I once had a conversation with a friend about why her children weren’t eating healthy and her excuse was the “taste” and the “cost”. She said that her children, as well as herself, prefer to eat “good” food, and that most healthy foods are tasteless hence the reason that the foods are “healthy”. I found her comment disturbing because she feeds her 2-year-old and 1-year-old Ramen Noodles, Debbie cakes, soda, tons of pizza, McDonald’s french fries, candy, etc. She rarely has fruit in her home, she rarely has veggies for the kids–in fact her children eat Ramen Noodles everyday. Her kids basically eat what she eats–which equates to a ton of junk with fat, trans-fats and high sodium. Basically nothing that offers much nutrition to her children.
To be fair, she is quite poor, and probably can’t afford to buy fresh fruit and veggies in the capacity that her children need. But there are plenty of foods–maybe not fresh–that her children can eat for cheap. Additionally one thing I did tell her is that eating healthy doesn’t mean completely cutting out what her children enjoy–it means MINIMIZING the unhealthy stuff and maximizing the good stuff.
As I explained to her: simply allowing the children to only eat Ramen Noodles once every two weeks, and with only half of the sodium packet, is healthier than what she is doing. Allowing the children to eat HALF of a Debbie snack(Oatmeal Pie, Nutty bars, Twinkies) every 3 days and giving them canned fruit, or cut apples with peanut butter, is healthier than what she is doing. Giving the children 5 cups of water to every one cup of soda is healthier than what she is doing. Buying bananas which at the most cost–$3.00 for 6 bananas is healthier-than cake and cookies. Buying children a box of Cheerios is healthy and inexpensive compared to giving children sugary cereal that offers no nutritional elements. Cutting trips to McDonald’s to only twice a month is healthier than buying the children McDonald’s twice a week. Rather than frying chicken all the time–bake the chicken. Buy canned vegetables–they are ONLY a dollar per can. Buy apple sauce, fruit cans, etc. They ARE cheap. Yes STILL allow your child to eat sugar every now and then, still allow your child to have noodles and McDonald’s sparingly and in moderation(and without emptying that entire sodium packet), and your child can have candy every now and then as well. But please–please don’t think that fast foods, Debbie snacks, and noodles on the daily basis provide any type of nutrition for young children. Also please don’t think for a second that eating healthy means cutting out EVERY single treat you give your child. Eating healthy means moderation, incorporating more “good stuff”–even if it’s CANNED–less processed foods, less sodium, and more water. It really isn’t that difficult and it isn’t that expensive. So WHY, WHY do you feel that eating healthy is BAD for your children? And what is your excuse NOW?
Come on, please do better for the sake of your child’s health.