The little voice came from the back seat. “Momma, can Cait have your tookie?” We had just left the grocery store and I caved for a box of my favorite cookies. I deftly handed half a cookie back to the eager little hand. A few moments later the little voice pipes up again, “Cait have MORE tookie?” I said no. It was almost lunch time, and the cookies were full of sugar (those are the best ones). I was strong. I held my ground. Even as I looked at the little pout in the backseat. I knew I was right, right?
I was so proud of how we fed our babies. Breastfed until they were old enough to drink whole milk. We made all our own baby food (thanks to a great ‘family’ farm). From the start there was a fruit or vegetable at every meal. When my oldest daughter was young she could stare down even the toughest of competitors for a piece of broccoli.
That is why, I can’t believe I am admitting to this…I have a dark secret. Are you ready…
I love Taco Bell. Yup, that is the secret. I love it. Now I know all about the controversy. Thirty percent what? I don’t care. I have taken classes in nutrition, I teach parents about good nutrition for their children. I read blogs about nutrition. And yet…I still love Taco Bell. Why? And even worse…this could put me in parental lockup…I feed Taco Bell to my children. And they like it.
My oldest child was four before he really enjoyed ‘fast food’. Then each successive child was younger and younger until my forth gummed French fries. I am not saying we follow a drive-thru diet, it is only now and then. (I promise) I still cannot get over the guilt and shame that I feel when I feed my children fast food. Why have we put such pressure on ourselves as parents to always be perfect and always do what is ‘right’? Who decides the rules?
I was sitting at the soccer field one breezy evening with two of my children while one practiced. Another was practicing a different sport at another field. We had just come from three different places to get here. And I fed my kids chicken nuggets (with apple slices and milk). One of the other parents, in front of several others, commented “Haven’t you seen Food Inc? Don’t you know what you are doing to your children?” I politely replied that no, I had not seen the now infamous documentary (nor will I) and that we had a busy day. Her reply to me was “If you think you need to feed your kids fast food, then you are not managing your time well”. Well now, I don’t think I will recite that quote in my next parenting class. Grr…
Every topic related to raising ‘our’ kids is open to interpretation. I put ‘our’ in quotes because we all have an impact on any child around us, whether our own or not. As parents, we make the best decisions we can to raise our kids. We cannot put blinders on them and completely block out the outside world and its influences. It doesn’t matter if it is what we put on their plates, how we clothe their bodies, or where they lay their heads at night, there will always be someone who feels the need to judge our choices. How we handle it is our parenting ‘legacy’.
Now I am not saying that everyone needs to feed their kids fast food. Just don’t look at me cross because I do. How about we make a pact…you don’t judge me and I won’t judge you…fair enough? We the ones that love ‘our’ kids need to stick together. It really does take a village, after all.
What are your thoughts on fast food? Are you strictly against it or do you think everything is okay in moderation? I’d love to get your feedback!