Monday, October 24, 2011

Food Day & Learning to Say “NO”

While I appreciate the efforts of FOOD DAY organizers, I have a few issues and will attempt to address them in time. (Initially I wanted to tackle one each day this week, but I am a busy mom.)

Food Day Principle #5 - Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing aimed at kids

Food, Mommy Principle #1 - Promote health by providing your kids better food choices and teach them to say "No" to poor food choices

I think it is very ironic that everyone is pointing their fingers at “junk-food” producers and marketers for making our kids fat, when they don’t have any real buying power. Who buys it for them? WE DO!

“No” may be the most important word you ever teach your child. My kids hear it at least 50 times a day, and at least half of those “no’s” are aimed at their food choices.

“Mommy, can I pick a cereal that I want?” And I say, “No, we are not going to get a cereal with that much sugar.”

“Mommy, can I have some ice cream?” Me, “What did you eat today at Nana’s house?” Kid, “Well, we had pancakes for breakfast, macaroni and cheese and a popsicle at lunch.” Me, “No, not today. If we make better food choices tomorrow, then I will consider letting you have some ice cream.”

“Mommy, I’m starving. Can we go by McDonald’s or Taco Bell.” Me, “No, I have something to cook for dinner. Eat an apple when we get home.”

As marketing tactics become increasingly aggressive, we the adults need to put on our fighting gear and quit asking the government to step in or stop filing silly lawsuits against the best food marketers. Slick advertising does not make our kids fat. They may ask for it, but adults are giving in. I will even be so bold to say that parents are worse than the marketers. We get lazy or blame the fact that we just don’t have time to do better.

On more occasions than I can count in the last few months, I have seen adults making very poor food choices for our children. Pizza, hot dogs and sodas were the main fare at a juvenile diabetes research fund raising walk this weekend. Every time my child is sent home with a fundraising form, it is for selling doughnuts or treats or cookie dough. Upcomoing Halloween and fall festivals will be filled with bags of candy and food our kids just do not need. How often do our kids have an extra-curricular activity and pizza, cookies, cupcakes, sodas and sugar-filled drinks aren’t on the menu? The kids aren’t shelling out the cash for these things, and I bet they aren’t even asking for it. We just assume that is what they want to eat and we provide it for them.

I am not opposed to pizza and treats on occassion, but let’s get off our duffs and show our kids that we care about their health. Just say, “NO,” and give them a good meal for a change.


  1. I agree completely! Adults have to teach children to eat healthier. Great blog post! Check out my blog at:

  2. Love this was exactly what I was thinking. I linked to it on my blog...


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