Some days I wonder what this world is coming to, and how some people ever thought they were fit to raise a child. I know that sounds judgmental, and I hate being judgmental, but as parents, I feel it’s our responsibility to give our kids a good start in life. And every day that I leave the house, I see at least one family that leaves me absolutely speechless.
The thing that causes me to cringe the most is when I see families where everyone is clearly obese, and they’re eating fast food or drinking giant sodas—including the kids. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to splurge every now and then—I know we do—but the diets some parents feed their children is just atrocious.
We were at the park and a family of 3—mom, dad and daughter—arrived loaded down with bags from Taco Bell and big sodas. Both of the parents were quite obese and the daughter was young, but you could tell that she was headed down the same path as her parents.
It makes me so sad to see parents set their children off on the wrong path in life like that. Even Zoë, at 3-years old, knows the difference between real food and junk.
Once they were finished eating, Zoë played with the little girl for a while before it was time for them to go home. Then the little girl ran over to her parents, grabbed the soda and started drinking it.
Zoë just looked up at me and said, “Mommy, why is she drinking her mommy’s drink? It has chemicals and it’s junk.” That was actually a very proud moment as a parent for me. It really does feel good to know that I’m not wasting my breath by educating my girls about why I’m doing certain things certain ways, or why I’m making a particular decision.
If this were a one-time thing, I probably wouldn’t be so bothered by it. But I see it everywhere we go.
We were recently at the grocery store in the produce section and there was another family—also a mom, dad and daughter—shopping (this time, all 3 of them were very obese). The entire cart was full of processed food, soda and junk.
The mom hesitantly asked, “Well, should we get some greens or something?” The dad shrugged it off, but instantly the daughter was saying, “Yes, yes, yes! Please, let’s get some greens.” And the parents argued with her about it!
Seriously! I could hardly believe my ears. Your daughter is standing there begging you to buy vegetables and you tell her no? It’s not like it’s because you don’t have enough money. Your cart is FULL of JUNK! Put some of that back and buy your daughter the healthy, real food she’s craving.
It took everything I had inside not to march over there and give them a piece of my mind. How is that poor girl supposed to succeed in life when you’re her example???!!!
The saddest thing is that most people have no clue what processed food is.
We took Zoë to Disneyland for her birthday, and while I was taking Zoë on the Dumbo ride, Brian went to buy some waters with Kaylee. He had quite an enlightening conversation with the woman who was checking his ID.
Since moving back from Uruguay, I think Brian has lost close to 40 lbs (I’ve lost 10-15 lbs), and the woman was asking how he lost so much weight compared to what it says on his ID, because her ID says she weighs less than she really does.
He told her that he had just cut out all processed foods. And this is how the conversation continued:
Her, “What’s processed food.”
Him, “Basically, anything that comes in a bag, box or can.”
Her, “Well then what do you eat?”
Him, “Fruits, vegetables, meat, stuff like that.”
Her, “Oh, you mean health food.”
Him, “No, just food.”
I just don’t understand where we have gone so wrong in our society that eating processed food is the (expected) norm and eating real food is this elusive concept that no one gets. It’s not health food—it’s real food. What you’re eating is a chemical concoction that your body was never designed to run on in the first place. What I’m eating is normal. What you’re eating is not.
If you want to lose weight, get off the pharmaceutical concoction you’ve been told is keeping you alive and live to see your children graduate from high school, stop eating fast food, stop eating processed food, stop drinking soda and get up off the couch and go for a walk after you cook a meal from scratch with real foods. It’s really not that complicated.
Your children look at you for the example of how to live their lives. If you’re destroying your body by consuming junk, they’ll head down the same path. If you eat real foods, exercise and enjoy life, your children will do the same.