I was raised with a very healthy diet. Like 7 grain bread and carrot cake kind of diet. I don’t remember ever going to fast food (unless it was with a babysitter) and the only treat in the house was Ovaltine. As a kid, I used to secretly eat that chocolate powder with a spoon. I was desperate.
I would see those kids at school with their Wonder bread sandwiches and just be filled with jealousy. And no one trades their peanut butter fluff sandwich for a turkey with alfalfa sprouts. Nobody.
When raising my own kids, I did want to instill healthy eating habits. But it’s sooo hard. Because white bread and white pasta and pizza and chicken nuggets are everywhere. And kids really dig them. Plus, only America thinks to deep fry Oreos, right? Delicious and genius. But still.
So you start your kids off eating all these healthy organic baby foods (maybe even pureeing your own) and then within a few years, they are literally eating goldfish off the rug of your minivan. Yup. Processed foods off a rug that hasn’t been vacuumed in months. And you’re like – what the heck happened here?
When my kids are home, I do try to make sure they eat reasonably well. They eat fruits, a few vegetables, protein, nothing with nitrates and I try to avoid artificial colors.
But I noticed that I have really let it slide when it comes to eating whole grain breads and pastas. There was more and more white challah in my house and lots of yummy white pasta. Why? Because every time we are at the store, my kids beg for it. And because children who aren’t complaining about their lunches and dinners are a lot less annoying.
So last week, I said enough and bought whole wheat challah bread.
And this is how it went over….
11 year old: At lunch, I just ate the ham in my sandwich. I did not like that whole wheat bread.
9 year old: I don’t want that. I made myself a pumpernickel bagel instead.
5 year old boy: I don’t want the whole wheat bread either.
5 year old girl: I DO NOT LIKE THAT NEW BREAD!!
2 year old: Elephant. Where’s elephant? (Totally off topic by the way)
The whole wheat challah was rejected. Eventually my 5 year old son made a bird nest in one of our trees and left the bread out for the birds. (For the record, they really liked it.)
This week I went back to buying white bread. I had been beaten down.
But I kind of feel okay about it. I think you have to reach some kind of balance with kids and food. It’s okay to go to fast food sometimes. There are days when my children have somehow finagled pizza for lunch AND dinner. And well, white bread is sticking around here for now. At least most of them time.
And I take heart that I’m a pretty healthy eater as an adult (despite my Ovaltine childhood addiction).
So I’m thinking my kids will turn out just fine.