20 April 2010

What ever happened to...

Dear Friends,

Food has been foremost in my mind for the last few days. I feel like I've been inundated by the media with all types of health warnings and reports coming out about various stories relating how much salt or sugar should be in your diet, what the fat content of your food should be, whether or not coffee, wine, or chocolate is good v. bad. I've been seeing the same commercial on t.v. over and over from the American Beverage Association (sorry if I got that wrong) and how it's removed its full calorie carbonated drinks from schools across America. And then there's Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution". I love it. He's trying to get a whole town, including the schools, cooking for themselves and eating smaller amounts of processed foods, more fresh vegetables and fruits, and so on. Very cool. I love Jamie Oliver. He's such a cutie and what a great idea.

My question is though, whatever happened to the parenting that kept our kids from becoming obese? What happened to the self-control that taught us that a muffin the size of your head isn't actually one serving, but 4? What happened to common sense telling you that drinking 4 Big Gulp size sodas a day probably isn't the best idea if you're trying to keep the calorie count down. When I was little I never got to drink sodas unless we went out for dinner, which was only once a week. Doritos were a special treat. I can count on 2 hands the number of times I got to eat Lucky Charms. My mother always gave us treats for desserts, but we had healthy snacks after school. Fruit, crackers... not cookies or doughnuts.

I'm just wondering why it's become so necessary to have the Today Show and the local news run 4 segments per airing about different aspects of the same story. I don't understand what happened to the common sense of people, parents especially, that told us that these things aren't healthy habits and that some things really are better in moderation. Don't get me wrong. I love my chips and cookies. In fact, writing this is making me really want one of those Do-Si-Do's that I have from my beautiful local Girl Scout troop. In fact, when I'm done writing, I'll probably get a nice glass of milk and a cookie. But, just one cookie. I don't really need 4. I may want four (or a whole sleeve), but one will do just nicely.

I'm really wondering what everyone's opinions are on this. Is it just that parents aren't home enough anymore that they have to rely on processed foods and things that are prepackaged so that their kids can grab things on their own? I try and give Lexy what I think is the best food I can. We only drink organic milk, we try and have mostly organic dairy products. She gets treats after dinner and that's it. If she eats all her lunch she can sometimes have chips, but they're reduced fat. I give her dried fruit and cheerios for snacks. Macaroni and cheese is a staple, but it's not everyday regardless of what Lexy might tell you. It's only 4 times a week. I get that I'm home more than most parents and that Lexy goes to family when I work so that helps with the diet thing. But, even before Lexy, I never really got the parents getting their kids large Frappuccino coffee drinks from Starbucks. What is that 750 calories? And the kids are about 10-20 pounds over weight. I'm confused.

Give it to me people. Help me to get it or let me know if you agree.

I'm off to get my cookie and tomorrow when I'm on my third cup of coffee I'll reread this, contemplate whether or not caffeine should be entered in on this post, ignore those thoughts and put it out there. I hope you all have a beautiful and healthy day.

Love to you all,



  1. Carin - I couldn't agree with you more. It's one of the very frustrating parts of being a teacher - parents don't parent. I can't even tell you how many times I have looked at a parent, and said "you need to be the mom in this situation" - just because kids want tv/fast food/etc. doesn't mean you have to give it to them.

  2. i think it has a lot to do with our living in a rush society. that places more emphasis on packing a bunch of stuff to do on a list, than taking time slow down and smell the roses. who has time to cook again, when they can go drive thru and eat by the time they make it to their next to do... a poor choice, but people are making it.

    and even though we are all go go go, we've left out exercise? go go go do work, go go go to recital, go go go go do anything but cook, slowly, eat, slowly, take a long walk, slowly...

    these views are the views of someone who is not a parent, so i can't offer that perspective. but i work with several parents and the example i gave was practically a direct quote from one of the parents who loves mcdonalds and thinks it is a life saver.


    i am also a single girl who has used the excuse of not enough time to cook because i have work, happy hours and other stuff i need to do... last nite, i made no excuses and cooked a great meal. yummy.

    here's to our health!

    p.s. i love mr. oliver too! i can think of a better mission than training the young out of some of our society's bad habits!

  3. I work full time and my husand is in the restaurant business and is not home evenings and weekends, and I'm happy and proud to say that we only eat out maybe twice a month. I make my kids dinner everynight and there is always a fruit and vegetable on there plate. They don't always eat them, but then they dont' get dessert if they don't finish. I think it's about moderation. I love McDonalds, but when I eat there I always get a Happy Meal for me. It's enough food.

    My oldest child is in kindergarten. Before she entered we received a sheet as to what skills kids should have before entering kindergarten. One of the skills was "recgonize main stream signs like McDonalds or Wendy's". I was actually worried because at the time, my children did not recgonize those signs. I always wondered why they didn't use the example of a STOP sign??

    As far as time, I read a book years ago called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and it's all small stuff". One of the chapters was about not having enough time and the author made a comment about how that is not true and a bad excause. We are the one's who scheule our time for ourselves and our children, therefore WE need to make sure we are good schedulers and make better decisions. We have time for the important things, so decide what is important.

    I grew up where we were allowed a treat after lunch and dinner. A treat consisted of 2 cookies, a small piecs of cake, or a cup of coke. Having a soda was a treat. Heck my mom used to even break open the Ho-Ho's and only give each of us one, we didn't get the entire pack. These things pissed me off when I was younger, but now as an adult with kids, I have the same ruels (except soda, I told my kids they can't have it until they are 8).

    BTW-I do let my kids put sprinkles on vetetables. If things are pretty and they get to decorate it, they are more inclined to eat it.


  4. A little follow up-I do make my kids dinner everynight, but as I mentioned in previous comments, on occasion we do have popcorn for dinner or have dessert before dinner.

    My kids know that when we do dessert first, they still need to finish their dinner or they will lose that privledge.

    Popcorn for dinner is just that...Popcorn for dinner....with no dessert..

    Have a nice evening!


  5. To follow up myself... I'm not saying that I'm perfect at giving Lexy nothing but healthy organic food, either. She gets nuggets and apples from McDonalds. She knows what Starbucks is because I'm ubber-addicted to coffee. But, she also knows the annie's box of organic mac and cheese, loves brocolli and spinach, and asks for oatmeal for breakfast. I'm just wondering about moderation and special treats versus everyday consumption I guess.

    Thanks for the input people. I think we could talk about this one a lot!

  6. It's not that I don't care what my kids eat because I really do but I don't get home until at least 6 o'clock everyday and making a nice cooked dinner of chicken, brocolli and all the other nice stuff just isn't going to happen in my house, not when I have to sit down and make Taylor do her homework and don't even get me started on when she has spelling words to study, then Wednesday we have Tae Kwon Do at 7:00, which doesn't give us much time to eat. We don't even sit down to eat as a family, which kills me. I hate that. The kids usually eat together, there mac-n-cheese and green beans or something else that's really quick to throw together. I don't have another adult in the house to keep my little guy occupied while I'm cooking or helping the 2nd grader with her homework and all the while I'm trying desperatly to get out of my work clothes and make dinner, do homework, clean, leave the house for after school activities, baths, laundry...OMG I'm so tired.

  7. KAthie

    I love what you said ""Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and it's all small stuff". One of the chapters was about not having enough time and the author made a comment about how that is not true and a bad excause. We are the one's who scheule our time for ourselves and our children, therefore WE need to make sure we are good schedulers and make better decisions. We have time for the important things, so decide what is important."

    I wish I knew how to make this happen for us.

  8. Jennifer - I would like to know one thing. When do you find time to breathe? I mean that seriously. You (and other single parents) amaze me. I don't know how you do everything you do. I can't imagine trying to manage my household with a full-time job.

    Maybe there's a balance between what types of food you can store in the house and having some meals made over the weekend to pull from for the week. I say this like I'm the best planner and forward thinker on the planet. I never know what I'm making for dinner until 30 minutes before, and even then Josh might not eat it because it's the wrong color or it doesn't smell right.

    For me, I just try to NOT buy the stuff that I really want (except for Cheez-its and coffee... although not together. Ew) and buy the stuff I know I should have. And Lexy loves her dried fruit and cereal snacks, so it's working so far. And I'm trying to convince her that sodas are yucky and she doesn't want to try cheese puffs (another weakness), but I don't think it's working.