Rants, reality and learning to embrace the little things.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cookies and Candies and Cake

When did the food pyramid become separated into two categories? Adult and children. Did I miss the email? Not only that, while the adult pyramid remains the same, the children’s pyramid looks similar to this:

Colorful multi-vitamin
Chicken nuggets and hotdogs
Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cream of cheese
Peanut butter and jelly, goldfish crackers, pizza, french fries
Candy when you tinkle, candy when you cry, and candy when you smile
Juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, water, milk

It makes me sad. When did kids get so picky? Let me rephrase that, when did parents allow kids to be so picky? Kids have always been “Ew gross, I don’t wanna, you can’t make me, I’m hungry” little people. Parents have chosen to allow kids to be pacified with whatever they point their chubby little fingers and grunt at.

I’m not the perfect parent and just as guilty as the next mom standing in the McDonalds line while her kid throws a fit on the nasty tiled floor because they got the blue car and not the green one. I can still be sad though. Sad that I gave into the hype and that all it takes is big pleading eyes, a crusty nose and the pronunciation of “L” as “Y” to get me to cave and feed my blonde angels dinosaur shaped, processed chicken meat…ish.

I WILL pat myself on the back for the fact that I never make my kids a “special” meal at dinner. They sit their little back talking fannies down and eat what I put on their plate or they go to bed hungry. It has worked wonders and I can proudly say persistence had paid off. My oldest son asked for peas instead of fries on a family outing once. It was the proudest moment of my parenting life. I just wonder why more parents aren’t doing something similar.

Walking into my boy’s elementary school sometimes knocks the breath out of me. When I was in school, there was one, maybe two over weight kids. Now…oh man.

It infuriates me! However, at the same time, I don’t know the kids, I don’t know the parents, I don’t know the situation. I just find it odd how many of them there are. Coincidence? Most likely not. Heartbreaking? Absolutely! It feels like we are giving our children a jump-start on adult obesity and coronary heart disease (the leading cause of death for men and women in America).

“Remember Junior, if your heart starts to beat really fast and your chest hurts, its probably all those chicken nuggets catching up to you. I apologize in advance baby, you were just so darn cute I couldn’t say no!”
Not cute.

According to www.cdc.gov “Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.”


I think the problem is time. It has become such a precious commodity to everyone. Most food is coated in sodium, preserved and pre packaged for convenience now days. Just add water and microwave. Zap the nutrients and clog your little munchkins arteries all in less than 5 minutes! Whoot Whoot! Who’s jumping on that train? 90% of America, that’s who.

Proverbs 13:24 says this “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

I’d like to think this could be taken several different ways. Discipline is not just classified as hauling off and smacking the rear end of your impish little elf. Discipline is training friends! Training your children to behave, to be kind, to EAT RIGHT! Discipline IS love.

Showing your children love is not giving your child a king sized Snickers bar because they only screamed for 20 minutes rather than 30 at the doctors office. Love is a shiny sticker and maybe a fist bump (my boys respond well to those) and a “Hey bud you did awesome in there!”

Too many parents are equating love with rewards. Sadly, rewards can become indulgence. When those rewards are food, which seems to be the reward of choice among several brat breeders, the end result is not too pretty. Food+Indulgence= “What is your five year old teetering on? 180?”

Of course that is an extreme, but sadly, all too common case.

All in all fellow and future parents, what we need to decide is this: Do we love our children more than convenience? Do we love them enough to say “NO”?

I, for one, would like my children to out live me. I’m thinking grilled chicken and broccoli is sounding perfect for dinner tonight!

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