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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.

Whole Wheat 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.)

Chase with bird nest

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.

9 Responses to we want our kids to eat healthy. why don’t they?!

  • Paul says:

    Kelcey: I have the same problem with myself and I put on weight when I eat white bread indiscriminately – and I love it, my father was a breadman most of my life and I grew up around it – as much as I wanted. I have found that I can limit my intake by buying thin sliced bread for sandwiches (also makes a loaf go further too). Also I stumbled across some wonderful all-grain flat beads that are very healthy and so eatable that I sometimes just eat them unadorned as a snack. They make excellent sandwiches and will hold most any filling that white bread will and even some that won’t work with white bread (like squishy stuff that falls out of a sandwich)because i can be sealed at both ends by folding.

  • Constant battle in our house! I live in the South which I feel like adds another layer of all sorts of not so healthy food being around for all of us. My daughter could live off fried chicken and sort of does.

  • Sarka says:

    You can try rye grain bread, it’s not whole grain but more tasty (than a normal US toast bread), more fiber; or wheat-rye bread. Both sourdough based. Trader Joe’s sells it probably. I personally like these types of bread more than the tasteless white thin US bread, thats too sugary and contains usually so many ingredients.

  • Mary Clare says:

    Compromises, right? I always insert fruits and vegetables into snacks and meals and make sure my kids are always *trying* healthy foods with different flavors. Even if they don’t always dig into the healthy stuff I offer, I figure some exposure to a variety of foods is a good start. One day they’ll abandon the chicken nuggets…

    • Judy P says:

      No chance on the chicken nuggets. I’m 47 and still LOOOOVE them. Oddly enough hubby doesn’t think they make a good dinner. Maybe his mama raised him right. Actually I never had a chicken nugget until adulthood. Maybe I’m just making up for lost time.

  • alex says:

    You know that I am totally insane about the foods I eat. And I give Noa a Nutella sandwich on white bread every Friday in her lunch. It makes her whole week. The rest of the time she gets kale.

  • Lanie says:

    I would have traded with you for your turkey and alfalfa sprouts ?

    So far 7 grain has made it in our house but that could also be why they very often request something other than a sandwich in their lunch . . .

  • Heather says:

    I’ve solved my friend’s child’s white bread addiction by suggesting light rye bread. It is soft enough and smooth enough that he accepts it as an alternative yet it isnt just full white flour. Is light rye available there?

  • Angi says:

    I’ve literally been having a very similar conversation over and over with multiple peeps this week! I’m fighting the good fight, but some days, convenience and not having to deal with the complaining just wins out. So nice to know I AM NOT ALONE! I hide stuff in my kids’ food all the time. What they don’t know will only help them!

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kelcey kintner