Only a monster would deprive a baby of ice cream, right?
You might have read the title of this article and shuddered with horror. What kind of person would not want to let their baby have ice cream? The very notion is absurd and fills us with anger.
When many kids celebrate their first birthday, they are usually given a bunch of cake and ice cream as the family gathers around with joy to watch them make a mess with it. It’s a tradition in a lot of homes in America.
Healthcare professionals recommend that babies can start eating ice cream between 6 – 12 months. Some may give their young ones ice cream even sooner than that.
But are we doing them any favors?
The reality is a baby doesn’t know that they’re missing out on ice cream if you do not give it to them. They’re not pacing the crib wondering when they’re going to get their first sweet bite. They’re not etching tally marks into the side of the wall counting down the days until they’re old enough to finally get ice cream.
People love their children and want them to be happy and excited. Giving them ice cream is a time-honored treat that shows we care and want them to experience the best things in life.
But what have we given them?
Not only are we filling them up with an abundance of added sugars, saturated fats, and a host of other harmful byproducts, but we are also displacing their eating habits at a very early age.
We’re essentially making them addicted to processed junk food. Now some kids can move on to have very healthy diets even after being bombarded with junk as babies and toddlers, but other kids never do.
Some toddlers and young children continue to crave highly processed sweets well into early adolescence at the rejection of anything healthy.
I once saw a 3-year-old whip herself onto the ground writhing in misery because her parents refused to give her dessert until she ate something “healthy”. She turned down chicken tenders and cheesy macaroni because she wanted the holy grail of junk food – ice cream.
They reject healthier foods because their brains are already wired to crave the high value of ice cream. They can react sometimes violently to not being given sweets because they are suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Highly processed sugary foods like ice cream trigger the reward system of our brains the same way as addictive drugs. It might be fun to watch their eyes light up with wholesome delight at their first ice cream cone like we did when we were kids, but perhaps it might be best to do them the favor of finding a better tradition.
We're not monsters for not giving our kids ice cream, we're monsters for giving it to them and then expecting them to eat vegetables the next day. It's like when we adults try to eat a salad in the morning after a night of heavy drinking when all we really want is pizza and cheesesteaks. We're just as inconsolable.
The best way to handle it is to not start the cycle to begin with.
Kids can be picky eaters, but if you start them off with good whole foods and continue the habit, they will have a very wide palate into adulthood.
They will be healthier, fight off infections easier, better resist government and media bullshit, and grow taller and smarter than the kids burdened with junk food addiction. Without force, we can raise healthy libertarian children.
When all is said and done, it is your decision as a parent. Not the government or the teachers. Do what you think is best for them.
Next, check out 6 Reasons You Should Eat Kiwi Every Day.