Monday, February 26, 2007

fat end of the wedge

All of the meedja are up in arms at this story, that a child could be taken into care because he weighs 14 stone1. He's lost weight since Christmas so it doesn't seem to be Praeder-Willi syndrome. I do feel for the kid's mum but I also want to shout at her. The child is 8. He only gets to eat what adults give him to eat.
Ms McKeown, 35, told the BBC: "Connor had a mouthful of apple once and he didn't like it. a mouth full? once? he's hardly been encouraged to give them a go

"He refuses to eat fruit, vegetables and salads - he has I buy, prepare and give him processed foods.

"When Connor won't eat anything else, I've got to give him the foods he likes let him understand that that's all that's on offer and he can chose it eat it or not. Perhaps then he will try more than one mouthful of apple."
I know I'm not much of a one to lecture on healthy eating, but I have taken a strong "don't do as I do do as I tell you to" line with O. He doesn't have to clear his plate (urgh I hated that when I was a kid) but he does have to try a mouthful of everything and stay at the table till everyone's finished (it's amazing how often a plate pushed away as being disgusting ends up getting eaten), and he knows we're not going to make him something else if he doesn't eat it. Oh and there are apples in our house most days, also oranges pears bananas grapes persimmons plums apricots pomegranates etc etc, so eating them is not some exotic new experience, it's part of normal life. Now I know I've had it quite easy with O (a child who loves cabbage and brussel sprouts!2) and other parents with similar regimes struggle to get their kids to eat healthily, but that doesn't mean you have to indulge their every whim.

I suspect there's a lot more to this situation than we are being told, and that the child's weight may be a symptom of the reasons why social services are concerned, rather than the cause itself. The mum has free reign to present her side of things but social services are not so free to publish the detail of their concerns. Social workers are not all the pc witchhunt brigade they get painted as - although I might be biased as my mum was one. I'd like to discuss this case with her actually but her and me dad have galivanted off on a 5 week round the world ski-ing trip.

1. 14 stone = 196 lb = 98.9kg
2. Another reason to hate SunnyD is there 'no child is like Max Wild' ad campaign, based on the premise that normal kids don't like fresh fruit and veg so caring parents have to give them vitamins laced with sugar instead.

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