Saturday, June 29, 2013

And the Healthy Moms Go Wild!

I've got two kids, and my friends have even more. And maybe its because I am in the wellness industry, but it seems that every time I turn around, another mom is pulling her hair out in frustration over the same thing: junk food, and how it is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e in our kids lives. They vent to me, and I vent back to them, and we're all saying the same thing: "Stop giving my kids junk food!!!"

It may just be me, but it seems like in the past year or so I spend a lot more time playing defense for my kids. At every turn, junk food in the veil of "treats" awaits. It reminds me of this blog post I read a few months ago, which may as well be the anthem for healthy-minded parents everywhere.

Camp. Vacation Bible School. Birthday parties. Vacation. Grandparents. Free cookies at the grocery store. Road trips. "Just this once." "Don't be so controlling." "Its not a big deal." It never ends - people want my kids to eat crappy food all day long, and they think I am over-reacting when I think that's a bad idea. But here's the thing - I am right.

Sorry, Charlie. Junk food is a major reason why our country is not only overwhelmingly obese, but getting sicker every day. Here's a clue to why.

And you know, I'm okay with my kids eating sweets once in a while. That's part of life and I don't expect them to never have a piece of cake or learn first-hand (because sometimes that's the only way you can learn) what happens when you eat an entire bag of gummy worms at once. But its not controlling, high-maintenance, over-reacting, or strict to try to prevent that from happening every dang day of your kids' life, or even every weekend.

It's good parenting.

And I would be so bold as to say that the opposite - consistently providing sweets, candy, known junk food, soda, juice, and other sugary and artificial foods to your kids - is bad parenting. There. I said it!

And I am worn out over it. I am wearing thin. I'm tired, my punches aren't as fast. My resolve is wavering. Because I am just TIRED OF FIGHTING. It would be so easy to let them sit and eat cookies all day long, trust me.

But they deserve better, and we are the ones to give it to them. We aren't doing them any favors by constantly offering junk food and assuming that a) they want it, b) that is all they will eat, and c) it's okay because they aren't overweight. Heart disease can begin as early as five years old, and chicken fingers are a major contributor.

I don't expect my children to live a monk's existence, but I don't think I'm being mean or elitist when I say no to fast food, juice boxes, the kid's menu, and candy as standard kid's fare. I hope that some day, my picky eater who wants to live on Annie's Chocolate Chipper granola bars and milk, will reach for an apple instead. All I can do is provide a good example and keep our standards high.

And in the meantime, it would help if you'd quit offering him fruit chews.

Love ya! Mean it! :) Get out there and get healthy, even if I just annoyed you a little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great read! It reminds me of the "it takes a village" concept in raising children. Carole