trips to the grocery store with them were hellacious. They actually quit eating food at our house – no joke. I tried to hold my ground, but when your child refuses to eat for three days, you start to cave. (And peeps, I’m not talking about anything weird here – just real food.) They are now 17, 13 and 9, and I have lost the battle. I actually gave up. It began with hitting the drive through in a hurry. Not wanting to rock the boat at a playdate, or having children throw away my expensive organic yogurt after one spoonful or seeing the words “all natural” or “organic” on foods and refusing to eat it as if it were poison. Now my kids refuse to let me pack a lunch and insist on eating in the school cafeteria because they want to be like everyone else. My oldest now drives and has some of his own funds, and he never eats at home, always choosing McDonalds or other fast food crap. It’s his teenage rebellion, and I suppose I should be grateful it’s not drugs and booze, right? But I’m heartbroken and mad. When you look around and see the obesity and the allergies and the bad behavior – why are we nuts? People wonder why they’re battling their weight or why their tweens still have their baby fat, and I just want to scream, “Have you looked at your grocery cart lately?” When did people stop eating real food?

    I realize that many of you will accuse me of not being in charge – not being the parent. But when you fight CONSTANTLY about food, it’s so tiring. Home was not a pleasant place to be – ever, so I stopped fighting. I pray that when they are adults that they will come back to the ways in which they were raised. My husband and I continue to eat real food as much as possible, and to make good choices when we eat out. Hopefully they will catch on as adults.

    • Angie says:

      SB, I totally hear you. I breast fed all 4 of my kids for 1+ years. I did not allow them any junk food until they were 2, (except what my hubby would sneak them). I have tried many times to omit certain foods. Caffine is one they know they are NEVER allowed. Even when I am not around. It is very hard to be the only one who understands and cares about what the family eats. It does start to beat you down. I try to explain to the kids, facts about where the food they eat comes from, what they are actually eating, and how it can hurt them. My 13 yr old gets it, but still makes bad choices sometimes, as we all do. I just hope that what I teach them now, while they are under my roof, will come back to them someday.
      Everyone, the biggest issue here is really that our government and big corporations are more interested in making money, than caring about the peoples’ health. We should not live in a world where you have to research every ingredient to see if it is GMO, or a chemical, or whatever. It is exhausting to shop healthfully. I truely envy these countries that have leaders who stand up for what is right. I don’t believe things will ever change in the U.S., so we all just need to do the best we can. Do your research, so you can make an informed decision.

  52. Laura says:

    Dear Blaze,

    Even my now 14 yr old son is disgusted by the food at school. One day his thermos leaked all over his lunch, ruining it. They tried to get him in the lunch line, he refused. They then tried to get him to go into the teacher’s salad bar line ( he loves salads and we are vegetarian), he said it looked gross. So they called me and I rushed a quick snack over to get him through the day.

    While we do not follow a typical autism diet, we do avoid artificial colors and preservatives ( make my son looney if he ingests too much). I have actualy heard him ask his friends if they read the ingredients on whatever colored candy they were eating. And, he is amazed at the huge amount of traffic at a newly opened fast food hamburger joint! He wonders if the people know how awful the food in there is? So, as our kids get older, some of what we are teaching is rubbing off on them and hopefully they will change the world!

  53. Erin says:

    A…..freaking MEN!!!!

  54. So glad you vented about this – I share your frustrations!

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