Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lay off my kids' Happy Meal

I am all for eating healthy and for teaching my kids the importance of nutrition; both my husband and myself have struggled with our weight and we work very hard to shed unwanted pounds. None of my children are remotely obese, they all eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, and they get plenty of calcium from milk, yogurt, and cheese. I am proud to say that my kiddos eat things like asparagus, spinach, and broccoli. It is very rare that we find ourselves going through a drive thru not only because it costs a small fortune to feed nine people that way, but we as parents know that although a quick and easy choice, it's not the healthiest. BUT when we do make that choice, it's for the sake of having fun and getting a treat, not to get our daily dose of fruits and vegetables!
You know, we live in a free country. We have the right to choose the food we put into our bodies and feed our children. We maybe eat out or get drive thru three times a month. I think that's pretty good considering the fact that I don't get home from work until six or so and it would be so much easier to swing by McDonald's and pick something up for dinner. I suppose my family is lucky in that I absolutely love to cook. I love trying new things and exposing my kids to nutritious foods that most kids have never even heard of. Our local grocery store is a Meijer and they offer a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables. It is so much fun to try them out! In an effort to lose weight, my husband and I have tried a number of things. We have tried eliminating junk food and buying organic, and foods that do not contain preservatives or artificial junk. This is expensive and difficult to maintain, especially when you have four boys ages 16 down to 8 home for the summer. Sure I buy them things like chips and cookies, but I also buy them cheese sticks, fresh fruits, carrots and celery, and other healthy snacks. It all comes down to choice and discipline.
We do things as a family. We eat as a family, we exercise as a family, and we play as a family. We want our children to learn from our example. Yes, if you choose to eat at McDonald's three nights a week, you are going to create bad habits and very likely become obese. The key word here is CHOOSE. We as Americans should have the right to say, "I am not cooking dinner tonight so let's go to McDonald's!"
Recently, McDonald's has been sued over their Happy Meals for enticing children with the toys that come with the meals. Are you kidding me? They make it sound like all kids kick and scream every night for McDonald's. I am sure that there are kids out there that do have a tantrum if they don't get a Happy Meal for dinner, but that is just bad parenting and a whole blog within itself. I have seven kids. Not a single one of them has EVER thrown a fit when we have said "no" to dinner at McDonald's. Not a single one of them has seen the toys in an advertisement and said, "I want a Happy Meal so I can get that toy!" As a parent you are responsible for making a positive, healthy choice and for disciplining your child if they don't like the choice you make. Be the parent.
I don't think the government should be telling me or anyone for that matter how much salt, sugar, and fat a person is allowed to ingest. If I want to sit around and eat a bowl full of sugar, who the heck cares? When it comes to your kids, have some common sense. I know I don't want my kids all "jacked up" on junk, so I don't let them have it all the time. My kids have been taught the difference between healthy and unhealthy. They have been taught the importance of exercise. Where did they learn it? From their parents, not from a "Healthy Happy Meal." I reserve the right to treat my children to an occasional junk meal. It's getting scary out their America. Soon, they will come up with a pill supplement that they will force us all to take in order to be "healthy". Until then, eat the junk while you can- McDonald's changes their Happy Meal in September!

No comments:

Post a Comment