The Feeding Doctor on Pinterest

normalizing abnormal feeding, one mommy blogger at a time

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Blog Posts | 12 comments

I was watching Parenthood on Hulu last night and a commercial almost made me throw my computer against the wall. Here was a mommyblogger saying, “If you don’t eat it, Santa won’t come!” A little more poking around on Ragu’s site revealed more slick videos of mommybloggers chuckling and sharing how cute it is that they had to feed their kids in the tub for months, or that same mom’s 3 year old “makes her” spoon feed him like a baby…

Alas, the page has thousands and thousands of likes, it is probably very relatable to most moms who are struggling with feeding. What bugs me is that these mommies, held up as a resource are struggling, but instead of a thoughtful examination of what is going wrong, and giving helpful advice, it’s more of a jovialĀ  atmosphere, of, “Oh, these goofy kids!” While with real desperation she says. “I’d pay money to get them to eat!” I’m all for us moms having a shared community, sharing our struggles and looking for help and answers, but what this site seems mostly to do is normalize truly abnormal struggles with eating. Just because it’s really common for moms to go to great lengths to “get” a kid to eat chicken (one mom says, “I have to chop it into tinty, tiny pieces so it doesn’t even resemble food…”) doesn’t mean it’s OK, laughable or admirable.

Social media is powerful. Surveys say that folks like you and me are more likely to trust someone like us, than some “expert”. This is such a missed opportunity, and so harmful. I am tired of our culture normalizing abnormal when it comes to food.

It made me chuckle then to see that someone created a People Against Ragus Moms the Word page on FB. I liked it. I’m curious to see if it goes anywhere.

What do you think?

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12 Comments

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  1. Kirsten

    honestly its getting to the point that I wonder if living in “society” isn’t a huge mistake! I wonder if it wouldn’t be far more beneficial to relocate as far off the beaten track as possible, removing all manner of social and mass media, and raising our kids (when/if I’m priveledged enough to do so) as if we were early pioneers from the 1800’s. Or perhaps gather a group of like minded people, purchase some land so far out of reach of “civilisation”, and build our own society (kind of like that movie with Bryce Dallas Howard…..she plays a blind girl……agh, forget what it was called!) and raise them far from the glaring eyes of That’s Bad, This is Good, Only Goods Moms________, Bad Moms ___________ and other negative influences.

    Ragu. One more product I will boycott for perpetuating undesirable behavior in order to line their own pockets.

    • katja

      Kirsten, I agree. I have days where it gets to feel so tiring to fight all the insanity around food… At my daughter’s fall festival, one of the Kindergarten rooms has that ridiculous poster of the giant cupcake with the big slash through it saying, “Sweet-free zone.” It is so horrendous. Put a big poster of what the kids can’t have in their room so they can stare at it all day long. insanity. it’s ALMOST enough to make me want to home-school… It does make me cherish my friends who can enjoy food without comment or craziness…

  2. Jill Castle

    thanks for bringing attention to abnormal eating–it shouldn’t be glorified or normalized. This messaging, while creating a community of support, is misdirected. And in the long run just perseverates the nutrition challenges of childhood that turn into adult nutrition problems. Missed opportunity on Ragus part to truly help and educate parents.
    And the “getting kids to eat” part is a whole other problem, which I recently discussed on my blog.
    Thanks again for this piece of information!

  3. jaed

    Oy.

    I had my own throw-the-computer moment a few days ago when reading the comments to some article on Slate about the burning question of what to “do” about Halloween candy. One recommendation: inform the kids that any candy left over the next day will be thrown away. Because it’s never too early to teach your kids how to binge! Let’s teach ’em to hoard secretly, too – here today, gone tomorrow, so hide it while you can! There’s no such thing as too young to encourage an eating disorder!

    (And for the parents modeling disordered behavior, for that matter. Being so terrified of food that you throw it out? I can see where that might be a step in recovery, letting someone take more control… but parents should not be modeling this to their kids as normal behavior.)

    I couldn’t make myself finish the comments. (And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.)

    • katja

      I know. I wrote a while back about one MD who did a Huffpo article on how to stay on your diet at a BBQ. She actually advised rinsing the sauce off the cole-slaw. Come on people!

  4. Michellers

    I watched the Ragu commercial with horror then “liked” the People Against Ragus page immediately. Seriously, create a kid version of a drinking game at dinner to get your kids to take bites?! That makes you a fun mom?

  5. FatChickinLycra

    Years ago, I remember riding on a city bus with two women as they stuffed bites of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich into an unresisting toddler’s mouth. One said to the other, “He don’t know when he’s hungry.” All I could think was, “Yes, as a matter of fact, he does.”

    I come from a family of food pushers, and it can be maddening. At a certain point, it’s more about their need to feel needed than it is about my need for food.

    • katja

      He don’t know when he’s hungry and he don’t know when he’s full…Good point about feeling needed. So much of this feeding stuff is about the parent, not the child.

  6. Jennifer Hansen

    Reminds me of a discussion I read–was it here?–about how food is marketed to women: Eat it because you will become socially acceptably thin, because it is portioned or formulated in a way that will help you avoid the guilt of having eaten at all, because it carries the guilty (“indulgent,” “decadent”) thrill of eating “badly,” because it is a solitary pleasure that nobody has to know you enjoy. Looks like we need to add a subheading for moms: If you can’t make your kids eat it you will ruin them for life, so manipulate them into eating it any way you can. Look, ladies: not just guilt and shame on your own behalf, but lots of vicarious guilt and shame for your kids!

    The Division of Responsibility has removed so much stress from mealtimes. Thanks again.

    • katja

      yes, there is Oh so much guilt. If your kid is too skinny, too fat, eats dessert first at a party… Eh gads! So glad you are enjoying meals and your kids more!