Since Halloween, the mother of all unhealthy eating holidays is looming, I figured it was a good time to talk about the abhorrent eating habits of my childhood. I’m of course a proponent of kids eating healthy but, I do think parents can sometimes take it too far, especially the ones who have kids who are already eating healthy most of the time. On the never-ending parental roller coster called “you’re doing it wrong” let me share how my parents did it completely wrong, yet I turned out all right.
When I was eight my most favorite cereal was Frosted Flakes and I ate it almost every single day. Sometimes I had Lucky Charms but mostly it was the sugar coated flakes that won my second grade heart. I continued to eat them though um, let’s see…college.
In middle school the microwave oven made it’s debut in my house. It was as big as an actual oven and I would shove a cold plastic container of nacho chips with orange cheese into it, remove it on the “ding” and, enjoy a plate of saturated fat and carbs for my after school snack. Every day. For years.
In high school I really hit my stride with a steady ingestion of Taco Bell (hard tacos and cinnamon twists were my fav) and a large cup of french fries, made by angry women, in the school cafeteria on a daily basis. I think the anger with which they were made made them worse for my body.
Sure, I was on the dance team and dabbled in track (anything over 800m was way too long) but these activities did zero to counter my atrocious diet.
I think we all know how I turned out.
This, like so much else in parenting, is a pattern. Did my parents have the knowledge we have today about sugary cereals and saturated fat? No, but honestly, I don’t think it would make that much of a difference.
Of course there is an undeniable obesity epidemic in this country so I would never suggest mimicking a diet like that of my childhood and then hoping for the best. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that eating unhealthy early on adversely effects your adult health but, then again, when isn’t there a study to steal your joy of eating?
The point of this rambling article is this: it’s Halloween. Let your kids and yourselves eat candy. Despite the many parenting mistakes you make, your children will most likely turn out to be amazing, the way I did.
Happy Trick or Treating!
How was your diet growing up?
Do you let your kids eat sugary cereals or candy?