"Pushing" your beliefs about healthy eating on others...

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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At my kids' birthday parties and other get-togethers, I serve the same things I serve for special events with just the family. But I'm a bit uncertain whether I should provide things for the people who may not be of the same mind as I about eating healthfully. I don't feel I go at all overboard; but I do serve fresh fruit and veggies, rice crackers and organic cheese, and fruit juice, water, and milk instead of chips, cheese puffs, cookies and soda. At birthday parties we will have cake and ice-cream, which is all gluten-free (I have Celiac disease, and as long as I'm breastfeeding, my bf'd child is gluten free as well.) made with healthy alternatives to the less healthy ingredients. I usually use a naturally sweetened fruit topping on the cake instead of frosting, but will use frosting on occasion.

I'm planning my second son's third birthday party, and a friend recently confided in me that a few friends of ours grumble about having to take their kids to our events because there won't be anything "good" to eat. She says they feel like I'm trying to push my lifestyle on them and make them feel guilty for not eating better. That had never even crossed my mind! In all honesty, I don't like most junk foods. I got into healthy eating because fast food, processed foods, and sodas made me feel terrible, not because I think I'm some super mom! I'm not offended that they didn't come to me; I understand why that would be an awkward thing for them to bring up to me, (though I do wish I'd known how they felt so I could let them know I don't think poorly of them!) but I am at a loss. The kids always seem to really enjoy it, and I've never had a child complain because of the food served. In fact, one friend has twins that will jump out of their car and greet me with "Did you make carrots this time?!" :)

Should I be responsible for providing sodas and such for the people who don't enjoy the type of foods I'm serving? I did that for my eldest son's first birthday and was left with several bottles of soda and bags of chips that we ended up giving to a food pantry. I don't want to spend money on things that won't get used. Would it be rude to simply list a brief menu on the invitation along with a note that guests are welcome to bring dishes or beverages that would better suit their palate?

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Madeline - posted on 08/09/2011

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You serve what meets your requirements not others, if they don't like certain things that you do, then they can miss out (or their children will too). Please don't ever feel that you have to justify yourself to people with the choices of what you do with your family nor yourself in what you consume.
I myself am Lactose Intolerant and have to consider eating gluten free food, for my own well being and for my health. It does get irritating when people judge me on what I eat, they think I'm trying to loose weight what they don't realise that I'm highly allergic to these types of foods. At the end of the day, you are what you eat. I enjoy eating healthy too, you shouldn't feel guilty for doing the right thing for yourself and your family.
Like to what Linda Nasman mentioned, if they disagree or make an opinion on the food you are preparing for YOUR child's birthday tell them to bring a plate of nibbles.
Please don't feel the need to justify yourself to anybody! Make the food of your choice for your child's birthday, if your child is not complaining there opinion really doesn't matter :)

Nicola - posted on 08/08/2011

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sounds like a delicious menu to me its the kids party as long as they enjoy themselves tough to the parents.

Denikka - posted on 08/08/2011

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Agree with Linda and Crystal. They don't like what you're serving, let them buy and bring their own food. Especially if it's not the kids complaining.
I don't understand that though. I would be grateful that someone was giving my kids healthy alternatives rather than the sugar and junk you see at most birthdays (and parties in general). I'd probably be hitting you up for recipes rather than complaining behind your back.

Crystal - posted on 08/06/2011

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I agree with Linda. Allow people to bring their own treats if they don't like what there is to offer. If someone approaches you, just tell them how much better you feel when you eat healthy and you want to share the experience! Assure them that the children enjoy it...people seem to think that kids just automatically hate healthy foods??? Stand your ground, some may not like it, but even then people will see how important it is to you and may start to think more about it--and that's a start! Be open to their questions and encouraging.

Kellie - posted on 07/07/2011

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NO. They need to suck it up and deal, honestly people annoy the CRAP out of me.

"She says they feel like I'm trying to push my lifestyle on them and make them feel guilty for not eating better."

This is THEIR OWN guilt about not eating better being Projected onto you.

Continue doing what you do, if it bothers them that much they can always go get McDonalds on their way home if they didn't fill up on all the good and tasty stuff I'm sure you've worked your ass off to provide.

They have a COMPLETELY rude and ungrateful attitude if you ask me.

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Linda - posted on 07/04/2011

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If you're throwing a party, you get to plan the menu. If people don't want to come, that's their choice. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy soda if you don't want to. However, if you are comfortable with the idea, you could add to the invitation "feel free to bring additional beverages or snacks". Do not worry about other people's guilt. If they're feeling guilty, they should eat healthier, not expect everyone else to eat junk food! That is crazy!

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