Okay- disclaimer alert- I am no Martha Stewart. Pfft. THAT’s been established. I do not make my own canned vegetables from my garden. I am not Alicia Silverstone who only feeds prechewed all organic purified food to her children either! But then I’m not as bad as say, Roseanne or Peg Bundy, who I just picture making tater tot casserole and chicken wings for their families each night. I like tater tot casserole- but not EVERY night. So this is MY rant. MY blog, MY opinion. I’m just putting it out there. Yes, everyone has their own story. Yes, not everyone can afford fresh, organic groceries. But in my little head, here’s the thoughts that go rattling around and around. I’m not saying to be perfect. I’m saying to just take ownership.
I was watching The View at the gym while on the glider thingy. Not the elliptical, not a stairmaster, just something like the two combined. I’m usually there during LIVE with Kelly, but I was a little dawdly and got their late. If I’m not listening to Kelly Ripa, I’m mesmerized by the Brazilian Butt Lift infommercial that is always playing on one of the other screens. The gal that raised her butt up 1 1/2 inches is a hero in my book.
Okay, where was I? The View. I never watch this show. If I was on this show myself, I would just punch Elizabeth out, shake Barbara by the shoulders, get Joy an ice pack for her hot flashes and crawl in to Whoopi’s lap. She is usually the one I agree with the most. And low and behold, I agreed with Elizabeth today too. I blame the Super Moon. The topic was banning bake sales in schools to fight childhood obesity. I couldn’t believe that when Elizabeth started yammering, I was agreeing with her. She thinks it’s the parent’s job to feed their kids right. Eureka! But my speed sure increased on the glidey thingy since I was getting all fired up about their discussion. Schools banning bake sales isn’t what’s going to solve our country’s childhood obesity. How about the government banning crap in our foods? Or just let’s not ban anything and be responsible for our bodies.
Okay, I know. I seriously don’t have the nutritional expertise, or the statistical chops to fight this argument but let me just get on my soap box for a minute here.
Americans are fat. We are. Go to other countries. They are less large. They talk about fat Americans in Europe. Now there’s fat people everywhere. But here, we’re fat. Why? Because we frickin’ invented fast food people!!! Wake UP!! This isn’t rocket science. Taco Bell’s 4th meal isn’t the most brilliant thing as a society we have come up with. Now I like me some Doritos. Not EVERY day. But I do like them. Does the taco shell made from a Dorito intrigue me? Hmm, maybe. Does it also disgust me? Hmm, you could say so.
Public Education is not doing so great in our country. Funding is cut every year. Because let’s face it, as a strong western civilization, it makes the most sense to balance our budget on the backs of our future even if it’s our children’s learning that’s at stake. (insert sarcasm here please, thank you.)
I’m a member of the PTA. I have like a laminated gold card to the PTA. I drive a minivan for gosh sakes. Fundraiser is my middle name. We don’t do bake sales much any more. And yes, schools discourage sugary sweets brought in to class. Some teachers have banned cupcakes even on birthdays for your kid to bring in and share with the students. I had a summer birthday, so I never got that day to bring fancy cupcakes to school. I always wanted to though. There’s no soda in vending machines anymore. Good, soda is evil anyway. Juice and water are just fine. Energy drinks are banned too. That’s good, who knows what lab-created crap is in those things. But parents selling baked goods at a carnival, probably sponsored by the PTA to raise money for the school, gosh darn it, doesn’t seem like devil spawn to me.
There was a parent at my daughter’s school last year petitioning during the Walk A Thon to have a teacher stop giving Jolly Ranchers to the kids to reward good behavior, work turned in, keeping their mouth shut, who knows? Just whatever the teacher’s preogative is to hand out a Jolly Rancher here and there as a motivator! This petition was stupid. She had asked the teacher to not give her child any candy. This though creates an awkward situation where the kid is left not getting any candy while her classmates get candy. Okay, she can have a sticker. Nope, still not enough for this mom. So she doesn’t go to the principal, she doesn’t talk to the teacher again, she gets a petition going! How about just let your kid have a piece of candy?? Or if they don’t get a piece of candy, why do you have to spoil it for the rest?? I know candy isn’t necessary in schools. But just go with me here. We keep making such forbidden fruit out of everything for our kids. Ha, see what I did there?
We are denying them so many things like one piece of candy, yet we’ll drive through McDonalds for pink slime nuggets, or get ammonia ground hamburger at WalMart. One of these days the children will rebel and there will be a coup and everyone will be reveling in Fritos and Ding Dongs while the parents look on in horror! Stop confusing our kids. Treats are treats- they should be used less often, on occasion. So one piece of candy during the school day isn’t harmful. Maybe if everyone stopped feeding their kids modified crap for breakfast and dinner at home in the first place, behavior would be better and they wouldn’t need to bribe the little monsters with candy. (claps hand over mouth- I did NOT just say that!)
So, I guess what this brings me back to, is basic parenting and nutrition. Where did we disconnect from battling over breast vs. bottle to making it everyone else’s problem how our kids eat?
My kids DO NOT have the world’s most healthiest lunches. And yes, they have a metabolism that is Speedy Gonzalez fast. They could eat queso and pork rinds for a month and probably not gain weight. Would they be irritable sons of bitches because they’re going through vitamin deficiencies? Uh, YEAH! But I buy real food at the store. I make dinner. We eat organic as much as possible. We eat fresh too. Do they always eat their vegetables? No. Do I give them their Gummi vitamins like crazy to make up for this? Yes! Sometimes we eat out. Do we eat drive thru? Hardly ever. The other day my daughter and I had a cast meeting to go to right at dinner time. I had just finished making a batch of enchiladas. Seriously easy people, tortillas, cheese, sauce and beans with some sour cream. She didn’t have time to eat it before we left. I put it on a plate, grabbed a kitchen towel and a fork and she ate it in the car. No drive-thru needed. And yes- I had come home earlier from whatever else we had been doing and had 30 minutes to throw dinner together. I don’t always put my super cape on in the kitchen. Sometimes I order pizza. Sometimes we pick up Mexican from the family mom and pop restaurant down the street.
And if your kid doesn’t like a food that you’ve given them. Fine. Move on. Try something else. Introduce it another month prepared a different way. I hated mushrooms and zucchini when I was a kid. I love them now. Who would think lentils would grow on me? Kids have heightened taste buds, their senses are more sensitive than ours. Some things are gross. But their appreciation can change over time. My kids like edamame pods but hate green beans. They like black beans but not kidney beans. Sweet potato but not beets. You know, whatever works.
I just wish people would stop super sizing, stop drive-thruing, stop taking short cuts. Turn off the TV, get your kid outside to play and MAKE a meal.
Why, why in this country do we have so many food allergies and intolerances? Why in this country is Autism 1 in 88 children? Why in this country do we have the highest rate of MS? Why in this country are we dying from diabetes and heart disease?
WAKE UP PEOPLE! Maybe it’s your food. Stop stuffing your faces and actually find out where your food comes from. Be an advocate for yourself, and your kids. I realize that this isn’t the easy answer when it comes to all matters. Autism being one of them. I have many folks, I know that take wonderful care of their children with Autism and it isn’t because they fed them junk food. I’m not being cruel here people. But I’m trying to make a point for our generation and the generations to come.
I’m just saying start at home. Don’t rely on the schools, the government or anyone else for that matter to make sure your kid eats healthy. I live in suburbia. I wish I had my own goat, chickens and garden. But I don’t. So I shop locally, produce markets, butchers, wherever I can. I try anyway. Sure I buy some of the big brands like Kraft or Kellogg’s. But the more I read about GMOs, the more I reach for the alternative- organic, smaller brands.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to clear your plate because there’s kids starving in Africa? And then you thought, how does me clearing my plate help feed a kid in Africa? It’s called gratitude, portion, and awareness. There’s still kids in Africa that are starving. There’s kids here starving. Money spent on wasted food doesn’t get donated to food pantries, food banks, churches… are you eating to live, or living to eat? Oh, god, don’t answer that. I live to eat, plain and simple. Okay, how about this-
Live simply, so others can simply live. My point is, take ownership of your food. Buy what you need. Buy what is wholesome and healthy. Treat yourself now and then. Don’t banish things. My house is loaded with candy, ice cream, snacks, chips. Do my kids eat it all the time? Heck no! I’m throwing out last year’s Halloween candy. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I’m kind of happy. Wasted candy doesn’t make me lose sleep. But also, it shows me that I’ve taught my children restraint. They know what’s good for them. I’ve nurtured them, I’ve educated them, and I guess I’ve set a good example. I don’t see treats as a threat, and I haven’t taught them that either.
Okay, see what I mean? I ramble, I don’t have any facts, it’s purely my own speculation. Well, hey, ask yourself, ‘what was the last thing I ate and do I know where it came from?’ <<steps off soap box, quietly walks out of room>>