So, I very nonchalantly bought a wedge of brie last night at the store for Michael and I to have at breakfast this morning (love me some brie) and then it occurred to me when I woke up this morning that (duh!) I’m not supposed to eat brie because I’m pregnant. So I started doing a little research about what one can and shouldn’t eat and why and I resolved that since the brie is made with pasteurized milk, I am going to eat it…and ENJOY it. But I saw this comment on another blog and it got me thinking (and kind of annoyed):
“Funny, isn’t it, how the diet of pregnant women has become some sort of public concern – but once the kid is born, you can feed him all the crap you want (HFCS soda, etc.) and no one says a peep.”
Ok, I totally get that there are some things that are not safe to eat during pregnancy and I can live with that. Obviously, I don’t want to do anything to harm the health or well-being of my baby. And even though Europeans probably eat all the unpasteurized brie that they want (without batting an eye), I would argue that their standards of freshness and cleanliness on dairy farms are higher than ours are here in the good ol’ US of A.
But this reader’s comment just struck a chord in me. Why is it that people concern themselves so intensely with what pregnant women eat…and everything we do for that matter? I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard comments from people about my food choices during my pregnancy and that’s not even counting all the crap I’d take if I walked around telling everyone I’m on a primal/paleo diet. I got enough resistance to that in the beginning when I first found out I was expecting. People constantly asked me if I was planning to stay on my “diet,” which to me is not a diet, it’s a way of life. Even my doctor responded with, “You know you’ll have to eat that stuff again, right?” when I told her that I had stopped eating sugar and grains. And I consider myself a healthy eater. I wonder what people would say if I walked around with a Mountain Dew and a bag of chips all day.
I work with small children and was a preschool teacher for several years and I used to see parents bring their kids to daycare with chips, soda, cookies, brownies, poptarts and other such junk food…for breakfast. I’ve seen blue Hawaiian punch in baby bottles and sippy cups, lunch boxes filled with Oreos and gummy bears, and children who will eat nothing but hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and French fries. And seriously, nobody says a peep. But a three-year old is no more in control of their diet than a fetus, so why is it ok to make comments to pregnant women about their diets and not ok to make comments to a mom about what she feeds her child. I would be 100% willing to take the comments if I could walk up to some moms and say, “Seriously, you’re going to feed that to your kid?” I’m not sure that would go over too well.