Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Huckle! This is party food!

In this first month of living without fast food, I have taken to reminding the kids (and myself) that fast food is best used as a treat, not a regular source of nutrition.
I remember trips to McDonald's being a special occasion when I was a kid (it was big news when Anacortes, Washington finally got a McDonald's) and treats like the Turtle Sundae and McNuggets were brand new (anybody else remember the Chicken McNugget action figures that came with Happy Meals?).
Now that I am a parent, I have found myself making almost daily trips to McDonald's for a sweet tea, McDouble and small fries.  $3.27.  "Hey kids, you can get three things each, but only off the dollar menu."  Way to go, Mom!  You just fed you and your kids for under $10!  I used to congratulate myself that way.
I realize now that I was teaching my children to indulge in convenience on a regular basis instead of being deliberate about their eating habits.

When my children were small, they loved Richard Scarry's Busytown books.  "The Best Mistake Ever" detailed a trip to the grocery store by Huckle Cat and his friend Lowly Worm.  Mother Cat provides a shopping list of things she needs from the store including cream, apples, butter, oranges and potatoes.  Huckle forgets the shopping list, and his friend Lowly helps him do the shopping based on his memory.  With Lowly's "help," Huckle buys ice cream (instead of cream), apple pie (instead of apples), peanut butter (instead of butter), orange soda (instead of oranges), and potato chips (instead of potatoes).  Mother Cat is very upset with Huckle's purchases, saying, "Huckle!  This is party food!"
Wow.  Party food?  Ice cream, pie, peanut butter, soda, potato chips ... isn't that part of the regular shopping list for a red-blooded American citizen?
It made me think about the short-cut food that I feed my family on a regular basis.  Am I truly providing nutrition, or am I teaching my kids that convenience food is a part of a regular diet?
Just something more to consider in my year-long "fast food fast."

1 comment:

Amelia Yap said...

Thanks for your share, my kids loved that book too. I borrowed your picture for my blog. We had a little party on Sunday with "Party Food". Good time and good memories.