Friday, June 8, 2012

There's been a shitstorm over the last week after Chrissie Swan revealed her 3 year old is 7 kilos (14 pounds) overweight.

What did she expect when she revealed that bit of information to the world? If she thought everyone was going to tell her it was okay, then she was dead wrong.

This is the picture from The Australian Women's Weekly that pointed out Leo's weight gain.

Here's Chrissie's article that caused all the furore.-

My three-year-old is seven kilos overweight. This might not sound like much, but for a preschooler, this is a big deal. I'd noticed he'd started getting larger in the past 12 months. Looking at photos of him taken this time last year showed a huge difference in appearance.

Sure, he'd grown taller. He'd had his first proper haircut, where his cherubic blond curls had been snipped away to reveal a very serious and surprisingly dark businessman's hairdo. But his baby softness had gone, too. In its place was a little boy who was just too heavy. I denied and denied. Then I started to panic. Then I went straight to Google.

Immediately, juice was banned. No juice. Not even diluted. He reacted to this new rule not unlike a possessed child being splashed with holy water. He writhed. He screamed. I think I actually saw his head rotate 360 degrees. But the no-juice rule stayed.

I was put on my first diet at the age of 11. This involved turning up to group meetings with grown women in a church hall, slipping off my shoes and being publicly weighed. I was counting kilojoules and whipping skim milk into fluff, as a snack, before I had left primary school. I didn't want anything like this for my son. But in my desire to avoid the demonisation of food and the low self-esteem it inevitably creates, I had unwittingly set my beautiful son on a rocky path.

It wasn't until I took him to his first day of crèche that I saw how different he was. The other kids seemed so small compared to my little sweetheart, whose shoes and pants were at least two sizes bigger. Mild panic set in. What happens if someone is mean to him? What happens when, after three years of being told he is magnificent, someone tells him otherwise, based on his weight? I could barely breathe.

Last month, he had his check-up with the maternal health nurse, and that was when the news of his extra seven kilos was broken. The nurse was wonderful about it, and I'm certain it's not an easy conversation to have. Mercifully, my concern was palpable. She knew I was out of my depth and gently suggested I go to see a paediatric dietitian.

This sent me into a spiral. For as long as I can remember, eating disorders and an obsession with weight have been a girls-only domain. Girls I knew in the '80s were eating only a packet of chicken-noodle soup and a green apple for the entire day. And they were 13. I was one of them. Sadly, statistics show that boys are not immune to this madness.

I imagined turning up to a clinical office, my baby being stripped and weighed. I imagined this as the day his self-loathing would be born. I called the dietitian and asked if it was necessary for her to sight my son, as I was paranoid about him being made to feel that he was anything less than perfect. She assured me it was necessary to see him, but it would be okay.

I knew she would ask me what a typical day of food entailed for him and I thought she would think I was lying. But this is a child who doesn't know chicken nuggets. He's never had a fish finger. He hates cream. Sure, he loses his mind and acts like a kelpie off a leash at a party with cake, but don't all kids?

I told her what he eats. Fruit. Lots of fruit. Cheese. Toast. Chicken breast. No meat. He will eat around the meat in a spaghetti bolognaise, which is quite a skill. She listened intently for 20 minutes while I expressed my bafflement. Then she helped me.

My three-year-old eats too much good stuff. Turns out that four bananas a day, if you're only one metre tall, will make you fat. And if you throw in three mandarins, a punnet of strawberries and four Cheestiks, you're in a pair of size-6 elasticised jeans before you can say, "Is it crèche today?"

My shame for getting him into this mess has turned to relief. He's now eating all the things he knows and loves, just far less of them ... and not every day!

But we are the lucky ones. We can afford to see a professional who will probably change our lives. We are also a family who know about good food, grow vegetables and always have a bowl of fruit on the table (or up high in the pantry now, to stop the daily disappearance of five kiwi fruit).

What happens to the kids whose families have no idea about nutrition, and no money to talk to someone about it? I am an educated woman with a wealth of knowledge about food, and even I stuffed up badly. It's all very well to bleat on about the obesity epidemic, but until we make education about basic nutrition accessible for everyone, it will just get worse.


Apparently a lot of people have slammed her for it, causing her supporters to then slam the haters.

As I have found out via this blog, if you say it, you take it. I've taken a lot over my blogs and throw the shit back in the faces of those who post. I can take a lot, but there is a line. Chrissie would have known that.

Regardless of what she said or how she said it, it comes down to her being in denial about her child. And she admitted that. She blames her own weight issues as a child for not wanting to push them onto her children. Unfortunately, in the hopes of doing that, she pushed them in that direction anyway with her refusal to accept that anything was wrong.

It took her seeing a maternal health nurse for Leo's check up to tell her he was overweight and she needed to see a dietician. She then tried to not take him in to see the doctor, asking over the phone if she had to bring him or whether she could do it sight unseen because she didn't want him stripped and weighed.

She and others have been using the line "I'm doing the best I can" over the last week. That's bullshit. If she was doing the best she could, then in this day and age of 2012, she would have had tonnes of books, blogs, websites and doctors informing her of what and how to feed her child. She also had another child 9 months ago and so would have been even more informed about caring for and feeding children.

She claims he doesn't eat junk food, but according to the doctor he's getting fat on the four bananas, 3 mandarins, a punnet of strawberries and loads of cheese sticks every day. She was even afraid of telling the doctor what he did eat. And I think she left a few things out.

Please! All of this spells D.E.N.I.A.L!

It's time to get real, and this should be the beginning of Chrissie and every other mother to get real with what and how they feed their children. Most little kids are not meant to eat full meals like adults. Some little kids seem to eat everything in the house and end up morbidly obese and are taken away from the parents. Some little kids seem to eat next to nothing and people wonder if they are being starved.

Either way, parents need to get real and wake up to themselves. If their children are gaining weight it's because of them, the parents, no one else. Although some seem to blame grandparents and aunts or friends, that's no excuse either. Tell everyone what your child is to eat and to not feed them anything else. Set three meals and two snacks a day and remember kids DO NOT eat a full adult meal. That's another problem, portion sizes for kids. Adults have the same issue but they CAN do something about it, kids cannot.

Kids DO NOT buy the food that comes into the house. Kids DO NOT buy junk food, and don't give me the excuse of "but he cries and throws tantrums if he doesn't get a chocolate bar", well then walk out and punish him.

Stop with the excuses, get out of denial, and start putting the blame back where it belongs. 


Jewels xxoo


  1. Hateful. Ignorant. Can you even read?

  2. I did read but clearly you didn't. I never said anything bad against Chrissie, so what your problem is I don't know. I didn't spew hatred and there's no ignorance, except on your part. You clearly came to this post with a perception in mind and found nothing to sustain your argument so you slag me off instead. Well done!

  3. How many children have you raised without asking any questions or making mistakes? Just interested.........

  4. Are you're saying a woman who doesn't actually HAVE children would not know what it was like?

    I don't have any but that doesn't mean I haven't raised any.

    A woman does not need to have children to know that there are nurses and doctors to go to, books to read, blogs or vlogs and not to mention millions of websites to know what to feed your child.

    Maternal health nurses and doctor visits give you plenty of opportunity to ask "what do I feed my child", and if you can't be bothered finding out, then you have a serious problem.

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not caring for and asking about what it is your child needs to keep it healthy.

    And considering you asked, sounds like you're making excuses too.

  5. How many maternal health nurse appointments have you attended?

  6. Your point isn't actually going anywhere.

    Every woman has a choice of where she gets her info, whether she reads a book or blog, goes to a nurse or doctor, which the child would need in his first few years anyway.

    You are making excuses, when there is no excuse to make. There are just too many ways of getting information for this excuse to warrant any more attention. And you not putting your name on your excuses says more about you than anything else.

  7. I can read up on how to fly a plane too but I can guarantee you that if I was in a cockpit I wouldn't know the first thing about it. I'm just trying to highlight to you that sometimes you need to less strident in voicing opinions about topics and experiences you have no expertise in. Ignorant opinions are dangerous. Yours included. That's a fact. Sorry.

  8. I don't have children either. But I do have experience with hateful, narrow minded, misinformed bullies.

  9. I need to be less strident in voicing my opinions on my blog?!?!?!


    My post was not ignorant in any way shape or form. I can guarantee you I am not the only one with the opinion I did have. And as for me being hateful, narrow minded and misinformed, you clearly read the wrong blog post because none of that was in this one.

  10. I just looked at your YouTube channel... I'm sorry I even bothered commenting on your blog. I thought you were a real blogger... With followers and stuff. My mistake. Sorry to waste your (and my) time.

  11. I find it so funny when someone finally realises that they are not going to win the argument over me and so they start insulting me instead. Really proves YOUR lack of maturity and understanding that someone's blog is their own place to talk about what they want, not what YOU want them to talk about.

    That is such a control issue with trolls.

    You're right with the fact you're a waste of time. You didn't even have the guts to use your own name and would have rather foisted your own issues upon me that actually get what I did write.

    As for being a real blogger, what do you think I do here? A person with a blog is a blogger, and I do have followers, another thing you clearly didn't bother getting.

  12. I won the argument. Scroll back........ I won it when you said you don't have kids. Done.

  13. By the way, Youtube doesn't do "followers" anymore. Another thing you didn't get. Jeeze, you come off as the ignorant one!

  14. Actually you didn't because you kept going on the same merry go round of excuses, and since you don't have children either, guess your argument really was a waste of time!

  15. OK. Sure. You're a very strange person. You don't need to reply to this one. Have a nice day.

  16. I definitely will. I found this hilarious especially since by your last remark, I clearly won!


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