My husband and I have been trying for several years now to eat a more kosher diet. When we were sticking with the basics of the kosher diet, his cholesterol went down and he felt more energetic and healthier. And I was much happier with the way our health seemed to be going. We had just moved to Texas when we decided to eat this way. We are not Jewish. I think that confused people then, and I know it’s confusing people now. We are now in Louisiana where two of the staples are crawfish and pork-definitely not kosher. What I would like to say is this: Please do not feel bad for me or my family because we have stopped eating things we feel are bad for us. My husband and I do not feel deprived. We are not sorry we eat the way we do. We should not have to explain ourselves or our choices to anyone but God.
Another major obstacle to our healthier choices are people who feel that we are depriving our children. To them I need to say: Please do not give our children artificially colored/flavored candies and say things like, “Just this one time won’t hurt.” My children hear you doubt our authority and they begin to lose faith in the people who care most about them, who take care of them every day, who sit with them through nightmares and sickness and emotional upheavals. When we say our children cannot eat the candy you brought for them or bought for them, please don’t take offense. Just ask me before you give them something the next time. And if our choices for our children are too pricey for your pocketbook, no worries! They don’t have to have candy or boxed brownies or frozen cookie dough with m-n-m’s in them in order to love you. Really, my children are very loving little people.
And now for the rant…
All these thoughts have been rambling around in my head for several years now. And today I got an email from a friend who was very strong and very loving in her response to a situation like this. Only she has a child that is autistic. She’s chosen a special diet very carefully for him that has improved his health and symptoms dramatically. She let him go to a neighbor’s house (who she trusted and who knew about the dietary restrictions) and discovered that he’d had several things which were not included in his diet. I would’ve gone insane! She calmly dealt with the situation and has resolved to just make snacks for him to bring with him when he goes to visit people. Why in the world would someone presume to feed a child they know is on a special diet without calling the parents first? I do not understand this at all. When a child is diabetic, you have to feed them very carefully. This woman’s chosen diet for her autistic child is no different.
Our children are not disadvantaged by having a diet that restricts certain kinds of fish and shellfish, pork, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives. They are not worse off for using honey to sweeten things rather than processed, bleached sugar. They are not deprived when they have the choice of home baked goods and home cooked food rather than McDonald’s or Taco Bell or something quick out of a box. Please do not assume that we are insane, uncaring or way too strict concerning our children’s diet. God gave them into our care and we have to choose the diet we feel is best for them. Think of how you would feel if we came up to you and questioned your authority in front of your children. Have we ever put any of you in a sticky position concerning your kids and the decisions you make concerning them? If so, I heartily apologize! I love all my friends and family, even the family I try not to talk to very often. (That’s a whole different blog.) But I will not have my authority questioned concerning whether or not my kids are going to eat /CANDY/ of all things! You know, if it was veggies or bread, I would possibly understand this better. But it’s /candy/ that keeps getting pushed on my kids. “Oh! They /need/ something for the holiday!” Yes. They could use a new shirt, or a new pair of socks or a good book. Please don’t give our kids anything without asking us first. It’s just safer and more polite and it reinforces our authority concerning their well-being. Thank you for your patience.