I want to feed my kids junk. Now go back and re-read that sentence with the emphasis on I.
If you’re anything like me, you spend a ridiculous amount of mental and physical energy pricing, buying, organizing, storing and preparing food in an effort to limit processed garbage and sugar in your family’s diet.
I’m not bragging here. It’s hard. My husband and I are still figuring out the right balance but it’s something that we’ve decided to make a priority for many reasons. We sacrifice in other areas in order to make this happen. My house is not as clean as I’d like it to be. We spend more money on food (especially meat and occasional dairy) than what is typical which means there is less to spend on other things. We don’t get fast food very often which is so tempting when our 3 kids are all hungry and dinner hasn’t been started.
Most people say they follow the 80/20 rule which is when you eat well 80% of the time so that you can loosen up 20% of the time. Well my husband and I work really hard to make that 80% happen. Some
weeks days it’s 90% and I’m sure some weeks it’s 50%. Either way, we’re the ones slicing veggies, cleaning fruit, grilling meat, and baking our own bread in order to avoid food from a package as much as possible.
Then I look up and my kids are eating cake at a birthday party, a 2nd or 3rd dessert from their grandparents, and mooching snacks at a playdate. We’ve got juice in Sunday School, a lollipop from a well-intentioned barber and a kids meal out at a restaurant because we’re traveling. They’re opting for their friends’ snacks at the beach because, let’s face it, goldfish are way more appealing to a 2 year old than the cucumbers and hummus in our cooler. It adds up in a serious way to the point where, on average, today’s 8 year olds are believed to have consumed as much sugar as someone consumed in their entire life who was born in 1900. Let that sink in.
Here’s the thing, that was our 20%. It’s gone. Poof! So when we get tired and need an occasional pizza on paper plates, I can’t help but think that I’m not doing their little bodies any favors. Because this area happens to be a priority in our home, we feel the weight of the never ending work of preparing food from scratch in order to maintain that balance.
I don’t want to withhold treats from my kids because I don’t love them. In fact, I love them so much I want their little bodies to be fed well and for their immune systems to be working the way God intended. We use supplements and essential oils to keep them healthy but diet is unequivocally the most important factor in this equation.
Although I’m not an advocate of rewarding oneself with food, I love seeing my kids’ eyes light up when offered a piece of candy or an ice cream cone after a day of good behavior. I understand why the people who love my kids want to give them food that I don’t want them eating. It’s fun and the reaction from the kids is priceless. But I’m their mom and I want to be able to be the one that they get it from, too. I want to feed my kids junk sometimes!
So the next time you love a little person so much that you want to see their wide grin at a piece of candy or a donut, think about how much sugar they’ve probably already consumed that day. Think about their mom (or dad) who made scrambled eggs and smoothies for breakfast instead of pouring easy bowls of cereal. Consider that maybe she has earned a family dessert night but won’t do it if she knows that you cashed in on part of her 20% earlier that day.
Give those little lovey babies some extra hugs, read them a book or take them on a fun piggy back ride and let their tired mama drive through Chick-Fil-A tonight.