Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Childhood Obesity

We’ve all heard about it. Michelle Obama has launched an all out war on it…and still. Still. Something here doesn’t sit right with me.

Certain Food Industry Leaders have agreed to cut calories in their products, to help reduce childhood obesity. That’s great! I can’t help but think, though…there are so m any more things that need to change. Fewer calories in a Lunchable, or a smaller slice of Kraft cheese is interesting, but it won’t fix the problem.

Let’s assume for a moment that our Model Child eats two meals at home a day, and a third at school. For our purpose here, we’ll assume the parents are too busy to pack a lunch (just go with me here) and that this child eats their mid-day meal (five days a week) off of the Lunch Lady’s cart. That leaves breakfast, and dinner, under the Parents’ direction.

Kids don’t buy groceries, parents do. My kids can only choose to eat whatever is already in the cupboards.

Part of the problem, I think, is that as parents, we’ve forgotten what “food” is. When I was first married, my sister gave me a cookbook that was basically a collection of “recipes” for doctoring up boxed mixes. “You use those sort of things, right?” I remember her asking. At the time, I said yes. I did!

Now? Not so much. Food is made from ingredients, not pulled out of sacks, wrapped in paper. Those are called “treats.” Fast food is tasty – that’s why it’s so popular. That doesn’t mean it’s “food.” I will occasionally eat leftover pie for breakfast, knowing full well that it is a once-in-a-while thing, and a “treat.”

As parents, we need to teach our children what Food looks like. I’m going to go all crazy here for a moment, and say that as “housewives”, it’s our job to feed our kids? Yes?  That’s why we’re the Mommies? Right. Glad we’re all on the same page.

Our children need to learn the difference between Food and Treats, and learn to eat all things in moderation. If you told me to get rid of all the junk food, candy and sugary things in my house, I’d be the first one to raise my hand and call you crazy. It’s there, and the kids like it. They are also equally crazy about bananas and grapefruit (true story!). As soon as I put a food off limits, it becomes a Holy Grail, and there is no peace until that bag of chips is empty, or that entire can of soda has been guzzled.

What say you, Moms? How do you handle this in your house?


  1. I agree that we need to teach our kids what food looks like. I also like the snack foods I make great oatmeal cookies but I don't eat them all in one sitting. Everything in moderation and I sure don't want someone telling me what I can and can't eat. I sure don't want to live in the nanny state some in our goverment would like us to. I have tryed to teach my kids what food looks like and that there is nothing wrong with snacks just not all the time. My kids are grown and I think they got it.

  2. I definitely think it's parents who need to stop the problem. As the previous poster said, I don't want the gov't telling me what my child can or cannot eat, because where will it stop? Once they start controlling what we eat, what will be next? It's none of their business. The first thing we need to do to help this problem (and virtually every other problem in this world) is to get back to morals and values where family and parents (father and mother) are the core of our society.