• The Apple Tree Learning Centers

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It is OK to Eat Sweets!

| Admin
Have your cake--and enjoy it, too!

Have your cake–and enjoy it, too!

“You’re not going to eat all of that, are you?” said a stranger in a café to four-year-old Violet.

Violet was tucking into a slab of chocolate cake with ice cream on the side. The woman meant her comment to be friendly, but it was the only thing she commented on to Violet.

Violet is in kindergarten and already people — even strangers — are judging her food choices, intimating that she should distrust these choices and that her appetite should be ignored. What’s worse, Violet is learning that women policing other women’s tastes are a great conversation starter or even a bonding ritual.

This early policing becomes so ingrained in the young girl’s way of thinking that later in life, women come to believe they need it. Others rely on the ritual humiliation of weekly Weight Watches public weigh-ins to deny their appetites.

Women are bombarded with unsolicited diet advice daily about what’s okay to eat, when it’s okay to eat it, what macro-nutrient they should be avoiding this month, and how many calories they should or shouldn’t be consuming.

Humans don’t start this way. Babies are born understanding their appetites. They know when they’re full and when they’re hungry. Everyone around babies trusts them to regulate their appetites.

It’s no different from Scarlett O’Hara’s mother in the book, Gone with the Wind, who insisted she ate before a party so she would not be tempted to display her appetite in public. This isn’t just the stuff of American Civil War novels. Modern-day official policies and institutions even reinforce the unacceptability of women’s tastes.

Eating – or that lack of it – becomes a performance. Satisfying our body’s wants and needs are secondary to fulfilling the expectations of the people around us.

Prohibiting eating, forces many women to do it in secret – and in shame. They gobble the chocolate bar in the car on the way home from the grocery store and dispose of the wrapper before they are ‘caught’.

Back in the café, Violet stopped for a moment, smiled at the woman and continued eating her cake. She didn’t eat all her cake. She probably didn’t even eat a quarter of it. At four years old, she stopped eating because she was full and didn’t want any more.

Here at The Apple Tree Learning Centers, our staff follow food guidelines that are approved by the State of Arizona. We provide meals that contain the essential nutrients and vitamins that the children need for their specific age. We do have our occasional party or celebrations, and we allow the children to indulge themselves with whatever treatment they prefer.

Giving the children the proper disciple and allowing them to have freedom even just for a couple of minutes will show the children that you trust them and that it is ok to eat sweets once in a while.