"Please don't bond with my kid over junk food."

So I had a neighbor situation to deal with that brought up some T1D inspired lifestyle choices. As a reminder, I’m a mom with T1D.

My youngest boy is getting more independent and loves to go around and hang out with the neighborhood dads while they are doing yard work, fixing things in their garage, etc. There is one neighbor dad who has taken a real shine to my son and hangs out with him (outside - I don’t allow my kids in neighbor houses yet for a variety of reasons) every single afternoon. Evidently that neighbor did not have a father figure and he had a very strong bond with a male neighbor while growing up. And they evidently hung out every afternoon and drank root beer together. Innocent enough.

But my neighbor took it upon himself to constantly inundate my son with new snacks and junk drinks multiple times a day, every day. So I told my son that he could not eat or drink anything from the neighbors without asking first. We were running into constipation, no appetite for dinner, hiding the fact that he had lots of cupcakes or Big Red sodas, etc.

My neighbor seemed to feel that it was heavy handed that my son had to ask me before every single treat. He would make comments about it. I would try to diplomatically handle it and let him know that we were seeing dietary issues and digestion issues on our side of things. That didn’t really sink in. Probably owing to the fact that they buy fast food for their kids from multiple restaurants every day.

Then we were all hanging out…and there is my son drinking a Big Red soda from the neighbor again…and I told my neighbor and his wife that I’d really like them to slow down on the sodas and snacks. Mind you, he had just made a special trip to a convenience store the prior day to buy my son a certain flavor of some bottled drink that he was sure that my son would love and that he thought that we should start buying for him from now on. And he had just said, “Just wait until I start buying him Big Red slushies and bring them home for him! Those are the best! My kids love them!” So anyway, when I asked them to slow down and stop constantly putting me in the position of being the bad guy who always has to say “no” every day…he informed me, “We’re just trying to expand their horizons so that they’re not so sheltered.”



I let him know that parenting my kids is not a group project. And I let him know that my kids are at higher risk for developing T1D themselves due to my connection with it…and that even though they have cookies, ice cream, and countless other sweets available to them in our house to be consumed in moderation daily, that I don’t let them have full sugar sodas or sports drinks or energy drinks because if they become T1D, those things are off of the table in my mind.

And then he said:

“Just because you’re Type 1 and can’t have these things doesn’t mean that your kids should have to miss out.”

He really doubled down. He really went there.

So, and I’m not saying that I was right to do this next part…but I did do it so here we are…and you should know that he is a cop so I decided to push that nerve to make him aware he should back off…

[…and you should know that with their youngest daughter (middle school)…they watch all kinds of tv shows with her that are full of sex, full frontal strippers, graphic violence, and they don’t regulate her iPhone usage either by time or content at all and haven’t from elementary school onward…to each their own…but I KNOW she’s seen worse than what I am about to say which is why I said it…]

I turned to his middle school daughter and loudly said, “Have you ever tried weed? Edibles are the best! I have an aunt-in-law with glaucoma and she is fully stocked with all kinds of edibles. I bet you’d love it!”

The neighbor wife laughed her butt off. The neighbor husband didn’t talk to me for three days. Then he came over and apologized on the fourth day.


Wow, I honestly have been lucky in that we have never met a neighbor that wouldn’t respect our wishes for our kids. That would bother me. I can appreciate how you handled it, but wow, the fact that you needed to do more than say please slow down the sugary treats is amazing.


You live next to…

the Child Catcher!


You handled it correctly. The neighbors are totally out of line.


I agree, your neighbor should have respected your wishes and values pertaining to how you want YOUR child to eat! I think those without any diet/food issues probably can’t understand how important this is. And I think you handled it correctly, too.


This neighbor must have been living under a rock. It’s widely known that eating and drinking lots of junk food is bad for everyone.


Totally agree, whether one has a diet/food issue or not! But some people just don’t look at it this way unless forced to confront it with an issue and maybe not even then.


Well Played.

This is not really acceptable from a general health perspective (and good life choices and so on).

But I’m in the “highly processed foods and especially things like sugary drinks and especially high-fructose products (which thankfully we don’t really have in Australia) can increase one’s T1D risk” camp. With a genetic risk factor—this is horrifying.

I just looked up Big Red… it’s double the carbs of Coke!!? Americans are crazy! (No offence :wink: )

Once again… well played :rofl:


What a great zinger!!!



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zing·​er | \ ˈziŋ-ər \

Definition of zinger

1 : something causing or meant to cause interest, surprise, or shock

2 : a pointed witty remark or retort

Examples of zinger in a Sentence

The candidate couldn’t help getting off a zinger or two about his opponent.


Oh damn! That triggered me just reading it! That was a perfect response and MUCH better than what I would have told him. :slight_smile:

I am floored, FLOORED that he said that to you! Your response ROCKED.

Umm btw, can I have your aunts number? :slight_smile:


How? I’ve never heard any science suggesting diet increases risk for T1D. T2D sure. For T1D, seems to be a genetic vulnerability (often one that in and of itself may not be that predictive of developing diabetes) that gets activated by immune-function altering triggers like infections. I know I grew up eating a pretty strict diet of healthy, natural, and organic foods, and that certainly didn’t protect me. The bad flu I got a few months before I developed T1D seems a much more likely culprit…


You forgot one.

3: a snack cake produced and sold by Dolly Madison and Hostess Brands, with a layer of icing on top and creamy non-dairy filling in the middle.


Speaking of which… Hey @T1Allison I got some for your kids! :grinning:


It’s just my non-evidence-based opinion. Here are the main factors:

  • Stress on the body is bad for all the body’s systems. Including the immune system.
    • Stress can create chronic inflammation which is or leads to autoimmunity
    • Stress can probably disrupt the immune system in ways that increase the risk of autoimmunity
    • Perhaps stress can make you more susceptible to viruses in general which then makes it more likely you will catch something that trigger T1D
  • Poor diet and highly processed foods create stress on the body generally… this is no news
  • Sugar and especially fructose screw with your microbiome as well as the liver. This at the very least creates stress on the body.
  • I believe that “leaky gut” and other gut-related processes are linked with autoimmunity and are gaining scientific traction
  • Autoimmune diseases are fast on the rise in Western countries who are eating more and more processed foods (there are other factors like endocrine disruptors, microplastics, blah-blah-who-really-knows but I refuse to accept that diet doesn’t play a major role)

Just my opinion…


Heart disease is also largely genetic… but the risk factors are certainly something people can do their best to avoid. No different than t1d whether science has proven it or not.

I mean, maybe, but there’s literally no evidence that HFCS plays a role in T1D, and as best I know, the US, which is the only country using it, doesn’t have particularly high T1D rates compared to other similar places. I absolutely think that a huge part of T1D is environmental (though again, I think infectious agents, including all sorts of ones people may not even be aware of, may be the biggest factor). I just don’t think it’s likely to be diet broadly, or some evidence suggesting that probably would have emerged so far (certainly you’d expect to see higher rates of T1D in places where only processed food is available, like food deserts, and to the best of my knowledge, that’s not the case), and would be cautious re: assuming links between things that are broadly unhealthy and the emergence of T1D, because it’s really not necessarily the case. Just because something seems like “common sense” doesn’t mean it’s remotely accurate. Heart disease is a very different condition, with very different factors at play.

It doesn’t really matter whether diet is a causal factor to T1D. The issue is that a parent has voiced disapproval to a neighbor loading up a child with sugary foods. And a parent’s rules for a child are to be respected. Frankly, were it my child, I would just keep the child from any future contact with the neighbor. But that would be difficult and would definitely cause problems with both child as well as neighbor. A conversation with the neighbor should have resulted in him stopping the behavior not in an argument as to its validity. But it didn’t. A difficult situation that undermined a parent’s authority.


Oh yeah, the T1D thing is a side discussion. Agreed completely with @T1Allison that her neighbor’s behavior was inappropriate and love the irreverence in handling it.


The food issue aside, I would be concerned in general about the neighbor’s attempts to undermine your relationship with your son. He’s potentially setting himself up in your son’s eyes as someone who is more concerned about his well being than you are. You say his focus on your son is innocent, but I’d keep a close eye on it, which it sounds like you’re already doing.


Gosh! I don’t have anything like those kinds of interactions with my neighbors. I’m a bit jealous - just because it would be nice for kids around here to hang around the neighborhood. But it doesn’t happen. Kids (and parents) here in Boston as much much more standoffish.

That said, of course I agree with the sense of the thread. Maybe you can put some rules around your son’s interaction with this guy? (twice a week or something like that?).



Just walked outside to seeing my first grader on a running dirt bike with said neighbor presiding. He was going to teach my son how to ride without either of them asking my permission.

At least it wasn’t a Big Red this time.