Saturday, May 3, 2008

It just seems wrong.

Last night the boys and I went to Kroger and were restocking our fruits and veggies, as we tend to have to do about twice a week. I have been letting the boys each pick a new (or sometimes 'old') veggie to try and they really seem to enjoy it.

So as we're going through the produce department making our selections I had FOUR different people comment on how cool it is that my kids are interested in vegetables. Umm... yes I suppose it is cool that they are interested in good food. But what is so sad is that they even thought that it would be UNUSUAL for a kid to be interested in the produce department! I mean seriously, it is the most interesting, most ALIVE part of the grocery store. We LOVE the produce department. All the colors, discussing what kind of a plant or tree or root the veggie or fruit grows from and how you cook it, etc..

So pondering that led me to thinking about some rotten injustices in our country. For instance-- you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in this country (19 in some states) and for good reason. They MAY cause cancer. MAY, not in everyone's case. Ignoring the fact that they're disgusting and can cause fires, just the health risks. But in the SAME country a FIVE YEAR OLD can go to the counter at McDonalds, order a 1/4 pounder a super value fries and a 44 oz soda. That meal is GUARANTEED to increase their cholesterol levels, their sugar levels, and very LIKELY will cause diabetes and heart disease later in life. And the diabetes are occurring at younger and younger ages.

On the rare occasion that my kids and I go to McDonalds (ok we are guilty of the drive thru about once every other month) I am so saddened to see what parents let their kids eat. We went to McDonalds last week to get out of the house (yucky rainy week) and I let the kids play in the playplace. Now I'm certainly NOT saying that I am the poster child for model eating (I'm 40 pounds overweight after all!) but when we go places like McDonalds I _never_ let the kids have soda or french fries. I am SO happy that they offer juice boxes and apple slices as an alternative. And that is what my kids _always_ have and they don't even think to ask for fries. Actually only one of them even LIKES fries.

So.. while we were there this lady came in with her daughter who was almost 3. She went and got the little girl a cheeseburger kids meal with fries and a soda. A typical McMeal. Then she proceeded to MAKE her child finish the food before she could play--not finish the amount that she WANTED to eat, finish it all. "You still have 3 fries left". Ohhh on so many levels this bothered me! The worst and most sad part is that I bet that woman doesn't even truly realize how bad the food she is MAKING her child eat is for her. Then theres the whole "clean your plate" argument. I NEVER force my children to eat anything, particularly if it is something that isn't even REMOTELY good for them.

Anyway so I was thinking that there needs to be some serious change in this country. Like a cholesterol check to determine what menu items you are eligible for at fast food restaurants. Or a scale! That alone would keep quite a few patrons out of McDonalds. Different weight categories make you eligible to purchase different items.

But I think the biggest thing that is WRONG with this country is awareness. I am aware, but I still struggle. But if it was more of a joint effort, if EVERYONE wanted a change then things would start happening. I hope that day comes before my kids are grown and have over the limit cholesterol levels of their own.

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