As my kids get older I’ve noticed that their level of awareness and knowledge on items I don’t buy has increased. They see other kids eating things they don’t get to eat, like Sponge Bob gummies, and ask if I could buy some for them.
Yes, I am very selective with the food that enters my house. I live by the 80/20 rule: 80% nutrition 20% fun stuff. I understand that not everyone makes their own bread, uses real butter, and refuses to buy anything with high fructose corn syrup. If you are wondering what my pantry looks like; you can read about my pantry make over.
Recently, I found the grocery’s weekly ad wide open on the kitchen counter and my daughter ‘drawing’ on it. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was making my grocery list.
Item #1: Blue Bell ice-cream. Our neighbors buy it, my in-laws buy it, and tons of people buy it. It’s great tasting ice cream but they choose to put HFCS on many of their flavors. Why can’t they use real sugar?? I typically buy this ice cream when it’s someone’s birthday so we can serve it with cake. While $3.99 is a good deal, I’d rather pay the $6.95 the few times I buy it (I usually give our neighbors what we have left because our ice cream gets freezer burn).
Item #2: My daughter would LOVE for me to buy her a packaged lunch! So gross. Never mind that she doesn’t eat much of it, if any. However, it’s what many of the other kids have. It never seizes to amaze me how kids want to ‘fit in’ at such an early age.
Of course, I took the opportunity to explain why I don’t buy them and how much better mommy’s version is and it’s filled with items she will eat (fruit is separate, as moisture will ruin crackers and pretzels by lunch).
And finally, she told me she needed some Gatorade so she wouldn’t be thirsty anymore. Well, well, well… that’s a no-go for sure. I explained that Gatorade is for people that do sports and sweat a lot. I also showed her our re-usable cup collection and reminded her that fresh water does a much better job at getting rid of thirst.
I know, you are probably thinking that I am nuts, that’ I’m strict, and that my kids must eat wheat-grass all the time. Heck no. They are very picky with their food and it’s a constant struggle. I just want to feed them nutritious food and I refuse to have junk available at home. While I can’t control what they eat when they are not with me, I can make sure that the options we have at home are healthy and fun. Instead of saying NO! I take the opportunity to explain why not.
What are some of the food issues you struggle with your kids?