What is it with parents and giving their kids big candy bars and bags of cookies for everyday snacks? I don't get it. I really don't. I am not a junk food Nazi, not by a long shot. We've had our share of Oreos and ice cream and potato chips at our house... the older ones more so than the younger. We have birthday cake and ice cream and even soda on birthdays (no soda for me, thanks) and I bake cookies with the kids for Christmas. But in my mind, those are *not* everyday foods. They are special, once-in-awhile treats.
I get that many people don't even give candy or cookies to their kids at all. I am good with that. I have a friend whose child cannot have any artificial colors or flavors, and I have no problem making sure he gets the kind of food he can have when he is at my house or at a party with us. I even try to keep the artificials out of our diet for the most part. I respect those who only give fruit to their kids for dessert and eat baked kale in place of chips. That is awesome! I was on a similar path until my daughter started doing classes of various types. The cookies at preschool, the Capri Suns and Rice Krispie treats at soccer, and the donuts at ballet were her first real tastes of junk. Then came the cupcakes and candy at school parties and friends' birthday parties, and the candy at Halloween. It happens. I am okay with it. I taught her to be moderate and she thinks ONE small cookie is a serving, five M&Ms is a rare special treat, and Sun Chips are something she gets once a month when we have sloppy joes for dinner. I can count the number of times she has had soda in her life on one hand. And the one time I gave in and let her have a WHOLE Snickers candy bar, the spent the evening on the toilet regretting it. She's never asked for that large of a portion since.
At school she usually brings a packed lunch. I send a hummus sandwich on whole wheat, or some whole grain crackers and cheese, or a bean and cheese burrito. She gets some pumpkin seeds or Snapea Crisps on the side and maybe a fruit leather once in awhile. I send fruit/veggie juice or milk, and for her "special dessert" I sometimes send her ONE piece of candy. One. As in, A Pez. Or A piece of saltwater taffy. Or A miniature baby Tootsie Roll. Or maybe a little homemade mini muffin. But when I go to school and have lunch with her, the other kids... kids who are 7 years old, even younger... have full sized candy bars in their lunches. Or whole Little Debbie cake packs. Or five cookies in a bag. They open their lunch boxes, eat the candy or cookies while drinking their pouch of Tang or Hawaiian punch, and throw the rest of their lunch away. It drives me crazy! And they wonder why there are so many behavior problems in the classroom.
I am no paragon of eating virtue, here. I have eaten a whole bag of Oreos myself in the past. I used to make dinner out of a box of Pizza Rolls, a bag of Doritos, and a Coke. I am not any better than anyone else. But for the life of me people, don't you want better for your children than for yourselves? Don't you know that a candy bar and a bag of sugar water for lunch is not even remotely healthy? Please, please try, mothers and fathers, at least try! We are 100% in control of what our little ones put in their mouths for several years, and then once they start classes we still have a lot of say. Okay, so they have a cupcake in the afternoon for a classmate's birthday. Fine. But not if they had a candy bar and Tang for lunch! It is just so frustrating to me. I don't know what people are thinking.
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