My husband and my 11-year-old son came home from golfing recently, and I was told that my little guy really wanted to eat a hotdog at the golf course, but he felt so guilty he wouldn't eat it. Judging by JD's tone of voice, I was supposed to feel bad about this. I told him that there was absolutely no way in hell I was going to feel guilty about Duncan not wanting to eat a hotdog, then got into the deeper discussion of what the hell am I doing here writing a blog on plant-based nutrition, when my own son and husband are eating f'ng hot dogs? WTF?
I am not going to belabor the vileness of hotdogs, or the merits of veggie dogs (which have a nice smoky flavor and with the right toppings are very delicious) because I want to point out the bigger picture, and that is my own husband can not understand that I might be seriously bummed if my kids eat a hot dog even "once in a while". Kids are very cut and dry and I don't feel like the "once in a while" thing works really well. Give them and inch and they take a mile in the way of junk food and here is why... the junk food industry spends $2 billion a year marketing their foods to kids, the fast food industry spends more than $5 million every day marketing unhealthy foods to children, and at this point, nearly 40% of kid's diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. These foods are SO addicting it is scary. They are making kids obese, sick and undernourished. Not a great combo. Here is a great article with more depressing stats on the marketing of these foods to kids. It is a short read, and very insightful. Point is, we need to fight SO hard against the ads for Lunchables, and Oscar Meyer etc. etc, and we need to come on strong because kids are absolutely bombarded. I do not use scare tactics. I educate them about what is in a hot dog or other junk food, and they make their own choices. I am not breathing health food down their necks. The whole argument of "oh, they'll get to college and eat all the crappy foods" doesn't fly with me. That's bullshit. Teach them to recognize how their body feels and operates when they eat well, and it will go a long way.
My son's little friend was over last week, and brought with him a bag of flaming Hot Cheetos which he eats every single day with his lunch. I have to say that those are the most disgusting things I've ever seen in my life. The color of them just shouldn't be legal. Kids are crazy for these though. I have parents saying to me all the time that they cannot get their kids to stop craving, and losing their minds over these freaking Hot Cheetos. I've had 2 moms tell me that their kids FREAK out if they try to keep them away from these bright fuschia colored nasties. So, I snuck a couple of the little red devils out of the kid's bag, because I had to see why kids are so addicted to these things. Honestly, I almost wrestled the kid down for the rest of the bag. Holy shit, they were so hot and so disgusting, but I wanted to eat the whole bag. I know that the food industry spends millions of dollars of year on careful food science figuring out how to make the snacks the most crave-able they can make them. It is an art. Love this LA Times article on making junk food addictive. Obviously Hot Cheeto's has done a mighty good job. Load em up with carcinogenic food coloring, MSG, and lots of fat and calories kids will kill for em. We definitely have an uphill battle here trying to sell our little ones broccoli.
I will continue to educate my kids, and apparently do a lot more education with my dear husband. Converting a caveman in 1 year may have been a lofty goal. I knew this was going to be an uphill battle from the get-go, but my oldest son telling someone he was a pescatarian the other day, and Dunc denying the dog definitely made me smile. Looks like the kids are getting it before the hubby. I guess it does take longer to teach an old dog new tricks.
I am Chrissy Roth, a mom, wife, Physical Therapist, Spin Instructor, and Wellness Coach with a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition. I've had a passion for health and nutrition my whole life and have always been drawn towards prevention. Why wait until your fat or sick or both to do something about your health? I'm looking to be the healthiest me NOW and am always sharing what I know. I love a challenge... 2 boys who think they are cavemen and a husband who wants to go veggie but hates beans, tofu, legumes, and most nuts.... I WILL make this happen cause that's how I roll (whole grain of course)...