Friday, August 6, 2010

I Cannot Tell a Lie. About Food.

Okay, I will never claim to be the perfect mom.  I have a DVD player for the car; I routinely bribe my child to do basic functions like get dressed, go to the bathroom, or eat breakfast; and I let him wear black rubber fishing boots to school every day because it is just easier for everyone that way.  So let the finger-wagging begin.

But one thing I cannot do is lie to him about science, even when it would be way more convenient for me.  I've tried, and I can't.  I can't tell him that the sun is "coming up," when technically the sun does not move.  It always bugs me when people tell their kids that they used to be "in their stomach."  If your child was in your stomach, you have a problem.  Yes, its semantics and yes I am being too literal but seriously.  I can't do it.

So it stands to reason that I also can't tell my kid that eating unhealthy food is a good thing, and this is where I find myself stuck between being honest with him about the function of food and creating an eating-disordered food-obsessed robot of a child who over-analyzes everything he puts in his mouth. 

You know, someone like me.

I think I do an okay job of demonstrating how to use food for function, and I think I do an okay job of straying from that path once in a while for something that we acknowledge is not good for us but we eat anyway.  I lose a little bit of my soul when we do that, but we do it.  I'm learning, too.

So anyway, I take the role of a parent in teaching their child about nutrition really seriously, so when I see stuff like this, I get really ticked off.

This was an ad in a magazine that I ripped out and stole from a waiting room.  Don't worry, there wasn't anything important on the other side so I didn't ruin any quality reading experiences for anyone who came in after me. 

The ad shows a mom and her daughter doing yoga together (because that happens all the time, I'm so sure), and how the mom is so happy that her daughter wants to follow in her healthy footsteps, all the way to McDonald's where she can continue her healthy lesson over a lunch of chicken nuggets and apples.  Because, as we all know, ordering fruit at a fast-food place is the new way- virtuous thing to do.

But here's the thing, mom - chicken nuggets at McDonald's are not healthy for your kids.  It's just the truth, no matter how much the marketing people at McDonald's wants you to believe otherwise.  Is your kid going to die from eating chicken nuggets once in a while?  No.  But don't tell them they're good for them.  It's not true.

I'm not the perfect mom, and I can't say my kid has never eaten fast food.  But he hasn't eaten it under any pretenses that what he is eating is good for him.  I just can't lie about science.

I can lie about other things, however.  He totally thinks the frozen yogurt we get after swimming lessons is ice cream, and as far as he knows Santa Claus is keeping track of his every move. 

But then again Santa Claus is totally real.


Stacy L said...

The last line just made me laugh out loud! Love your writing! Couldn't agree more.

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Ha! Thanks Stacy! :)