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Are we setting ourselves up to fail?


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#1 Fanny McPhail

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Firstly, I am not a perfect parent and my kids eat plenty of "sometimes" foods.

but neither of them have ever eaten McDonalds, they are 4.5 and 2.5.

My friend thinks I should introduce the older one to McDonalds before it becomes a place of awe and wonder for him (and before he starts school so that he isn't the weirdo kid who has no idea what a happy meal is).

I'm not really sure if this started off as a conscious decision, maybe it started off as one of those  declarations you make before you have children i.e. "my children will never eat lollies" but you slowly crumble as exhaustion sets in and well-meaning relatives sneak them multi-coloured snakes and buckets of icecream. But going to McDonalds has never really been an option.

At the moment I love the fact that we are not badgered everytime we go past the golden arches, he did ask me once what they were and I told him that if your car breaks down there is a man at the bottom who can fix it (see, not perfect!).

If we ask him where he would like to eat dinner he makes great suggestions that we actively consider and include him in the final decision. Where as, I know from my childhood, the conversation can do like this "what would you like for dinner?" "McDonalds!" "No!"

and finally i don't like the way McDonalds directly advertise to children (neither watch commercial TV due to this particular bug up my bum)

So what do you think, Should I introduce McDonalds to my son? Will I turn him into a McDonalds obsessed fiend if I don't?

Am I totally overthinking this?

Edited by Fanny McPhail, 10 January 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

I vote for overthinking. Your family, your choice. Just smile and nod to your friend.

#3 Natttmumm

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

My kids age 3 and 5 have had McDonald's here and there. Maybe it ends up being once every 2 months so not heaps.
They don't have a real interest in it and would never think to ask to go. They often don't finish their meals and are more interested in the playground.
Mine eat a wide range of foods including sometiMes foods. I think it's weird your kids are asking to go if they have never been.

#4 BadCat

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

My DS was offered a Maccas bravery voucher at hospital when he was 5.  He had no idea what Maccas was.  laughing2.gif

7 years later he still isn't interested.  So no, as long as you're not all "nothing but the purest food blessed by the Gods shall ever pass your lips" I don't think it's a problem.

#5 Sancti-mummy

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

Very much overthinking.

My oldest didn't get McDonalds until she was 4.5 - and that was because I was moving house and it was convenient for me.  I have spent many years not eating McDonalds!

Unfortunately, my younger one has already been taught in the ways and there have been McMeltdowns...

#6 JBH

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I don't think there's any "should" about it. However, my son's first McDonald's experience (when he was old enough to "appreciate" it) was a birthday party. So he found this great place with burgers, chips, fizzy drinks, ice cream, toys and games. Instant love. We take him there from time to time, although we stick to burger, chips and water. In a way it would have been better to set expectations before he went the whole hog so to speak, but it hasn't been too hard to say no, either to going or if we do go to getting meals with sugary drinks.  He does enjoy it, but he likes eating at other places I enjoy more too.

Edited by JBH, 10 January 2013 - 04:20 PM.


#7 Fanny McPhail

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE
I think it's weird your kids are asking to go if they have never been.


Thankfully, my kids aren't asking to go.

My friend asked if we wanted to go there so the kids could play in the playpark and get some lunch. I suggested an alternative venue and that is when the conversation with my friend took place.

Edited by Fanny McPhail, 10 January 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#8 Mozzie1

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

I do think you are over thinking it, if you want to give them the occasional maccas I don't think it will hurt, but I really don't think it's necessary either.

However, we were never allowed maccas as kids. When I started getting pocket money, I spent it all in McDonalds (I'm not even joking). I ended up working there.

#9 KACM

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:21 PM

It's not a right of passage - it's a crappy family restaurant! No need to introduce it if you don't want to. FTR we go occasionally, but more for the playground.

#10 Canberra Chick

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

DS (age 7) didn't have Maccas until August last year as an end of season get together with his footy team. Since then DD and DS have had Maccas for dinner once (late November, their allergy safe takeaway while DH and I had non allergy safe Vietnamese).
Neither have pestered to go, TBH I don't think it really occurs to them to do so, as we rarely eat out anyway.
Even on school holidays we usually take picnics when we go places during the day or come back at lunchtime to refuel and chill for a bit.

So not taking DS didn't make it a place of wonder. But because of his allergies, he knows there are lots of places he can't eat so he's used to not eating at places that other people do eat at.

#11 Holidayromp

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Heck I was 25 before I ate a Big Mac.  What is the big deal?  Is maccas some sort of rite of passage that I didn't know about  unsure.gif .  
We go to maccas very rarely and the kids don't ask to go whenever we go past our local one.

#12 Faradaye

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

We certainly don't have a perfect diet, and enjoy all types of food in our house, but McDonalds is just not something we eat.  Our takeaway of choice tends to be pizza or Indian instead.

My oldest DD has recently turned 9, and up until a few weeks ago had never eaten McDonalds.

But as part of a 'treat day' in the last weeks of school the teacher bought all the kids in the class McDonalds for lunch.  My DD was actually worried about telling me in case I was going to ban her from doing it, and she really didn't want to miss out.

For me, I was happy to let her participate in a class activity (although as an off topic rant I'm not sure how much I like this 'treat' being given to the kids without parent's permission.  But as she was a brilliant teacher I got over it pretty quick.)

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that it was inevitable that she would one day eat McDonalds, the stuff is pretty pervasive in society, there is only so long you can keep them ignorant.

Eventually they are just going to use their own money and get their under their own steam and eat this glorious contraband...

I will continue to not make it available as an option for family meals, but it's not going to be the end of the world if she occasionally has it with friends etc.

#13 Kay1

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

My oldest didn't have it til he was 5. His younger brother was about 4 but it was drive thru on a trip so just some food, not the whole 'experience'. They now have it maybe once a month if that. They do love it and ask for it now and then but they know its not healthy so they accept our 'no'. My oldest actually recognises that it doesn't make him feel good afterwards and so he shouldn't have it too often. They are definitely not obsessed and they don't really care about the toys.

We have it when we are driving long distances - its just so convenient: coffee, tea, lunch, playground, baby changing and a place to feed. Generally fairly clean etc.

#14 NunSoFeral

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Returning home from hols several years ago, as it was late at night we got some macca's for our then 2,3 and 5 yr old boys,
It isn't food we like, and DP and I were pretty vocal about it, no intention of trying to dissuade the kidlets.
Just genuine gag type "this stuff is gross - but the chips are OK" type of conversation.

Seemed to have rubbed off.
They won't eat it at all.
Which can actually be a PITA as a sometimes, very occasional food I would have no problems with it.

Also ironic that i can make yummo noises at some spinach and chicken cannelloni lovingly wrought by own hands and the little buggers won't eat that either.

They do like the thickshakes and the playground, so we go - but yeah, not for the food.

I'd just prefer a nice steak sandwich, BLT, gyoza, pizza, indian, thai, etc.

#15 liveworkplay

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

QUOTE
So what do you think, Should I introduce McDonalds to my son? Will I turn him into a McDonalds obsessed fiend if I don't?


Speaking from experience, no. DD1's first try of Maccas was at 5 when she got invited to a birthday party their. When I told her where the party was, she burst into tears and said "Mummy do I HAVE to EAT the yucky food?" laughing2.gif

I don't eat Maccas, neither does DH as a rule so their was never any need for my kids to either. They have now all had the occasional maccas at a party (9, 7 and 3.5) but have never badgered me for it nor have they gorged themselves at parties, quite the opposite actually. Theirs are the meals with only the fries eaten and and empty bottle of water laughing2.gif

#16 Nora.

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

Over thinking.

I also don't think giving children McDonalds creates little monsters who insist on it every time they see the golden arches. My two have eaten there, KFC, Pizza Hut etc., and sometimes ask for it, but have never really pestered me about it.

I had my first McDonalds at 13, only because there wasn't one in town until then. I ate it a bit as a teen, still have the occasional McDonalds, but it's no big deal. There's food I'd prefer. It's generally when we're on the road & stop off for something to eat.

#17 KDA

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

I have lived directly across the road from McDonald's and my DD never asks to have it. Even though its literally across the road, she would rather have nuggets and chips cooked at home then from Maccas.

Since living across the road from it, I never eat it. The smell is disgusting.

#18 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

I don't what you have against Macdonalds specifically but I would say if you eating at Hungry Jacks, KFC or similar then they all equally bad except maybe KFC, which is probably the worst of the bunch. But they all feature kids meals with toys in which case your kids will know exactly what a happy meal is.

If you don't eat at any fast food franchise, well good on you and I doubt you're setting yourself up for failure. Although little miss has enjoyed many a happy meal, I don't think it's a talking point among her peers, many of whom also have never eaten at a major franchise. They all know what a cheeseburger is and they all eat fish and chips except a couple who are being raised vegan, so I doubt they'll be the weird kids.

Edited by ForsakenTruth, 10 January 2013 - 05:02 PM.


#19 JRA

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

Definitely over thinking, do what suits your family. DS is 10, he has had am vas once at a sleepover. He is actually proud of it, although he does have a KFC twister if we need food on the road. I don't like Maccas neither does dh.

No big deal.

#20 Fanny McPhail

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

QUOTE
I don't what you have against Macdonalds specifically but I would say if you eating at Hungry Jacks, KFC or similar then they all equally bad except maybe KFC which is probably being the worst of the bunch. But they all feature kids meals with toys in which case your kids will know exactly what a happy meal is.


They have had KFC once but only a piece of chicken each and I agree with you it is barf worthly. No hungry jacks, no pizza hut, no dominos, actually never even a subway...
So why am I so concerned about McDonalds  wacko.gif

Lots of fish and chips and pizza.

Yep I am an overthinker!

#21 strawberrycakes

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

I reckon if you can hold off going then why not but I also don't see the big problem with having it every now & then.  My DD is 5 & has had it a few times, she loves it though lol.

Some people think it's weird that my DD doesn't have soft drink or lollies... She has tried them but doesn't like them; good I say.

#22 Super Cat

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

McDonalds is just food. sure its awful sh*t crappy food, but its just food. Ours have had it, but I see no need to 'introduce' it to kids who haven't had it. There's no 'experience' to be had. You go there, you eat the sh*tty food, the kids play, you go home.

DS is almost nine and has never had Coke. I see no need to introduce that to him either just because others have had it.

#23 ComradeBob

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

My DD has just finished FYOS and has not had any problems due to the fact that she has never eaten Maccas. Neither DH or I will eat it, the smell makes us both sick, and while she's asked once or twice we just tell her that we don't like it. Sure, if she gets invited to a party there, she's more than welcome to go, (she did get invited to a Hungry Jacks party earlier in the year and really didn't like the smell) but we won't be taking her.

That also applies to all the other chains like Pizza Hut, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Dominos etc.

#24 (feral)epg

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

This reminds me of my first McDonalds experience.  We moved to Australia when I was 11, I had heard of McDonalds of course and was intrigued.  For several months I begged my parents to go there, but we couldn't afford it (not sure if this was real or just what they told us).
Finally I won one of those sporting prizes where you get a free meal or something and so the whole family planned this massively exciting "McDonalds" meal and one evening we got takeaway for all of us!  It was such a disappointment.  This fabled food was cold and floppy and didn't look anything like the TV ads.  I was quite a fussy child so I didn't like the sauce on the burgers.  We where also apalled at all the styrofoam burger packs at the end. sad.gif   I think I felt really guilty because it had all been to please me and no-one liked it.
Somehow I got through my experience and managed to eat the fries and sundaes as a teenager, but I still won't eat burgers from fast food chains.


#25 Mischief Managed

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:21 PM

My 5.5DD has been to the golden arches a few times, we travel often and it's sometimes the only place that will definitely have something I won't be allergic to original.gif

She doesn't ask for it if we drive by, so no pestering and she doesn't know what it's called original.gif  Honestly we don't watch commercial TV anyway so I've not seen the ads original.gif

I don't think your choice are anyone else's concern; well done for suggesting somewhere else to meet up original.gif




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