One of those days

22 Apr

It’s been one of those days when all the little things add up and seem a bit overwhelming.  People have mentioned before that I ‘just get on with’ dealing with Adam’s allergies instead of moaning about it. But I do have days when I feel a bit lost in terms of knowing what to cook and feel pretty sad that I can’t give my son all the exciting foods, particularly fruit and vegetables that are in season.  I even ended up crying a bit in Sainsbury’s when we popped in on the way home to pick up a few things (and to wake up our little boy who was falling asleep in his car seat!).  It reminded me so clearly of why I try and avoid supermarkets at all costs.  The place is absolutely chock full of stuff Adam cannot eat (probably 99% of what’s on sale) and is also packed full with junk food that I would not want him to eat even if he had no allergies.  I was telling a friend this week, who was mentioning boycotting supermarkets, that allergies are such as blessing in many ways, not least because they mean you can’t just pick up whatever sugar/fat/salt combination that’s on offer (e.g. cakes, cookies).  Everything is so processed and so low on nutrition. Michael Pollan writes in a really engaging way about these exact sort of issues.  Check him out here.

Then again I feel incredibly blessed that although the overwhelming majority of foods in a supermarket tend to be unsafe for Adam, there are still amazing things we can still buy him.  So today we picked up some fresh pineapple and coconut for him, focusing on the things he can have.  I’m a bit gobsmacked that so far, he almost never ever asks for anything in a shop that he hasn’t already had before (and so knows is ‘healthy’ for him).  Similarly, when we’re with other kids, he never asks for their food or shows any interest in it.  In the house he also doesn’t get upset if we say something isn’t safe for him (if we have tomatoes our for example).

Apart from the low nutrition of so much supermarket ‘food’, there is the issue of the environmental and human health impact of the packaging.  Check out this article on how the plastics used to package food leach chemicals into our food. Cardboard can also leach toxic chemicals into our food (which makes me feel pretty awful for having let Adam chew on cardboard when he was tiny!).  So by being forced to cook from scratch almost all our food, we’re avoiding a lot of the chemicals that researchers and health experts the world over are increasingly getting worried about.

In addition, we’re side-stepping the whole kid-food industry where rubbish food is packaged in a way to appeal to little kids with ‘fun ‘characters etc.  Thankfully we don’t have  a TV so our son has seen almost no adverts in his life so far.  But I know that other friend’s kids can have tantrums asking for foods that are packaged specifically for kids, just because they like the pictures or associate them with characters they’ve seen on friend’s clothes, bags, wellies etc (have you noticed how ubiquitous ‘characters’ really are?!).  Sue Palmer, in 21st Century Boys, covers the incredibly aggressive marketing of low/no-nutrition foods at children.  I’m currently absorbed in reading Joel Bakan’s Childhood Under Siege which covers in detail just how, why and by whom our kids are being ‘ruthlessly’ targeted by corporations in ways that lead them to have much less healthy lives.  It’s nice to feel that for the time being, you’re  managing to keep your own child from being a target!



One Response to “One of those days”

  1. Madison May 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I bet you Adam is healthier than a lot of those kids in the supermarket demanding things from their parents!

    And how many kids out there get homemade treats and meals every single day?!

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