Ok — I actually paused a moment and pondered a serious response — but I couldn’t do it. Cause I’m rough around the edges too. :) Here are my thoughts.
#1. Parent shaming is a real thing. Most everyone is doing the best they can and feeding your kid pizza is not cause to bring in DSS. Everyone should just chill out about that. You’re winning at parenting if your kid ends up taking different stuff to their therapist than you do. My kids probably ate a lot of dirt and they both have masters degrees and successful businesses. Go figure. You’re not a bad parent for feeding your toddler pizza.
#2. My medical profession is nursing. Nurses run on caffeine and chocolate. You do NOT want to take dietary tips from a nurse. EVER. Consult a real dietitian if you want actual functional data that would not be harmful to your child. Nurses work long hours, swing shifts, holidays and weekends. We are chronically dehydrated and suffer from kidney stones and back injuries. We don’t really specialize in self care. Plus I’m an OR nurse. I placate surgeons, cut out cancer, and run lasers as my stock in trade. The dietary needs of toddlers is not on my radar. At. All.
#3. As a reasonably educated human however, — half Italian BTW with all that entails — I find nothing wrong with a good slice of cheese pizza (because in my experience that’s what toddlers choose). The cheese has calicum for bone and dental growth needs. The tomatoes or tomato sauce is loaded with anti oxidants. And all carbs are good in moderation (the recovering Italian Catholic speaking here- all things in moderation). Unless there is wheat or dairy allergies to be concerned with — truly the worst part of this meal was the soda used to wash down the pizza. Which will bring me to point #4.
#4. Life is short. I’ve performed open heart by pass surgery on a vegan who literally fell out while jogging and had a heart attack. CPR was performed on him by a passerby. So. Here’s my thoughts. Eat the steak or the pizza. Drink the beer — or wine — or scotch — or soda. Because life is short. And you should enjoy what you enjoy. Without guilt.
#5. If you’re worried about slices vs pieces — I’ve had to turn my kids and my grand kids upside down and pound on their backs so many times I’ve lost count. Kids choke on stuff. Be prepared. Learn CPR. You’ll need it. My younger daughter used to choke on rice on a regular. RICE. I will never feed my youngest grand daughter an apple because sure as hell, she’ll choke on it. No matter if I cut it up in pieces or she takes the bite herself from the actual apple. I might let her have one at her wedding. We’ll see.
#6. You should just love your kids. You should feed them love. So that if someone ever comes up to them at a restaurant and says —’ You know? You really shouldn’t be eating that pizza’ — they will be strong enough to say — ‘What I eat is none of your damn business. Have a nice day.’