Is this really what we are feeding our kids?!?!

23 02 2011

Okay, so I don’t usually get on a soap box like this but I was blown away today. I am headed out to Washington to host a fitness event tomorrow.  My parents are coming to take care of the kids for me (thank you, thank you, thank you) and they asked me grab some “easy” meals and snacks for the kids at the grocery store.    This is usually not my style but since they are being so generous as to come help me I didn’t mind at all.

First of all, I get all the way checked out when the cost blew my mind.  I thought prepackaged food that is is practically nutritionally void is suppose to be cheaper.  I bought enough for just 5 days and it cost me almost as much as when I buy all the nutrient goodness I usually buy for a week…for all of us.

Then I get home and start looking at what I actually bought.  My mom asked me to get  stuff like Kid Cuisines and Graduates for Toddlers.  First of all, I can’t pronounce half the ingredients…that can’t be good.  And the sodium in one of Riley’s Graduates is 470mg…HOLY CRAP!!! Here kidneys are going to have work overtime to process that. Griffin’s little Kid’s Cuisine has over 500mg…that is NUTS!! He should be around 1200 A DAY…and his getting over 1/3 of that in one sitting.  I about had a heart attack right then and there!

Then I started to realize…parents are feeding this to their kids every single day.  I almost had another heart attack.  What ever happen to preparing things in advance…the good ol’ fashion healthy way where you can pronounce all the ingredients.  Why not bake up a whole batch of of chicken on Sunday, cut them in cubes and have them ready for the kids the whole week.  Or buying a bag of steamable carrots, cooking them and putting them in a container ready for the next 3 days.  Why not more fresh fruit and less Gerber cheese puffs…is there even any nutrition in those.  When did we start to think Gold Fish are a good healthy snack.  Or Mac n Cheese…what the heck is even in that….is that even real cheese?!?!  And I just checked…640mg in the individual packed Velveeta Cheese Shells I got Griffin while my parents are in town.

I will get off my soap box but seriously, it is no wonder that over 2/5 of all kids are overweight or obese.  I mean, did you know that for the first time in history our kids won’t live as long as we do.  That breaks my heart…shame on us!  I hate to have to say it, but it all starts with us.  We as parents control what go into their mouth and we are setting them up of a life filled with struggle when it comes to health, body image and self confidence. But you know what, since 2/3 of all adults are either overweight or obese I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.   I’m definitely not saying that I am perfect…that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I have Gold Fish in my cupboard too.  But I do try to help my kids to eat healthy 90% of the time…they depend on me for that. I don’t know.  What do you think it’s going to take?  Are we all just too overwhelmed and busy? Have we all just forgot what a healthy plate truly looks like? I don’t know but I hope we figure it out soon…for our kids sake:)

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4 responses

23 02 2011
Jessica

I agree with every sentiment. Parents (myself included) are so often lured by the ease of these foods. When Geoff left this deployment I made a promise to myself that I would make real dinners for me and the kids even when it seemed easier to make chicken nuggets for them and a bowl of cereal for me, and in all honestly I have found that it is not much harder to make a real meal. Added bonus, my kids eat WAY better when I really cook for them. Cooking them healthy meals that they love to eat = best feeling ever!

23 02 2011
Heather Larson

I totally hear you! Honestly, it’s a shame that the prepackaged meals take up a whole freezer section in the grocery store! I’ll admit that a cheesy puff is a great distraction for our little one but I wouldn’t pass it off as part of her meal. For example, the “yo baby” yogurt that makes you think they are good for, and made for babies, but have a pound of sugar…shouldn’t that be illegal! I’ve figured out that kids will eat whatever you put in front of them. My 4 year olds favorite thing to eat is red peppers and hummus. Veggies are time consuming to cut and cook for our kids, however, I absolutely love the steam fresh veggies and pick a bag to throw in the microwave to go with every meal.

24 02 2011
Julie

Well, Sommer, if it makes you feel any better, my girls prefer fresh fruit to anything else for breakfast, snacks, desserts… They despise anything prepackaged (healthy for them but good grief can it be hard when I’m working several 12 hour nights in a row!) I hear you about grandparents, though. My in-laws gave my girls cake and lollipops for breakfast!!! I about stroked!

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