Food for thought

2:31 PM

In the past few years there is one thing that always puzzled me about kids and meal time around here.

I have several neighbours with babies and toddlers around, all are Indian, and what I observed is that mothers gnerally carry their kids on the hip until extremly late in age, most seem to feed their tots on the roof of their house or in the street in a standing position. I don't see anything wrong there mind you, it could be cultural.
But what has me baffled is the fact that in ALL these case it seems it is the kid taking their mom for a huge ride and moms trying so hard to get food in their already quite chubby kiddos.

In a joint familly across the street the toddler in question seem to prefer running mini marathon in the street while his mom runs after him a tffin box in one hand, and the other full of dripping curd rice hoping he will just eat it. On few occasions the same kid even climbed on top of his dad's car and yup surely enough mom was climbing it too in her night gown.
Next door, there is another toddler that seem to treat the rooftop as his playground and always have his mom or other care giver run after him to get food into his tummy.
My other next door neighbour has a 9 months old chubby baby that she carry all the way up to the roof top to feed keeping him on her hip, balancing a tiffin box, a glass of milk and cajole him into taking a bite which he apparently wasn't interested in.

In all three senario, what I see is a kid that is clearly not hungry enough to take a meal sitting down, a mom that just is rolled all over by her little tot, and in general profound disrespect. Disrespect of food and meal that is, and it comes not only from the kid, in fact I would say the baby is just seizing the opportunity here, because it is the total lack of discipline enforcement that lead them to that inexcusable behavior. A parent is there to raise their kids, and teach them good manner, and in my opinion, it means that if I kid can't take a meal sitting down at this age, it means they can skip one and learn that food is a thing to be respected and earned. Not something mom will shove into your mouth just antime anywhere.

And you would think that in a country with such a high level of poverty and a wide margin of the population not eating enough, the better half would actually count their blessing and pass it on to their kids, but then think again!
As a kid if I didn't treat meal time with the utmost respect, I would go hungry for one meal, no snacks, no treat, and then later on I would have the guilt trip "You know there are countries in which kids don't have enough food, it is a shame to waste yours".
From the very start, food was taken from a chair, it was meal time...period. A pattern that I am repeating with my own daughter, I'll never feed her from my terrasse for all to see my "spirit of sacrifice" running after a running tot, Ishita is fed solids in her chair, 3 times a day, if she is eating 2 spoons, and then fuss I assume she isn't interested, take the food away, until the next solid meal, at her age food still comes mainly from formula anyway, but the point is i'm teaching her a valuable thing: Schedule. And I won't consider it mean to have her starpped to a high chair at meal time, or later to demand her to sit on a chair to have her meal. You can't play and eat at the same time.

Again I guess it is cultural, but then I think respecting the food in your plate is something that should be done regardless.


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