Took my guys to Mickey D’s today. We try not to make a habit of fast food, but sometimes it’s what you need to do in a pinch, and sometimes, let’s face it, it just sounds good.
We do try to eat healthy at home, though, and encourage healthy habits when we’re out. I used to just order the healthy side with the fast food meal without when my little men were too little to know what their options were. Once they gained some knowledge of the fast-food world, however, they started jonesing for French fries now and again. Over time, though, they reverted back to choosing the healthier options on their own—nirvana.
Today, the brain surgeons working at the local fast-food establishment got our order wrong, and put fries instead of fruit in the bag for my #1 son. Said #1 son wanted his fruit instead, so I zipped back around the building, cut off a very nice lady in a red Cadillac, and pulled back into the drive-through to get my boy his fruit.
Now, I’m driving home with two happy boys in the back seat and a lonely bag of fries up front with mama. What’s a girl to do? Like a crack addict, I ate every last fry before we even pulled into our neighborhood. What the hell do they put in those things anyway? Which got me thinking…
We teach our kids to stay away from cigarettes and other drugs, but the number one health problem in our country right now is Type 2 Diabetes. The rates of this disease have skyrocketed due to our country’s addiction to sugar and fat—that, and whatever the hell they put in those fries. And do you know what I wanted so badly with those fries that I could taste it? Yep, a diet soda—the devil himself.
So I’ve decided that we need to teach our kids to think about sugar and fat the way we teach them about other things that could kill them but nevertheless make you feel really really good for a little while. They should think of these things as substances that might feed our mood for a short time but don’t really nourish our bodies or our souls. Do we still need them once in a while to get through the day? Damn straight. But if we turn to them instead of turning to a loved one, a hike in the woods, a good book, or any of the many things that would really feed what’s missing on the inside in that moment, we do damage to the one person we should love most—ourselves.
Will choosing the fruit instead of the fries get us all the way there? Probably not…but it’s a start.