**Post by guest blogger Rusty Rea**
As I sit down to type this I’m snacking on some freshly popped non-GMO popcorn, popped in olive oil (yeah, Kelsi told me in the middle of my culinary extravaganza I should have used a different oil because of the smoke factor), and lightly salted with real sea salt. Why am I snacking on this? Well…. Honestly, because we ate all of the Almond M&Ms from last night’s snack run…and, because it actually sounds good for tonight!!!
I confess last night’s indulgence for several reasons. My first reason is because the guy in the check-out line ahead of me was on his cell phone boasting of all the deals he had just found… he didn’t have ANY items that could be identifiable as “food”, just JUNK made in a factory. Well, Mr. Zebra-Cake you sure showed ‘them’ that you are willing to call anything ‘food’ if it has pretty colors and is sold in a grocery store…(remember, I’m saying this with my sole purchase of Almond M&Ms in my hand).
Do I hold his purchases against him? Do I question his intelligence? NO. I question his information! I stood there and watched the Zebra Cakes slide across the scanner and thought, ‘Your poor kids are going to feel like crap after eating that’…
The hardest part about learning the marketing tactics and lies about mainstream ‘food’ is to not get ‘foodie righteous’ – remember, until you knew better, you didn’t know better. The thing about being the parent is you set the tone on how your child views food; and how your child interacts with those who view food differently. You will either make your child ‘foodie righteous’ or ‘foodie compassionate’.
Another reason I let the Almond M&Ms skeleton out of my closet is because realistically there is just as easily someone in line behind me looking at the pathetic mix-matched pajammie man buying just M&Ms at 9:30 at night questioning my nutritional motives. Last week I addressed this issue of having well-rounded, well-balanced kids… dare I say it, ‘Sometimes M&Ms are just the thing!’ If you never let your child have ‘guided indulgences’ then they will grow into adults who don’t know how to guide indulgence.
I know it sounds backwards to start a series about ‘teaching your kids to eat healthy’ with Almond M&Ms, but if you are NOT building your kids nutritional decisions on an emotionally stable and realistic platform then you are being intellectually dishonest. You must give your kids the information, the reasons you make your decisions, and appropriate boundaries on how and when to adapt. Why did I buy M&Ms at 9:30PM? Because Kelsi and I both had long days, and that was going to be the comfort food we needed. Was it good? Absolutely! Why did I have to go to the store to get them? Because we don’t normally keep that kind of stuff in the house – and our kids know that, and – most importantly – they know WHY we don’t. That’s where we have instilled the value. They understand that a diet consisting of Zebra cakes and almond m&ms will make them feel terrible and we are giving them the knowledge to make those decisions. (And yes, we saved them some M&Ms and told them that sometimes you just need a little chocolate!).
Are you creating ‘foodie righteous’ or ‘foodie compassionate’ kiddos?
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