So it's no secret that I can be a bit fanatical when it comes to my philosophy on how to feed my children. (I'm a bit of a food snob - there, I said it so you don't have to.) It's been on my mind a LOT since Samuel started kindergarten. I thought that he had too many opportunities for junk food in preschool, but my word, there are a ton more now that he's in elementary! (Not to mention the "food" that they serve in the cafeteria.) It's something that I find challenging, but it's also a great passion of mine. And since you're reading this, you're probably in my camp, too. ;)
|First day of kindergarten|
My mission with feeding my kids is this:
I want to feed my children in such a way as to give them a healthy diet for optimal growth and development while developing in them a palette for healthy food so that they will be equipped to make healthy choices for themselves in the future.
I believe that during these formative years it is so incredibly important to give them what they need for proper nutrition to grow their bodies and brains to their greatest potential. That's what we all want, right?
I need to teach my children to make the right decisions because they can't expect to know how to make good choices on their own - they're just kids. If I don't give them the tools that they need to be able to make good decisions, then how will they know how to make good choices for their health in their adult lives? Sure, they might learn, like I did (I didn't grow up eating very healthfully), but statistically speaking, it's not likely.
There is a ton of research stating the obvious benefits to feeding your child well. You can check here and here for a couple of studies, but there are a ton out there. Sure, I do allow for snacks a few times a week that are not beneficial for them, but moderation is key for us so that they don't begin to feel left out all of the time. I also don't want the pendulum effect, where they go crazy and eat their little hearts out when they're away from me, so I allow for snacks within the moderation that our pediatrician stated was proper for them: one serving of sweets (desserts, candy, pastries, etc.) or junk (fast food, processed snacks, etc.) no more than twice a week.
As a friend reminded me yesterday, healthy is all relative. As she said, to some people healthy means that it's not fried. I used to be in that camp, but today I have many more requirements to be able to call something healthy. Whatever place on the spectrum you are, there's no judgment. I would just hope that you're moving toward the healthier side by making tiny choices everyday to be healthier. All of those tiny choices add up.
So why am I getting all preachy on you all of the sudden and not posting a craft or an embarrassing story? (I do hate being preachy, sorry, I'm just in a hissy.) Because our society is being flat out ridiculous when it comes to food, y'all! Seriously, it's driving me mad. I shouldn't be being the weird one for trying to feed my kids healthfully.
I know I've said this before, but this generation of kids is going to be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Is no one else outraged at that? (I know you are, but I'm talking about all of those vast unknown peoples.) ;) It's not some mysterious cause, either. Like, 'Oooh, that's weird - I wonder why - I guess it's just destined to happen.' No, it's not! Come on! Parents have a responsibility to their children. I feel the weight of that responsibility on my shoulders every time I go to the grocery store, cook, and hand them something to eat.
Okay, sorry for yelling. But it just gets me. I think I'm ready to step off of my soapbox. Can I get a amen, though? I'm not the only food-crazy, am I?