Today my 11-year-old son, Tyler shared a very interesting conversation that he had with his classmates. It started during lunch time when he pulled out a peanut butter with bananas, and honey sandwich on whole grain bread. After Tyler was done with it, he pulled out carrots, apples, and a low-fat yogurt. Do you see where I am going with this yet?
As he finished devouring my creation, he looked up and saw his friends watching him. One of his friends wanted to know why I am always packing him such healthy lunches, and I quote: “There are never any cookies or chips or anything in your lunch!” Tyler’s reaction was simple: “Because she loves me, and I will always be healthy.” I was beyond thrilled to hear his response, and it validated every ounce of guilt I have had by not allowing junk food in the house. Yes, I admit I actually have felt guilty for not buying my kids chips, sodas and other junk food items. But today I got over it…
Its not to say that when we go out for dinner, my boys don’t get to have a soda or chicken nuggets. Of course they do, but at home we limit the amount of processed and sugary foods. The way I look at it is this, my brother and I grew up with nothing but meat and potatoes, and an occasional apple that we picked from a tree on our way to Grandma’s house, only to find a worm in it when bitten, spit out the worm and keep eating. We didn’t have chocolate chip cookies or Frito-Lay chips after school, we had stale bread with some jam on it, hand-made by my grandparents the summer before. Sure there was some mold on the bread, but you pick it out, throw it away and eat the rest of your delicious treat.
Furthermore, not only did we not know about junk food, we also didn’t put ice in every drink. One of the great memories I have is walking to a nearby store with my brother to buy Coca-Cola, one of those old-fashioned glass bottles that you just don’t see anymore. There was only one store that carried them, and once in a while my parents would leave some change to treat ourselves to a bottle. I clearly remember a clerk handing us each a warm bottle of Coca-Cola, and we gulped them down on the spot. It was such a rare treat for us, which is what made it so extraordinary. Sure it would have tasted a little better if it was colder or had ice in it, but we didn’t know any better.
My point here is that if you don’t buy junk food, your kid won’t be overweight. The whole country is fighting with childhood obesity, parents not knowing what to do with their fat-ass children, but yet they keep buying all the greasy foods their kids want, sending them to school with sodas and chips in their lunches, and then wondering why the hell their kid is fat. How about buying less junk food, going outside with your child and playing ball? How about you stop blaming the schools for their fatty school lunches, and get off your lazy ass to make a healthy one?
In the meantime, my kids seem like aliens with their humus and whole wheat crackers lunches. But you know what? I am alright with that because they are alright with that.