A while back I used to have a small catering business for custom made cakes and children’s birthday food, and while I quit that quite some time ago due to the effort and stress simply not being worth it, friends often still ask me to bake for their children’s parties. And I love my friends, and adore their kids so much, but I really wish they’d ask for just about anything else. Sienna and I have been busy for the better part of today turning out 50 smurf themed cupcakes. I’ve been gluten free for two years now, so Sienna bravely took on the job of taste testing. They passed the Sienna test, so are boxed up and awaiting the party tomorrow.
This has been one of the first parties I haven’t had to take special dietary requirements into consideration and the realisation that it’s become common place to ask if any of the children are dairy/nut/soy/gluten/pork/root vegetable/egg-free and it really got me thinking about how much of an impact or improvements these diets actually make on children and if they’re worth it, and whether we have the right to force our own diets on our children. I’m aware that often this is a necessity for health reasons, but it’s also becoming an increasing trend in families who want to follow a particular kind of lifestyle. I’m a vegetarian, partly for ethical reasons and partly for health reasons. I really don’t believe it’s right to kill an animal for the sake of a few meals when we have so many alternatives but I haven’t enforced this belief on my daughter, and I’m not sure why not. I teach her that it’s not OK to steal or lie, because I believe it’s wrong so I’m not sure why I haven’t also insisted she follow my vegetarian diet when it’s an equally strong belief. Perhaps it’s a decision I want her to come to on her own, but I suspect it might just be that I don’t want to be like so many other parents I see enforcing frustrating dietary restrictions on children who it’s unnecessary for.
Anyway, Sienna is in bed and I must go finish the last of the cupcakes and self medicate after a day spent in the kitchen with a large glass of red wine.