Lunchbox Wars

Friday, 5 February 2010

Really nice to get a mention on Frock You about my posts here and on Australian Women Online about encouraging a more healthy diet in our kids.

Frock You has a wonderful ethos on food for kids and presents some interesting points on this what-to-eat debacle in My Lunchbox is Better Than Your Lunchbox. The author mentions that the carers at her daughter's playgroup carefully outlined the best lunchbox choices to provide, much to her disdain - "I am quite aware of how to feed my child, thanks!"

But as the author admits, it's quite frightening that carers even feel the need to do this at all. Obviously, there are plenty of parents who do NOT know how to feed their children and I'm consistently stunned at the backlash upon making this very real observation.

Has the suggestion to up the quality of our children's diet really hit a nerve here? Has it precipitated a lunchbox war? Do the most-obese-country-in-the-world stats really fail to supersede supersizing in the minds of many mums across the nation?

What's going on here? It's like that stupid tv ad for Wonder White bread that says something along the lines of - "do you give your kids the bread that will keep them healthy or the white bread they love?" (White bread being a euphamism for crap with extra fibre added - man-made fibre, probably.)


Here's a fact - kids will eat chocolate, chips and lollies all day long if they had the choice - don't need to be a rocket scientist to work that one out. Of course they love soft, squishy, sweet, bowel-encrusting (diverticulitis, here we come) energy-sapping, blood-sugar escalating, fat-laying white bread. So do I! I just know that if I eat it, I will slowly kill myself, so I choose NOT to eat it, or at least save it as a rare treat (like with sprinkles on top at a birthday party - if you're gonna do it, go all out!).

I have never said eating a donut or some fairy bread is evil. Yes, even Perfect Me does that sometimes but this is not the point of this post. The point is in educating our children to make healthy food choices most of the time. To provide them the nourishment to create strong, slim, healthy bodies and minds that are far less prone to debilitation or disease.

We ALL want healthy happy kids... along with a safe, loving environment, I would go out on a limb here and say that consistently healthy nutrition is the NUMBER ONE gift you can give your children, and the number two gift is teaching them a lifelong adoration and appreciation of it.

Children don't HAVE the capacity or knowledge to understand what food is good for them. That is what a PARENT is for. It is our duty - and our privilege - to hand over that gift. And it's also the FULL responsibility of the parent if their child only eats white bread nutella sandwhiches for lunch every day of their lives.

If we don't give the option for white bread Nutella sandwhiches every day, our children won't eat white bread Nutella sandwhiches every day. Ah, the simplicity.

I ate three Cadbury Cream eggs and several other 'naughty' foods this week and trust me, I am not the slimmest, fittest person in the world by a long shot. But I exercise every day and I also eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, and so do my kids.

This is not about perfection. It's about realisation. For God's sake people - REALISE!


Megan said...

Totally agree (but you knew that!). A friend of mine told me the other day that her toddler won't eat vegetables unless they're from a packet. I don't understand this mentality - she's only 18 months old. If she isn't offered packet foods, she won't even know they exist!

Anonymous said...

I think this post should be mandatory reading for parents. Exactly right. "Children don't HAVE the capacity or knowledge to understand what food is good for them. That is what a PARENT is for. It is our duty - and our privilege - to hand over that gift."
which is why my kids have their lunchbox filled with grapes, cheese cubes and a wrap filled with hummous and ham. I work on presenting it in cute containers and they love the novelty of unwrapping them.
Yes it's a pain and yes it's time consuming, but they're worth it!

Emily said...

Totally agree's just basic common sense. I don't understand why some parents don't care about the health of their kids. Particularly because of the knock on effects of a poor diet. The parents that feed their kids high sugar diets are the very same parents who complain that their kids have ADHD. I was a nanny in New York and one of the kids I cared for was "diagnosed ADHD" and as a result medicated but ate sugared donuts for breakfast and drank iced tea instead of water or milk...go figure!

Cheers Em

Dani said...

This made me laugh! I had just been pestered into cocoa pops for the first time and not being able to find corn-flakes in Cambodia I succumbed. As I was pouring them into the bowl I glimpsed the "Nutritional INformation" on the side. Hello....oxymoron anyone! Threw them in the bin!

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